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Oldham Athletic: Match Report

Posted by Ethan Illingworth
Posted on Thu 18 Apr 2024
Posted in Match Report

FC Halifax Town returned to a play-off position following a 2-2 draw against Oldham Athletic

Finishes from Rob Harker and Adan George cancelled out a Dan Gardner brace, putting Town in the driving seat to secure the last available play-off spot.

The Shaymen knew that a win at the SMH Stadium in Chesterfield would mean they’d be in the pole position to finish in the final play-off spot, given they earn at least a point away at Eastleigh on Saturday.

Oldham Athletic began the day in 10th, with an outside chance of sneaking into the top 7 if they won tonight and in their final game of the season against Wealdstone this weekend.

Town fans feared the worst in the first few minutes when Sam Johnson went down following a fifty-fifty. The captain was fine to carry on after receiving a fair amount of treatment from the physio which was a huge relief for the Shaymen.

Jack Jenkins picked up an early yellow card in the 16th minute after his second strong challenge of the first half. Harker was required to flick away the resulting free-kick behind for a corner.

Dan Gardner put Oldham 1-0 up with 18 minutes on the clock as the corner drifted to the edge of the box for the forward to rifle into Johnson’s net on the half-volley.

Florent Hoti fired a shot on the goal after half an hour as a Jack Evans set piece from deep fell to him on the edge of the box. The midfielder didn’t connect well enough to cause the Latics goalkeeper Matthew Hudson serious problems.

The offside flag denied Andrew Oluwabori in the 39th minute as Jack Hunter curled a ball into the back post for the winger to tap into the Oldham goal.

Rob Harker levelled proceedings, placing the ball into the Oldham net after Hudson fumbled Hoti’s attempt from range, making it 1-1 just before half-time.

Oluwabori tested the Latics goalkeeper seconds into the second-half cutting inside, onto his right foot and striking it low, calling Hudson into action.

Oldham were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute as Joe Garner fell in the box under a challenge from a Halifax defender. Gardner drilled the penalty past Johnson for his second goal of the game putting the Latics 2-1 up.

Kane Thompson-Sommers came on for Jenkins in the 67th minute for Town’s first substitution of the night. The second came minutes later as Aaron Cosgrave made way for Adan George. The Latics’ top scorer James Norwood came on at the same time, replacing Garner.

George made an instant impact only minutes after coming on. Oluwabori’s shot from the edge of the box deflected to George who side-footed his shot past Hudson for 2-2. In response, Oldham Athletic brought Hallam Hope on for Devarn Green.

Town came inches away from completing the comeback as Jack Evans’ whipped ball deflected behind for a corner, nearly landing at the feet of Harker for a tap-in.

Luke Summerfield was Chris Millington’s last change of the night with Hoti making way. The scorer of both of Oldham’s goals Gardner made way in the 87th minute with Nathan Sheron coming on.

The 5 minutes of added time were nervy for both sides but it was the Shaymen who had the best opportunity to win the game. Harker was through one one-on-one with Hudson in the 93rd minute but he couldn’t get the better of the Oldham keeper.

That was the final chance of the game meaning Oldham Athletic’s play-off ambitions were over and FC Halifax Town returned to being in 7th place.

Chris Millington’s men travel to Eastleigh on Saturday understanding that a win would mean a certain ticket to next week’s Vanarama National League play-off quarter-final.

1 Sam Johnson ©, 2 Tylor Golden, 6 Jamie Stott, 5 Adam Senior, 12 Jack Evans, 8 Jack Hunter, 28 Jack Jenkins (14 Kane Thompson-Sommers 67), 18 Florent Hoti (4 Luke Summerfield 83), 9 Rob Harker, 22 Andrew Oluwabori, 19 Aaron Cosgrave (27 Adan George 70)

Subs: 10 Jamie Cooke, 30 Festus Arthur

13 Matthew Hudson, 4 Liam Hogan ©, 5 Shaun Hobson, 15 Devarn Green (20 Hallam Hope 75), 16 Charlie Raglan, 17 Harrison McGahey, 19 Dan Gardner (14 Natham Sheron 88), 21 Will Sutton, 24 Joe Garner (30 James Norwood 70), 29 Andy Dallas, 32 Tom Conlon

Subs: 1 Magnus Norman, 8 Josh Lundstrum

Referee: Stuart Morland

Goals: Gardner 18, 58 (pen) Harker 45 + 1, George 73

Yellow Cards: Jenkins 16, Golden 58, Garner 63, Dallas 80, Hunter 82, McGahey 90

Red Cards: None

Attendance: 1580 (381 away)

FC Halifax Town 2 Oldham Athletic 2

Read more posts by Ethan Illingworth