Match Reports

Stunning turnaround

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If Town could find some consistency in what remains of this up and down season, then surely on the second half showing at least, they have to be still in with a chance of an automatic promotion place.

Some of their performances in their matches to date can only be described as ?Jekyll and Hyde?!

Saturday proved no exception to this rule. Over the course of the ninety minutes, Town treated us all to both the best and the worst of their repertoire and Oldham must have been left wondering what on earth had hit them in the second half as the Terriers dominated from start to finish, much as Oldham had in the first half.

Town gave a debut start to loan-signing David Graham from Sheffield Wednesday in a bid to pep-up a recently tired-looking attack force.

Oldham started the match very strongly and took a total stranglehold on the game. Town seemed unable to win a tackle, a header or any loose balls at all as the Latics outfought and out-thought them in every area of the field.

It was no surprise at all when Oldham took the lead. They had already forced a succession of corners and Phil Senior in the Town goal had made some decent saves to deny their rampant attack. With 13 minutes on the clock, a long ball found Luke Beckett and his pass into the path of Porter was despatched past Senior and the stunned Town defence to put the Latics one up.

Surely this would be a wake-up call to the beleaguered Town players? In fact the half continued in pretty much the same pattern with the Terriers left chasing shadows as the powerful Oldham onslaught continued virtually un-checked.

After 33 minutes of a so-far one-sided affair, Oldham deservedly went further ahead through Luke Beckett (who else?) A beautifully flighted free kick was swung in and the ball was nudged on towards Beckett whose header nestled in the back of Senior?s net before a static Town defence could react. By this point, the game looked all over with almost an hour to play. Such had been Oldham?s dominance and Town?s abjectly miserable showing up to this point, that it must have seemed impossible to the stunned home crowd that they would witness what turned out to be one of the most amazing turnarounds of this or many other seasons.

However, there appeared to be no sign of any change in fortune for Town as Oldham continued their pattern of dominance, but as is often the case; a huge slice of misfortune for Oldham was to prove to be the critical turning point of the game. There seemed to be little danger as Danny Schofield sent in a cross from the left in first half injury time, but Branston, the Latics hapless centre-back could only manage to head the ball past his own, stunned ?keeper Day.

So, half-time arrived and with it, a slight glimmer of hope for Town.

Half Time 1-2

Town looked like a different team as they came out for the second half and it took them only 3 minutes to restore parity. Schofield?s delightfully flighted corner kick was neatly headed home at the near post by Abbott whose delight at ending his personal drought was apparent for all to see. This also seemed to awake the hitherto, near-silent crowd who now began to really get behind the Terriers and urge them on to an unlikely victory.

Suddenly it appeared that the players had swapped shirts with their opponents at half time as Town continued to run Oldham ragged. Their confidence was back as was their neat passing game, missing for the last couple of months.

Firstly Abbott, looking much livelier now, tested Day again with a smart shot from 15 yards which the Latics keeper managed to clear away and then on 59 mins, debutant David Graham became an instant hero and sent the home fans into raptures with a goal fit to win any game. He received the ball 20 yards out, delightfully beat his man and unleashed a stunning shot into the corner of Day?s goal and wheeled away to take the congratulations of his new team mates and the adulation of the fans.

Town had still not finished though. Unlike many games in the first half of the season when Town had gained a lead, this time they did not play to protect it. To be fair though, Oldham?s by now, shaky defence held pretty firm and the Town attack could not find a fourth and clinching goal to calm the nerves of their fans.

However, it was a huge relief to all bar the 1900+ away fans when the final whistle was blown by the impressive Mr. Leake, who had handled the match in an unobtrusive way throughout. Oldham did manage to give Town a couple of scares as injury time ticked by and the cheer as the match was concluded, told its own story.

Full Time 3-2

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