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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:45 22nd August 2012
By  Andrew Poole

OLDHAM ATHLETIC v WALSALL

THE SADDLERS' first road trip of the season took us to Oldham.

The opening exchanges saw Walsall looking lively without really threatening as manager, Dean Smith kept faith with the same starting line-up that began the campaign at the weekend.

A good move on six minutes saw Flo Cuvelier and Jamie Paterson link up well as the latter played in Ashley Hemmings but the ball just lacked a bit of pace and gave Hemmings too much to do with his strike.

The first sight of goal for the home side came after 13 minutes when Nicky Featherstone lost possession and Jordan Slew tried his luck with a low strike that landed just wide.

There was a booking for former Latic, Dean Holden for a strong challenge from behind. The resulting free-kick saw Robbie Simpson denied by a diving save from David Grof.

Shortly afterwards at the other end, Ashley Hemmings did well on the edge of the area to release Will Grigg who fired over from a good position.

There was another chance for Grigg on 20 minutes following some neat play that ended with a smart ball from Cuvelier, who scored his first Saddlers' goal on this ground last season.

An effort from Simpson was saved by Grof as the game went through something of a scrappy spell.

The Latics were starting to build up a head of steam with ten minutes to go until the break and after The Saddlers tried to play the ball out of defence, the home side won it back and were denied by a timely challenge from Andy Butler.

The goal that Oldham has threatened soon arrived, though, when Youssouf M'Changama's strike was too powerful for Grof to make it 1-0 on 37 minutes.

HALF-TIME: Oldham Athletic 1 Walsall 0

After a bright start to the second period for the home side, Adam Chambers won a free-kick in a promising position which Jamie Paterson whipped in and Alex Cisak fumbled the ball but was fortunate to see it land out for a corner rather than the other side of the post.

A sharp move down the left by The Latics ended with James Tarkowski lashing a low ball across the face of goal with no-one on hand to get the final touch.

The Saddlers enjoying a good spell early in the second half, but Jordan Slew went close for Oldham with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area that just dipped over.

Good defending by Jean-Yves M'voto denied Grigg and that was to be his last action before being replaced by George Bowerman on 66 minutes. There was also a second change as Nicky Featherstone made way for Aaron Williams, who was making his senior debut after signing a professional contract during the summer.

The Saddlers gifted a way back into the game when Dean Furman's poor back-pass played in George Bowerman who remained calm before slotting home to equalise. It was a deserved leveller for Dean Smith's side.

A foul on Jamie Paterson gave Walsall a free-kick out wide on 85 minutes which Paterson himself took, but the 'keeper was able to punch clear of danger.

Moments later, Adam Chambers found Paterson who cut inside before hitting a low effort just wide.

FULL-TIME: Oldham Athletic 1 Walsall 1


WALSALL: Grof, Butler, Holden, Featherstone (Williams), A. Chambers, Cuvelier, Grigg (Bowerman), Paterson, Hemmings, Purkiss, J. Chambers.

ATTENDANCE: 3,496.

    Data provided by Press Association

    QUICK FACTS

    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.