Despite awful home form and free-scoring opposition, goals from Freddie Ladapo and Lee Erwin gave Oldham an unlikely 2-0 victory against league leaders Scunthorpe on Tuesday night.
Latics headed into the game without a home win and following a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Bolton. All the signs suggested another frustrating night and before the game, I told Scunthorpe fan site iron-bru.co.uk to expect three points.
Here, I look at how Latics pulled off their impressive result with the help of Iron-Bru editor Matt.
Story of the Game:
Scunthorpe started the game brighter with a Sam Mantom shot, but Oldham soon gained control of the midfield. A couple of routine saves for Iron keeper Joe Anyon and a penalty shout for both teams followed, before Oldham won the game just before half time.
Ladapo finished off a flowing move with his second goal in three games, before he turned provider four minutes later to Lee Erwin who cooly bent a finish past Anyon. Ryan Flynn could have made it 3-0 in the second half with three attempts, as Oldham comfortably saw the game out.
How did the teams perform?
For a team who’d failed to score in 5 out of 6 home league games, Latics took their chances well when they came. In fact, Ryan Flynn probably should have made the scoreline more comfortable. There was a resilience in Steven Robinson’s tactics, especially in the second half when a Scunthorpe goal could have sparked a comeback.
Robinson admitted Oldham have played better this season and lost, but a third win in four against the league leaders suggests his side are finally making the right decisions and getting the breaks.
Scunthorpe on the other hand showed nothing of the form that had taken them four points clear at the top before kick off. Matt says: “We never really got going and once we had the penalty shout turned down we seemed to go to pieces. Unfortunately some of the players were complacent and seemed to be going through the motions. Although we probably had a little bit more of the ball, we never really looked like breaking Oldham down and scoring.
“For me, it wasn’t a performance you would expect from a side that are top of the table and have aspirations of Championship football. Oldham overworked and overran our midfield and similar to the game at Port Vale, our only other defeat, we struggled to cope.”
Who stood out in the game?
As usual, Peter Clarke led from the back, and the recalled Cameron Dummigan offered pace and energy from right-back. Ladapo and Erwin took their goals well and were well supported by Ryan Flynn and Carl Winchester from midfield. Ousmane Fane and Paul Green also responded to poor performances at Bolton with solid displays in midfield.
For Scunthorpe, Joe Anyon pulled off a good save from Flynn in the second half, but previously reliable players like Josh Morris and Paddy Madden were unconvincing.
Matt says: “I thought Peter Clarke mopped up everything at the back and was his usual solid self. Winchester and Flynn had good games as well. I wouldn’t give any of our players over a 5/10.”
Latics have an opportunity to build on their first home win on Saturday, when Bristol Rovers are the visitors to Boundary Park. If Robinson’s side can gain a positive result, they will feel confident in next week’s derby at Rochdale.
Matt says Scunthorpe have a good opportunity to get back on track at Chesterfield on Saturday: “We have the players to respond and Chesterfield is a perfect opportunity to do so. We bounced back following defeat at Port Vale, so hopefully we can approach the game in a positive way and try to give them things to worry about rather than focus to much on how they might play.
“It becomes a bit of a must win, with Sheffield United starting to close the gap. I would have hoped for at least four points out of the two away games, but we’ll have to settle for three.”
Thanks to Matt for his verdict on the match, and good luck to Scunthorpe for the rest of the season.