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Match Reports

Walsall 2-1 Oldham

12 August 2017

Erhun Oztumer scored a dramatic last-minute winner as Walsall came from behind to beat Oldham and record a first win of the season.

Ryan McLaughlin put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes when his left-wing cross evaded everyone and ended up in the net.

The Saddlers rallied in the second half and equalised on 54 minutes, Joe Edwards drilling home after a corner was only half-cleared.

Oztumer, Amadou Bakayoko and Kieron Morris each went close before Oztumer struck in the final minute of normal time to secure a dramatic victory.

The Saddlers made the brighter start, fashioning the game’s first chance on eight minutes.

Nicky Devlin, one of six home debutants, brilliantly weaved his way past three players before pulling the ball back for Kieron Morris but his scuffed shot was deflected behind.

Another Saddlers newcomer, Shaun Donnellan, headed over from the resulting corner before Morris steered a 20-yard effort wide.

Walsall were shading proceedings and went close again on 20 minutes.

Amadou Bakayoko chased a long ball, outmuscled Cameron Dummigan and slipped in Joe Edwards, whose low strike – under pressure from a defender – was held by Latics keeper Ben Wilson.

The visitors’ first attempt came two minutes later, Mason Fawns with a well-struck right-footed drive which whistled wide.

The Saddlers almost took the lead on 29 minutes but Athletic defender Rob Hunt was in the right place to clear a flicked Erhun Oztumer corner off the line.

And that intervention proved even more significant as Oldham went ahead three minutes later, McLaughlin whipping in a cross which deceived everyone and ended up in the middle of the net.

The Latics could have added a second before half-time when Aaron Holloway’s right-footed drive was kept out one-handed by Mark Gillespie.

Walsall began the second period purposefully, with Bakayoko heading Edwards’ in-swinging corner just over the bar.

And the home side equalised on 54 minutes, Edwards drilling home a low right-footed shot after a corner was only half-cleared.

Buoyed, Jon Whitney’s side almost edged in front as a James Wilson cross was nodded down by Luke Leahy and headed a fraction wide by Oztumer.

Ben Wilson was then on hand to claw away Leahy’s far-post effort from a delightful Devlin centre.

The Saddlers went closer still on 72 minutes, Oztumer curling a left-footed effort against the inside of the post after a strong run from Morris.

Leahy’s follow-up was blocked and Bakayoko then side-footed wide from close range when he should have scored.

The chances kept on coming, with Oztumer crossing low to Morris, who was denied a tap-in by a last-ditch block.

After weathering the storm, McLaughlin went close for Oldham with a fizzing 25-yarder which Gillespie palmed around the post.

But it was the Saddlers who were doing most of the pressing and we grabbed the goal our dominance deserved in the final minute of normal time.

Leahy’s long throw was flicked on by Wilson and coolly side-footed home on the volley by Oztumer – sparking wild celebrations among the home supporters!

Oldham immediately went in search of a leveller and almost found one deep in added time, but Gillespie made a super reflex stop to push Tope Obadeyi’s header over from Banks’s free-kick.

 

Team: Gillespie, Guthrie, Wilson, Donnellan, Leahy, Devlin, Chambers, Edwards, Morris, Oztumer (Jackson 94’), Bakayoko.

Subs not used: L Roberts, K Roberts, Kinsella, Sangha, Kouhyar, Candlin.


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