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Match Reports

Newport County 3-3 Latics

12 February 2022

© Eddie Garvey

There was heartache and pride in equal measure for Latics, who twice battled back from behind at Newport, only to be denied what would have been a dramatic victory in the closing stages.

Mike Fondop came off the bench to score his first two Oldham goals, but just when it looked like he had secured maximum points, John Sheridan’s side saw victory snatched from their grasp in the cruellest of circumstances.

Against a dangerous Newport side currently occupying a place in the play-off places, the point for Latics was all the more impressive given that they had to play the final 20 minutes at a numerical disadvantage following the sending off of Dylan Bahamboula for a lunge on ­­­­­­Matt Dolan.

Davis Keillor-Dunn had drawn Latics level in the first half before Fondop struck twice after replacing the injured Junior Luamba late in the first half as the visitors displayed tremendous character on an action-packed afternoon in South Wales.

Even a fine goal from Keillor-Dunn could not prevent Latics from going in behind at the break, the visitors having been subjected to periods of heavy pressure during the first half.

Newport began with gusto and they took the lead on 14 minutes, a left-wing cross from Ryan Haynes going straight in after the ball had been worked out wide by the hosts.

Danny Rogers got down well to save from Scot Bennett, while dangerman Dom Telford found space in the area before lifting his effort over.

Yet after the initial pressure, Latics responded well and the equaliser on 28 minutes was a thing of beauty. Having taken an exquisite pass from Bahamboula in his stride, Keillor-Dunn veered in from the right before sending a low, angled finish past the reach of Nick Townsend.

The hosts continued to present a threat, Rogers producing a parrying save from Dolan before Azaz shot wide from the edge of the box.

Newport’s biggest threat came from Telford and having earlier been denied by Rogers, he underlined his status as one of the more dangerous strikers in Sky Bet League Two by restoring the hosts’ lead five minutes before the interval from just inside the area.

But there has been renewed character about Latics in recent weeks and having started the second half with intent, they battled back again.

Jordan Clarke flashed a shot over while Bahambula was denied by Townsend. From the resulting corner, Adams’ pin-point delivery was met by a bullet header from Fondop, powering the ball home past Townsend.

At that stage, the visitors were in the ascendancy, but in keeping with a tumultuous encounter, Newport then came on strong. Latics’ cause appeared to have been dealt a hammer blow when Bahamboula was shown a straight red card, but Sheridan’s side were undeterred.

With seven minutes to go, Fondop put Latics ahead, showing great instincts to convert Sam Hart’s cross from the left.

Latics would have been good value for the victory and although Mickey Demetriou equalised in the final minute, the visitors still left with an over-riding sense of pride.

 

Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Piergianni, Adams (Stobbs 78), Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula, Missilou, Luamba (Fondop 45).

Subs not used: Leutwiler, Hunt, Couto, Vaughan.

 

Newport County: Townsend, Norman (Waite 83), Haynes, Pask, Dolan, Baker-Richardson (Street 90), Bennett (Willmott 58, Azaz, Telford, Demetriou, Cooper.

Subs not used: Day, Clarke, Fisher, Cain.

Referee: Robert Lewis

Attendance: 3,901 (342 away)


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