On the final day of the 2021/22 campaign, Latics were held to a meaningless draw on home turf by Crawley Town as a sombre mood graced the terraces after relegation was confirmed in the weeks prior.
In a game that signifies the end of a torrid season, the ‘boys in blue’ played out a draw with six goals being scored in the process.
Goals from Jack Stobbs and Davis Keillor-Dunn meant Oldham were two-nil up, but George Francomb and James Tilley made sure that the scoreline was even at the break.
Once again, the hosts were ahead when Jordan Clarke’s spectacular strike found the top corner, however, Aramide Oteh clinched an equaliser for the visitors.
With nothing to play for, Shez strived to restore a glimmer of pride on the pitch as well as provide an opportunity for numerous young players to showcase their potential. As a result, five changes occupied the starting XI with Harry Vaughan and Benny Couto named in the team.
An early opportunity arose for the Red Devils, Jake Hessenthaler contrived a surging run into the area, and then, he received possession before the midfielder drilled his strike straight at the shot-stopper.
In the 26th minute, Vaughan embodied the ability that he possesses when the youngster had the vision and quality to pick out an unmarked Stobbs towards the right-hand side, and he remained cool to slot past Glenn Morris.
Following that, Latics doubled their advantage in the contest as Keillor-Dunn found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper which resulted in his low effort being parried into the far corner.
Although, the hosts were dealt a blow when Danny Rogers clumsily lost possession inside his own six-yard box which allowed Francomb to tap into an empty goal to the goalkeeper’s despair and frustration.
Just before the interval, the Reds were level in the encounter as Ashley Nadesan sprinted down the left-wing before finding Tilley at the back post with his low cross, and the wideman managed to smash past Rogers.
After the restart, Francomb displayed a mouth-watering backheel which found Isaac Hutchinson on the edge of the penalty box, however, his powerful effort sailed over the crossbar.
With sixty minutes on the clock, Clarke produced a moment of brilliance to restore his team’s lead in Greater Manchester. The right-back received the ball around 25-yards away from goal and he fiercely drilled his strike into the top corner which left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Oteh, fresh off the bench, levelled the scoreline with one of his first touches following a scramble inside the box, it landed perfectly for the striker, and he flicked over the line from close range.
Latics were nearly celebrating again as Junior Luamba raced one-on-one with Morris, however, the young attacker could only steer his effort wide of the target.
As the final whistle sounded, a sense of relief became prominent around Boundary Park with a truly disappointing season finally coming to an end. Although, Shez exemplified his love for the club as he made the effort to show his appreciation to our supporters that have illustrated their loyalty on a consistent basis.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Clarke, Piergianni ©, Whelan, Hope, Keillor-Dunn (Adams 73’), Jameson, Stobbs (Modi 66’), Missilou, Couto, Vaughan (Luamba 55’).
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Hunt, Hopcutt, Sutton.
Goals: Stobbs 26’, Keillor-Dunn 28’, Clarke 60’
Crawley Town XI – Morris (GK), Davies (Oteh 64’), Francomb ©, Craig, Nichols, Nadesan, Tilley (Kastrati 87’), Francillette, Ferry, Hessenthaler, Hutchinson.
Unused Subs: Seymour (GK), Gallacher.
Goals: Francomb 39’, Tilley 44’, Oteh 68’
Attendance: 4,591 (133 away)
Referee – Anthony Backhouse