Oldham and Walsall share the spoils

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Prize Competitions_600x250Oldham and Walsall played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Boundary Park on Wednesday evening in a battle of two relegation threatened sides.

Oldham Athletic created the first chance of the game as Patrick McEleney was played in by Jack Byrne but he lashed his effort over the crossbar from just outside the area in what would have been the perfect start for Ritchie Wellens Latics.

However, the Saddlers responded well and could have been ahead a minute later as Kieron Morris picked up an Adam Chambers pass before playing the ball into the feet of on loan Stoke striker Julian N’Goy but his low effort was well saved by Johny Placide.

In what was a frantic start it was the home side who created the next opportunity as Rob Hunt lashed a strike just wide from 25 yards out after weaving the Walsall challenges before testing his luck.

Dean Keates side then had yet another wonderful opportunity on 16 minutes when Luke Leahy linked up with George Dobson before he found an unmarked N’Goy with a wonderful cross however the striker could only head over the top.

With both sides so close to the bottom it a surprise how open both teams were but it Latics who nearly opened the scoring on the half hour as Hunt picked out Duckens Nazon before he attempted a Cristiano Ronaldo like overhead kick the ball sailing inches over the crossbar before landing on the roof of the net.

However it was Walsall who took the lead on 34 minutes as Luke Leahy saw his header flicked on to the bar by Oldham keeper Placide before the ball fell to Jack Fitzwater who lashed in his second goal for the club since signing on loan from West Brom in January.

Keates then nearly saw his side double the lead seconds later as former Walsall defender Anthony Gerrard gifted possession to N’Goy however his effort was flicked away by Placide.

Placide was called into action once again on 38 minutes as Nicky Devlin eased his way past the static Latics defence before his powerful effort was pushed away by the superb reactions of the keeper.

Oldham equalised on the stroke of half-time as Nazon held of the Walsall challenges before his effort sailed past Liam Roberts in the Saddlers goal despite the keeper getting his hand to the strike.

It was the Latics who started the second half the better of the sides and on 55 minutes they were denied a second thanks to a sublime save from Roberts as Fitzwater’s tackle on Nazon looped up into the air before being tipped over by the right hand of the keeper.

Roberts then had to be alert once again on 62 minutes as the Walsall keeper made yet another super stop as he kept out Eoin Doyle’s strike from the edge of the box.

In a period of constant Oldham pressure Ousmane Fane cut inside from the left before he saw his low effort deflect of Jon Guthrie as the Saddlers were clinging on after wave after wave of attacks from the home side.

Walsall then had their first chance of the second half on 81 minutes as Liam Kinsella whose sister won commonwealth gold this week crossed for Justin Shaibu but he couldn’t get a clean connection to the ball allowing Oldham to clear.

Wellens then had his goalkeeper to thank on 87 minutes as he made a stunning save to keep out Guthrie as he met a Dobson freekick perfectly from the left.

Oldham then nearly snatched all three points the death as Aaron Holloway met a Byrne corner perfectly before he saw his header hacked off the line by Guthrie allowing the saddlers to clear the danger away in the final action of the game as Walsall moved 6 points clear of the relegation zone.

Teams

Oldham Athletic

Placide, Moimbe, Gerrard,Gardner,Nazon,Doyle,Edmundson,McEleney,Hunt,Fane,Byrne.

Walsall

Roberts, Leahy,Dobson,Guthrie,Devlin,Chambers,Morris,Kinsella,N’Goy,Bakayoko,Fitzwater.

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