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Match Reports

Latics 0-0 Rochdale

29 January 2022

© Eddie Garvey

Upon his return to Latics, John Sheridan picked-up a point in a local derby against Rochdale and, as a result, retained the Ernie Cooksey Trophy.

The best chance of the first-half arrived when Max Clark’s cross found Paul Downing inside the area, but the former Portsmouth man guided his header wide of the target.

After the interval, Corey O’Keeffe galloped down the touchline before he fired a cross into a dangerous area towards Clark, although he could only flick wide of goal at the back post.

With minutes left, Christopher Missilou nearly became the hero for the hosts as he ran past a defender to get into the box, and then from an acute angle, tried his luck, however, it didn’t find the top corner.

Latics entered the Sky Bet League Two fixture with an abundance of optimism after Sheridan announced his return to his beloved club which resulted in a boost of ticket sales and, more importantly, a lift in spirits across the town.

The idolised figure opted for three changes from our lacklustre defeat against Harrogate Town last weekend. Danny Rogers, Harrison McGahey and Missilou were named in the starting XI as the new gaffer implemented a 3-5-2 system on the turf of Boundary Park.

Early into the first-half, the referee temporarily suspended the match following a medical emergency in the upper Main Stand. After 19 minutes, thankfully, it's believed that the supporter was in a stable condition as they were taken to hospital. We send our best wishes and hope that they make a full recovery.  

After the referee allowed play to resume, the hosts demonstrated a great piece of play which resulted in Alex Hunt switching the ball to Sam Hart on the left-hand side before he raced forward, but his shot was bravely blocked by Downing.

Rochdale – with two former Oldham players in their line-up – had the only real opportunities of the note in the opening exchanges. First, Clark delivered a pinpoint cross towards Downing, however, the experienced defender steered his header wide of the target.

Just before the interval, Clark found himself in a promising position inside the final third before he sliced his strike across goal which failed to trouble the Latics shot-stopper.

Straight after the restart, O’Keeffe sprinted down the right-flank, and then, drilled a delivery across the face of goal to Clark, but he flicked wide of the target at the back post to the relief of the backline.

Once again, Downing proved to be an important physical presence from set-pieces for Dale and, this time, his looping header looked destined for the far corner, but fortunately, his attempt went past the post.

Latics managed to create an attack of their own, although it wouldn’t have had Joel Coleman, a well-respected product of Latics’ academy, worried as Missilou’s uncontrolled effort sailed over the crossbar.

Following that, Hart powered his way down the left-wing before delivering onto the head of Dylan Bahamboula inside the six-yard box, however, the man leading the line directed his header past the far post.

In added time, Missilou illustrated great determination as he forced his way into the penalty area before powerfully striking goalwards, however, it went just wide to the frustration of the supporters.

Sheridan barked orders from the dugout to his side for them to attack the visitors with minutes to spare in order to retrieve something from the encounter, but unfortunately, they couldn’t break the deadlock.

Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Adams, Clarke, Piergianni ©, McGahey, Hart, Missilou, Whelan, Hunt (Stobbs 58’), Bahamboula, Keillor-Dunn (Hopcutt 70’).

Unused Subs: Southerington (GK), Fage, Couto, Vaughan, Simms.

Rochdale XI – Coleman (GK), O’Keeffe, O’Connell ©, Dooley, Newby (Odoh 81’), Grant, Dorsett, Broadbent, Downing, Clark, Campbell.

Unused Subs: Lynch (GK), White, McNulty, Taylor, Done, Cashman.

Attendance: 8,199 (2,014 away)

Referee – Darren Drysdale


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