Latics fight back to snatch late draw

Written by Gary Skinner @GaryS1906

Spoils were shared at Boundary Park as Oldham Athletic staged a late fight back in a 2-2 draw at home to Northampton Town. Latics gave a rare start to Chris Eagles in midfield. Jamie Stott keeping his place at centre half despite Tomas Egert being available after serving a 3 match ban for his sending off at Mansfield. Northampton came into the game on the back of 3 consecutive 2-0 victories and started the match brightly.

Warburton had their first shot after only 2 minutes but his shot from distance was turned away for a corner by de la Paz in the Oldham goal.
Latics were made to pay for their slow start though after only 6 minutes when after failing to clear a Northampton corner the ball fell to Anderson on the edge of the area, his low shot managed to find its way through a sea of players before Warburton got the faintest of touches diverting the ball onto the inside of the post and it was the same player who was the quickest to react to the rebound and had an easy tap in from close range to give the Cobblers the lead.

It was just the start that Oldham didn’t want but Northampton had started the game well, befitting a side that were looking for their fourth consecutive victory. Latics were far from out of it though and had shots from Eagles and Morais to show for their efforts as they began to get a foothold in the game and began to gain some dominance. It was the visitors though who came the closest to scoring again just before half time when Warburton smashed a shot against the crossbar following a goalmouth scramble.

The start of the second half saw Latics playing with more urgency as they pressed for the equaliser but despite their huffing and puffing ex-Oldham keeper David Cornell had little danger to contend with in the Northampton goal. Dino Maamria brought on Scott Wilson after 68 minutes replacing Azankpo and Mohammed Maouche who replaced Morais in the 79th minute as Athletic sought an equaliser.

On 80 minutes the visitors  doubled their lead however when substitute Andy Williams had time to control the ball, turn and hit a cracking shot from the corner of the area, looping over the Latics keeper before finding the corner of the net. At that stage it looked like the Latics were about to slump to another home defeat, but on 85 minutes a long ball forward from David Wheater found Scott Wilson who was able to place his volley into the bottom corner.

Oldham were now very much on the front foot as they surged forward looking for an equaliser. Zac Emmerson was sent on as a substitute for Missilou to further increase the striking options. The equaliser came in the 89th minute, when after good play by Maouche, he found Iacovitti who was able to release Smith wide on the left. The winger ran at the full back and hit a cross/shot that appeared to take a slight deflection that took the ball up and over Cornell before nestling in the back of the net much to the delight of the Latics crowd. Maouche even had a chance to snatch an unlikely win but his shot was blocked by a Northampton defender.

Keith Curle may have considered his team to be slightly unlucky in the end to only go away with a point after being 2-0 up with 5 minutes to go but Dino Maamria will be encouraged with the never-say-die attitude that his team displayed in the second half, and ultimately a draw was probably a fair result. A tricky FA Cup tie away at Gateshead next Sunday is next for the Latics.

Picture: Eddie Garvey

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