Morecambe 0 -2 Oldham Athletic

  • On August 29, 2018

Globe Arena, Saturday 25 August 2018 3pm, League 2.

Attendance 3050, with 1638 away fans.

Shrimps  4-4-2 -Halstead Mills Conlan Old Yarney Fleming Wildig c Mandeville Oates Oswell Leitch-Smith sub used Ellison for Oates 79, Oliver for Oswell 72, Mendes-Gomes for Conlan 88.

Latics 4-4-2 – Iversen Hunt Clarke Edmundson Taylor Branger Gardner Missilou Nepomuceno Baxter O’Grady subs used Lang for Baster 68, Graham for Branger 45, Maouche for Missilou 83.

Yellow cards – Latics 4 – Clarke 70, Gardner 16, Missilou 71, Iversen 68.

Ref – Martin Coy, was generally up with play, perhaps could have been unsighted for the Iverson headbutt on Oswell resulting in a yellow, hence the leniency, another half decent ref!!

Weather was warm, sunny, with a slight breeze from the Omega end, pitch again looked lush and green.

Another frustrating afternoon for the home faithful as the Latics performed a smash and grab in their first ever visit to the Globe arena. Boosted by a large, good natured and vociferous 1600 following making the journey from the foothills of the Pennines, a lesson in finishing separated the two sides.

Following the positive win over the Cobblers the previous Tuesday, JB stuck with the same 4-4-2 apart from Mark Halstead made his bow in the sticks to replace the one game ban for big bad Baz. The Shrimps started well, Mills being played in early but only finding the car park behind the away end as he leant back. Moments later, a quick free kick by the rejuvenated Wildig found Oates at pace, who turned and shot from inside the box, the ball clipping the outside of the post and wide. This looked like the same neat footballing outfit who had done so well against Northampton, and a credit to Oldham who also played attractive football with Baxter and Gardner showing good skill. Old then had a header wide from a corner as the game opened up.

Crucially, Oldham struck the first blow, a cross from the left was not cleared and following a flick on O’Grady volleyed home from 6 yards under pressure to open the scoring on 27 minutes. Almost immediately, a cross from the right was misjudged by the excellent Mills, who could only head it high into the air, Nepomuceno reacted quickest to volley home the second for his first in Oldham colours. 2-0 down after 29 minutes and playing well!! Familiar?

The Shrimps didn’t panic and slowly regained a foothold, Wildig responding well as captain ably assisted by Flemo and the increasingly influential Mandeville. On 43, an outswinging corner was met with power by Yarney, forcing Iversen full length to his right to paw away, the first of three excellent saves he would make. So at half time, despite attractive flowing football, it was the visitors who trooped off to wild applause despite the lead flattering them.

The lively AJay (I’ll be honest, I’m hopefully going to be typing his name a lot when he gets fully fit as he will bag a lot of goals for us, so I’m just saving time later on not typing his full name, that OK?) set up Oswell who headed over and the game resumed its similar pattern. The Latics happy to sit and protect their lead and home side building patiently and missing chances. The improving Mills intercepted a pass on the half way line and flew past Nepomuceno, then past Taylor, cut in, ghosted past Edmundson and released a cross shot which flew agonisingly wide. It was then Mandeville’s turn to trick the defence, unleashing a fierce drive which Iversen had to be at full stretch to claw away for a corner. Old had a back post header fall straight into the keepers arms and the pressure was building. Oswell followed a long ball collected by Iversen, a little too close for the keepers liking who reacted and they clashed, Iversen glancing a blow at Oswell with his forehead. Many in the home end were convinced a red card was imminent, players dashed from all quarters, in the resulting melee, Mr Coy lived up to his name and issued a yellow to Iversen. The only brief glimpse of the Oldham front line arrived shortly after, with a scene akin to five a side in a bus shelter resulted in Halstead getting in the way of a deflected effort, my view was of a cloud of dust with hands and feet sticking out, akin to scene in the Bash Street Kids in the Beano, with the ball appearing now and again.

As time ticked away, AJay pounced on a weak back header, ran free in on goal, however that man Iversen stood tall and blocked his effort. There was still time for Kev to draw another fine save from the stopper who parried the headed threat, the rebound evading the diving Oliver when he looked sure to score.

And so it ended, with 6 efforts on target and numerous other chances created, the home crowd responded and applauded the Shrimps off, we will see us play a lot worse than that and win games. The fact remains however that we need to start converting these chance into goals and then into points, but  little luck on the way would be nice. Oldham move into the top 6, we drop to 22nd, yet there was very little between the sides.