Oldham Athletic 2 Tranmere Rovers 0
Oldham Athletic brought an end to Tranmere’s run of 7 straight wins on Tuesday night at Boundary Park. In Pete Wilds’ second match as Head Coach, the Latics overcame a strong Tranmere outfit in what was an excellent advert for League 2 football.
Latics started the game with the same 11 that beat Grimsby on Saturday, the only changes to the squad being on the bench where Andy Taylor and Jonathan Benteke replaced Zak Dearnley and Urko Vera.
Oldham made a very bright start to the game, dominating the first 15 minutes of the contest, and it came as no surprise when Callum Lang made the breakthrough in the 7th minute. Latching on to a searching long ball from skipper Peter Clarke, Lang picked the ball up on the wide left, cutting into the box it almost looked like the ball had run away from him but he managed to beat the defender to it and placed a neat shot into the bottom corner, wrong footing the Tranmere keeper Scott Davies to register his 10th league goal of the campaign.
It was just the start that the Latics wanted and nothing more than they deserved from their bright opening. Following that setback though Tranmere began to get a foothold in the game and started to play like a team full of confidence from their excellent run in the league. They knocked the ball about well but lacked a cutting edge to set up real goal scoring opportunities.
Banks tried his luck with a direct free kick from outside the box which Iversen punched clear, and for all of Tranmere’s pressure they only had a left footed shot from Morrison in the 38th minute which he pulled wide.
The second half was a more even affair with both teams playing their part in making the game exciting and at times ‘end to end’. Despite the all action style of the game, the chances for either side were not plentiful.
Central defender Monthe put a header just over the bar, and shortly afterwards had a shot from outside of the box comfortably saved by Iversen. Latics defended resolutely, Missilou in central midfield stood out in particular and must have covered nearly every blade of grass on the Boundary Park pitch.
Despite the good defending though, Oldham needed a second goal, and it came in the 61st minute. Maouche played a through ball down the middle and Lang with a clever turn slipped the challenge of Monthe. He seemed to delay the first opportunity of a shot but carried the ball to the edge of the box before coolly slotting the ball home into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later Lang was looking for his hat trick but his left foot shot from the edge of the area lacked power and was directed straight at Davies.
Tranmere continued to press though and had a penalty appeal waved away after Norwood appeared to be bundled into on the goal line.
A flashing ball across the face of the goal had too much pace on it for the onrushing strikers, and any further attacking threat from Tranmere was snuffed out by the Latics defence.
The final whistle was met with cheers from the Oldham crowd and the Tranmere travelling supporters which numbered 2,342 continued to make themselves heard despite their team losing their recent winning run.
All in all, an excellent game to watch and more importantly for Athletic and Pete Wild, a second successive 2-0 win in the space of 3 days.
Wilds’ positive impact continues ……