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Match Reports

Hartlepool 1-3 Latics

26 December 2023

Match Reports

Hartlepool 1-3 Latics

26 December 2023

Latics kept pace with the National League play-offs thanks to a 3-1 victory over Hartlepool United.

Joe Grey’s fourth minute strike was cancelled out five minutes later by Josh Stones, with his effort on the turn beating Dixon.

The turnaround was complete when Norwood slipped the ball past the ‘keeper in a one-on-one.

After taking the lead into the break, Oldham added another in the second-half via Norwood to wrap up the points.

The game didn’t get off to the best of starts for Latics, with Hancox’s sweet pass unlocking the defence, allowing Grey to get his sights on goal and find the far corner with a well-placed effort.

It would have been easy for Micky Mellon’s side to let their heads drop after such an early goal, but Latics didn’t let that happen, allowing them to equalise five minutes later.

Hope’s cross met the path of Norwood, who, with a beautiful back-heel flick, switched possession to Stones.

Josh, on the turn, hit the ball first time, taking Dixon by surprise and finding the bottom corner,

Athletic kept applying pressure to the hosts, and the rewards of that decision came when Stones intercepted a sloppy Hartlepool pass.

Advancing forward and adjusting his position, he saw the run of Norwood, slipping the ball through for him to beat the goalie with ease.

The first-half, and arguably the entire game, was one where any attempt at goal went in, with the remainder of the first period not mustering up any chances of note.

As the second-half restarted, Hartlepool seemed keen to get back into the game, and had their moments in possession of the ball, but never really troubled Hudson in between the sticks.

Oldham had plenty of chances to double their lead, namely when Stones’ stretched leg nearly made contact with Kitching’s cross at the far post.

Throughout the game, including Latics second goal, Hartlepool gave the ball away cheaply, either via a poor pass or simply by sitting on the ball for too long and being dispossessed.

Norwood and Sheron both looked to create chances from such errors, but either missed the target or saw Hartlepool recover just in time.

Regardless, that second goal would come, it would see the two previous scorers combine, once again.

Stone chased down a loose Latics corner, turned to take two men out of the game, before thumping in a cross, which possibly took a touch off Hogan, but was definitely turned home by Norwood for one of the easiest finishes of his career.

Athletic were solid for the remainder of the match, professionally keeping Hartlepool quiet, not allowing them to have a sniff at goal, meaning they brought all three points back to Lancashire.

Oldham: Hudson, Kitching, Hogan, Hobson, Lundstram, Sheron, Raglan, Hope, Sutton, Stones, Norwood.

Subs not used: Norman, Willoughby, Fondop, Gardner, Dickenson.

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