Date: 5th March 2017 at 11:54am
Written by:

Walsall left it late to record a fifth successive home victory and against a spirited Oldham Athletic.

The Saddlers welcomed popular defender Scott Laird back into the starting eleven, with Matt Preston missing out through a back injury. Oldham had a couple of familiar faces in their squad, former Walsall defender Anthony Gerrard started in defence and striker Michael Ngoo was on the bench for the visitors.

The game itself started slowly with both sides feeling their way into the contest, the tricky Tope Obadeyi looked dangerous for the Latics, whilst Erhun Oztumer showed some good touches in the early stages.

The first big incident of the match came in the 16th minute as Oldham midfielder Lee Croft, clattered into Walsall’s Jason McCarthy. The challenge was a nasty one and Croft deservedly saw red.

The rest of the first half saw a lot of possession for the Saddlers, without visiting ‘keeper Connor Ripley being forced into too many saves. Kieron Morris was guilty on a few occasions of wasting promising goal scoring opportunities.

Half-time. Walsall 0-0 Oldham Athletic

The second half started brightly for the Saddlers, with wing-backs McCarthy and Joe Edwards posing questions of the Oldham defence, but as was the case in the first half there was no real clear chances created.

As the second half wore on, Jon Whitney’s men started to look bereft of ideas going forward, interspersed by the odd bit of Oztumer brilliance, and Oldham applied some pressure with a succession of corners and free-kicks.

Just as it looked like this one would finish goal-less, Simeon Jackson produced a neat turn in the box and veteran centre-half Peter Clarke went to ground and clearly upended the front-man. Clarke received a yellow card and top-scorer Oztumer converted the subsequent penalty to net his 14th goal of the season.

Oldham’s poor discipline reared its head again shortly after as Brian Wilson clashed with substitute Amadou Bakayoko, both players received yellow cards but it was Wilson’s second of the afternoon and the Latics were now down to nine men.

Bakayoko dusted himself down and secured the points for the Saddlers with an impressive strike from just inside the box which rifled past the rooted Ripley.

Walsall 2-0 Oldham Athletic.


Your Comment