MATCH REPORT | Oldham Athletic 1 Walsall 0 MATCH REPORT | Oldham Athletic 1 Walsall 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

MATCH REPORT | Oldham Athletic 1 Walsall 0

On Saturday afternoon, Walsall travelled to the sponsored Boundary Park as they took on relegation-threatened Oldham Athletic in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.
On Saturday afternoon, Walsall travelled to the sponsored Boundary Park as they took on relegation-threatened Oldham Athletic in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.

The home side got us under way, but it was the visitors who enjoyed the best of the early play, the Saddlers keeping possession well as the sides felt each other out. Romaine Sawyers and Jordy Hiwula both displayed some lovely touches, while there were a number of wayward passes on show from Oldham in the opening few minutes.

After a rather tepid start, Oldham won the first corner of the match, ten minutes in. Palmer stepped up to take the kick but Bradshaw was quick to break free and head clear. After some initial scrambling, Etheridge was eventually able to claim the ball.

Fifteen minutes in, the game came to life as Tom Bradshaw was brought down on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick was taken by Forde, who hit the ball straight into the wall allowing Oldham to regain possession and break from a Holmes-Dennis clearance.

The Saddlers were quick to regain the ball, with Hiwula and Sawyers combining well to create an opening. Hiwula found himself through on goal, with just the 'keeper to beat but Joel Coleman stood tall as Jordy attempted to lift the ball over him, and blocked the shot. Poor defending from the hosts but Walsall unable to capitalise.

Coleman was called into action again moments later as Bradshaw raced through on goal. The Oldham 'keeper was alert to the danger and quick off his mark to beat the Walsall striker to the ball.

It didn't take long for Walsall to have the goal in their sights again, Anthony Forde sending in a left-footed drive from the edge of the box. The Oldham defence were more alert on this occasion and the goal-bound shot was blocked by Dummigan.

Oldham should have taken the lead with twenty-three minutes on the clock. Some wonderful skill on show from Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, who beat two men before sending a cross from the left to Curtis Main. Main only able to volley the ball inches wide of the post. The hosts very unlucky not to have scored, though Etheridge looked nonplussed and may have had it covered had the shot been goal bound.

Moments later, the hosts were on the attack again as Kelly crossed the ball into the box, where Jones was waiting. Neil Etheridge came out to claim and looked to have the ball under control. After a bit of a scramble, the ball came loose, possibly with the help of the arm of Forte, but the referee awarded Oldham a corner. Etheridge not happy as he felt he'd been fouled, but the corner was easily cleared and the danger averted.

Shortly before the half hour mark, Kelly was adjudged to have fouled a Walsall attacker as he looked to win the ball. The referee awarded the Saddlers a free-kick in a dangerous position, which Taylor stepped up to take. His left-footed curling shot, aimed at the top corner, cleared the three man wall but sailed just over the crossbar.

Minutes later, Sam Mantom drew a fabulous one handed save from Coleman with a powerful left-footed shot from twenty five yards out. The Oldham 'keeper able to tip the ball onto the roof of the net, gifting Walsall a corner, which they were unable to make use of.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, the Latics were awarded a free-kick as Curtis Main was fouled by Matthew Pennington. Matthew Palmer stepped up to take the kick from thirty yards out, his shot drawing a diving save from Etheridge.

Moments before half-time, Downing was dispossessed by Forte as he dallied with the ball. Luckily for the Saddlers, the ball was out wide and Forte could only fire into the side netting from the tight angle.

One additional minute was awarded by the referee, and neither team was able to make use of it as we reached the break goal-less.


Both teams remained unchanged, as the Saddlers got us back under way for the second half. The home side were awarded a free kick close to the corner flag moments into the half, as Jason Demetriou fouled Mike Jones. Palmer crossed the ball in to Wilson who was waiting at the back post. Wilson was only able to head wide.

Walsall enjoyed a good spell of play, as they settled into the second half, with Demetriou close to scoring after beating two men. His shot sailed over the bar from outside the area. Moments later Bradshaw flicked a Taylor cross goal-wards but the Oldham 'keeper was alert to gather. Good play from the men in red.

With sixty three minutes on the clock, Forte did well to out muscle Pennington and cut the ball back to Main, who calmly fired a shot past Etheridge and gave Oldham the lead.

Shortly after the goal, Walsall made their first change of the afternoon, with Anthony Forde leaving the field as Milan Lalkovic came on.

Oldham continued to press, with Main and Forte combining well to set up a chance which, fortunately for the Saddlers, they were unable to convert as the ball sailed wide of the post. Moments later, the Latics had another chance to extend their lead, as Jones struck from twenty five yards out, his shot also going wide of Etheridge's post.

With little under twenty minutes to play, Walsall were forced to make their second change of the day as an injured Bradshaw was replaced by Jordan Cook.

Following the change, the Saddlers were able to enjoy a decent spell of possession as they sought to level the scores. A Taylor free-kick from distance found Pennington, but the young loanee was only able to head into the arms of Coleman. Moments later, Coleman was again called into action as Hiwula struck at goal, his shot also into the waiting arms of the Oldham 'keeper.

With seventy seven minutes on the clock, Adam Chambers won a corner for Walsall. The flag-kick was well taken but Joel Coleman was able to collect the ball under pressure. Much brighter play from the Saddlers, but no end result.

Shortly after the corner, Walsall were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box, the referee also deeming the foul worthy of a booking, as Gerrard was awarded a yellow card. Taylor took the free-kick and whipped the ball in, but Coleman was able to get a strong fist on the ball to punch it away.

The Latics eased the pressure temporarily as they broke with the ball. Neil Etheridge was alert to the danger and was easily able to hold Main's tame effort.

It didn't take long for the Saddlers to get the ball back to the other end, and Hiwula found himself with a clear sight of goal. He shot from the edge of the box, but blazed the ball high over the bar.

With little over five minutes to play, both sides opted to make changes, with Cassidy coming on for the hosts in place of a busy Forte, while Morris came on for the Saddlers in place of Mantom.

Shortly after the change, Mike Jones found himself added to the referee's book for diving.

Four minutes were added, but there was little further action, though Demetriou did manage to burst into the area, only to see his shot charged down by Wilson. A disappointing end to the game as both sides seemed to tire.

Full time was called, with the score remaining one-nil to the hosts. A second defeat in as many games for the Saddlers, who find themselves outside the top four for the first time since the opening day of the season.

GOAL | Main (63')
ATTENDANCE | 4,396 (565 Walsall)
REFEREE | Mr. Ben Toner | Lancashire
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