Lack of cutting edge costs Latics

Written by Gary Skinner @GaryS1906

Oldham Athletic slipped to their second home defeat of the season on Saturday, losing to Colchester United by the only goal. Latics had only themselves to blame though after squandering several chances, particularly in the first half.

Oldham stuck to the 4-5-1 formation that has been used recently with Scott Wilson being the lone front man, replacing Desire Segbe-Azankpo who dropped to the bench. There was no place in the squad for winger Gevaro Nepomuceno so the experienced Chris Eagles came in on the right wing and he showed some excellent composure and neat touches on the ball combining particularly well with right full back Tom Hamer.

Latics almost took the lead on 12 minutes when a swift breakaway move saw Maouche release Eagles down the right wing, a neat inside pass found Maouche backing up well and his right foot shot from the edge of the box curled just wide of the far post with the Colchester keeper well beaten.
Next it was Maouche and Fage combining together to provide a low cross but Wilson failed to get a touch on the ball from close range.
Wilson also had a speculative long range effort that went over the bar before Colchester almost took the lead with their first effort on goal.

Noubile released Senior who had outpaced the Latics defence, Woods rushed outside of his area to make an excellent tackle but the ball fell to Norris whose lob towards goal just about cleared the crossbar and landed on the roof of the net. The U’s went one better though on the stroke of half time when Noubile sprung the offside trap showing impressive pace down the left, cutting inside the penalty area he struck a low well-placed shot beyond Woods and into the bottom corner. It was harsh on Latics to go in trailing at half time having played the better football and created more chances than the visitors but without being able to convert any of them.

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The second half initially saw Oldham on the front foot again and Maouche fired a left foot shot just wide of the post. Both teams produced half chances without either goalkeeper being tested, but Oldham’s dominance in the first half had begun to wane in the second.

Dylan Fage had a 25 yard shot saved by Gerken in the Colchester goal but clear cut chances were becoming hard to come by. Colchester very nearly extended their lead in the 75th minute when the on-loan substitute Theo Robinson curled a shot which struck the Latics crossbar, Senior picked up the rebound and forced a save from Woods.

Maouche had the final chance for Latics but he failed to get a solid enough contact on a header from yet another accurate cross from man of the match Eagles and his effort was wide of the goal.

The lack of firepower looks like it could be Oldham’s Achilles heel this season and they surely need to recruit a big centre forward, a target man to help the smaller, pacier strikers, who, while being willing runners, chasing balls and harassing defenders, they aren’t particularly looking like scoring whilst up front on their own. A difficult trip away to Plymouth next will possibly see more personnel changes as Laurent Banide strives to find a winning formula for his team.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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