Town 0 Oldham Athletic 1
Town: Chris Weale, Jermaine Grandison (Aaron Wildig 78), Cameron Gayle, Joe Jacobson, Darren Jones, Jon Taylor, Matt Richards (c) Mark Wright, Luke Summerfield, Luke Rodgers (Ryan Doble 83), Marvin Morgan
Subs: Joe Anyon, Rob Purdie, Asa Hall, Tom Bradshaw, Connor Goldson
Oldham Athletic: Dean Bouzanis, Connor Brown, Jonathan Grounds, Jean-Yves M’Voto, Lee Croft, Dean Furman (c), Matt Derbyshire, Matt Smith, Cliff Byrne, Reece Wabara
Subs: Liam Jacob, Daniel Taylor, Kirk Millar, Youssouf M’Changama, Carl Winchester, Chris Sutherland, David Mellor
Referee: S. Attwell
Assistants: E. Smart & S. Clayton
Fourth Official: B. Roberts
Attendance: 3886 (589)
Graham Turner has been forced into making a change from the side which was cruelly denied victory right at the death in midweek. Julian Bennett misses out due to a trapped nerve in his hip which has kept him behind in Shropshire. Jermaine Grandison covers at centre-back with new loan signing Cameron Gayle making his début in the right back berth.
It was a scrappy opening 10 minutes with both side not really taking hold of the game, there were misplaced passes and this meant there was no real fluidity to the game. Town were playing high up and taking the game to Oldham and this was causing a number of problems for the homeside The Latics had a couple of good sights of goal with a long shot from Wesolowski pulling a good save out of Weale.
It was the Latics though who took the lead on 12 minutes when Derbyshire found the space to drive at Grandison, he got past him and cut a low ball back across the Town goal, Weale got down to parry the ball away but the ball dropped in the penalty box and Connor Brown got to the ball before Cameron Gayle and stuck the ball home to make it 1-0.
The game was still a scrappy affair with both sides unable to get their games flowing. Oldham were probably having the better of the attacking play but not really putting too much pressure onto the Town goals.
Just before the half-hour mark there was a talking point when Oldham lifted the ball into the Town box, it dropped behind Jones and Weale came to collect and held on well then Matt Smith decided to go for the ball despite it being in the keepers hands and sent the Town keeper flying, picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
It was probably a half that both sides wanted to forget very quickly. There was a lot of hard work from the players but neither side had really got going. It might have been the cold, blustery and wet conditions but both sides weren't passing the ball and getting anything going.
Town were looking to get back on level terms after the restart and with 5 minutes on the clock Town created a decent effort, Rodgers and Richards combined well to get the ball out to Mark Wright who cut in side and the hit is a decent long range effort but Bouzanis in the Latics goal was equal to it.
Around the quarter hour mark Town had a decent run of chances to get the scoreline back to level terms. A ball over the Latics defence saw Morgan show good pace to get in front of the last defender and burst into the box, he cut a lovely ball back into the run of Rodgers who hit a lovely shot goal wards but it was stopped by an important Oldham defensive block. Then moments later Town again moved the ball quickly and Summerfield played a nice one two with Morgan to give Summerfield a good long range shooting chance but he didn't connect cleanly and the ball flew wide of the mark.
Town were continuing to work and push but the chances weren't dropping for the visitors. It was still not the prettiest of games and the continuse rain probably wasn't helping things out on the pitch. Morgan had a shout for a possible penalty after being sent tumbling in the box but ref Attwell saw nothing a miss, and Rodgers was nearly put in by Wildig but the pass was just over hit.
Even with the final whistle approaching Town were continuing to push and in the final 5 minutes had several good half chances around the Oldham box, but it just lacked that quality to snatch a point from a very below par game.