In a series of ongoing match and player reviews, Trust Oldham are delighted to team up with our guest contributor Joe Bray (@_joebray on Twitter, oafc-latics on owtb.co.uk). He posts a full match report on his blog https://joeoafc.wordpress.com with a concise version only available here.
Matchday Blog – Rochdale
So Latics have rounded off an eventful 2016/17 campaign at home with a battling point that guarantees survival. If you’d asked me in January if I thought we’d be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you. To say Latics were bottom when John Sheridan returned, he’s done another incredible job to secure safety with a game spare.
For an indepth match report, have a look at my Post-Match Verdict, including the views of a Rochdale fan: https://joeoafc.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/oldham-1-1-rochdale-post-match-verdict/
The game itself was a fair reflection on Latics’ season. The first half was awful, and we were very lucky to only be 1-0 down. After the break, though, John Sheridan had his men fired up and they battled for a deserved draw.
Callum Camps was the man to put Dale ahead after good work by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. At first I thought Jamie Stott was too weak in letting Mendez-Laing skip past him, but looking back I think it was just good work from the Dale man.
Calvin Andrew had a handful of chances to score himself, and each miss was greeted with cheers from the stands after his 12 match ban for elbowing Peter Clarke in the reverse fixture.
For Latics, Ousmane Fane had good chances to equalise. First, he hit a first time effort straight at Conrad Logan – who took up most of the Rochdale goal to be fair – before he had a golden chance to shoot in space but opted to pass to Lee Erwin who had two defenders on him.
After the break, the atmosphere was building as Latics were much improved. Just as Rochdale fans were celebrating a move into the play-off places as results stood, Oldham got their reward when Jamie Stott delivered a perfect free-kick to Peter Clarke who made no mistake to nod past Logan and silence the visiting support.
Mendez-Laing had a couple of deflected efforts for Rochdale, while Aaron Holloway had a snap-shot straight at Logan, but in the end both teams seemed happy to settle for a draw.
The match wasn’t the prettiest, and Latics have definitely played better in recent weeks, but the point ensured another unlikely survival attempt is complete.
Now, chairman Simon Corney needs to learn from last year’s mistakes and do everything he can to keep hold of Sheridan. With a fairly solid core of players under contract for next season, and Sheridan in control, Latics can definitely spend 2017/18 looking up League One rather than down.
LATICS PLAYER RATINGS (OUT OF 10)
Connor Ripley – 6
On his last home game, this was one of Ripley’s less impressive games. He still made a couple of important saves, but nearly conceded an embarrassing goal after being caught on the ball. Still, Latics fans will forgive him after a great season.
Brian Wilson – 8
Without Ripley and Clarke, Wilson would walk the Player of the Season awards. This was another solid performance to keep Ian Henderson quiet.
Peter Clarke – 8 (Man of the Match)
Eventually got the better of Calvin Andrew, and scored with a good header. It was fitting that the man who has led Latics to survival was the one to score the goal to guarantee safety.
Jamie Stott – 7
Maybe could have done better for Rochdale’s goal, but made up for that with a perfect delivery for the equaliser. Another generally solid performance in a tricky game.
Chris Taylor – 4
Substituted after another anonymous showing, Taylor has been pretty poor since returning on loan. He’s lost his pace that made him a threat in his first spell, and doesn’t make the most of an intelligent footballing brain. He’ll always be popular at Boundary Park, but there won’t be much complaints if he doesn’t make his loan move permanent.
Paul Green – 6
Green was on holiday in the first half, and was constantly beaten by Joe Bunney on Rochdale’s left. Improved in the second half, but not a performance on the same level as recent games.
Ollie Banks – 6
Like Green, he struggled to get involved in the game. He also improved after the break, but couldn’t have complained at being substituted.
Ousmane Fane – 7
Missed three good chances, but did well in midfield to break up Rochdale’s play. With a full pre-season under Sheridan, Fane could be a key player next season.
Ryan McLaughlin – 7
He’s a better attacker than defender, but put effort in all game and looked to go forwards.
Aaron Amadi-Holloway – 7
Caused Rochdale problems and finally seems to be learning how to hold the ball up AND bring others into play.
Lee Erwin – 6
His goals have shot Latics to safety, but he wasn’t in this one. It wasn’t an awful performance, but Tope Obadeyi was more of a threat when he came on.
Tope Obadeyi – 6
Changed Latics’ shape when he came on with more direct running, but nothing much came off.
Josh Law – 6
Solid, if uneventful cameo.
Aiden O’Neill – Not on long enough.
John Sheridan – 7
Sheridan didn’t have his team fired up in the first half, but his second half changes and switch to 4-4-2 made Latics more of a threat and they got the deserved goal. His exploits since January have been even more impressive than last season, and he knows how to grind out points in League One.
*Disclaimer – all views expressed are of our guest contributors and not of Trust Oldham. Any queries or feedback, please Contact Us