Oldham Athletic Away

Goals from two Chelsea loanees gave Bristol Rovers three points at Oldham and Saturday and the gas move up to fifth in the table with a game in hand over the teams above.Darrell Clarke made it clear that he wasn’t happy with Tuesday nights performance at M.K. Dons and rung the changes for our trip up North, making five in total and choosing the diamond in midfield.

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The 800+ Gasheads present in Greater Manchester on Saturday

We were dominant, there’s no other way of putting it, we controlled the pace of the game, we had more of the ball and we had the best of the first half chances. My criticism was that we didn’t score more than we did. Gaffneys early header forced a save from Ripley and a similarly placed Lockyer headed over the bar. Sinclair then produced a driving run which saw him hauled him hauled down and from the resulting free kick Ripley tipped the ball wide. It was an awkward cross come shot to the back post where the keeper is never sure if he should stay or go and collect it. Around a minute later we were ahead, Lines’ corner found it’s way to Colkett on the edge of the area who had a lot of work to do but found the net past four or five bodies. I almost had a heart attack! We’d scored first in a match of football. Is that even allowed?

We should have doubled our lead, Colkett hit a similar strike just over as opposed to just under the crossbar as he had done earlier, and Matty Taylor should have scored after some trickery from Jerome Boateng in the box, luckily he was in an offside position anyway but the travelling Gasheads were undoubtedly the happier at half time.

After the interval, Oldham began to show some of the qualities that had seen them claim an impressive first home win of the season against Scunthorpe in the week. They should have been level on more than one occasion if not for Kelle Roos who was absolutely outstanding. A driven ball flashed across the face by Winchester would have bought about an equalizer had anyone attacked it and Roos had to be fast off his line to prevent Flynn from getting a shot off. Ladapo’s header from close range went wide and Roos made a brilliant save from Erwins goal bound strike. Ten minutes later our Dutch shot stopper produced an even better save from Mclaughlin at his near post. I was worried at this stage and felt we needed a second goal to put the game to bed. Darrell made changes and we looked to regain control, Gaffney bought about another Ripley save and Taylor had the ball round him on the edge of the area but got caught attempting to shift it back onto his stronger foot.

The decisive moment came with three minutes remaining, another Lines corner was met by Jake Clarke-Salter whose header powered past Ripley and nestled in the back of net to secure another victory. Most pleasing for me was the clean sheet, our first in the league this season as well as our first since Stevenage aimg_0686way last season. The diamond worked well in the first half, we flooded the midfield and every second ball seemed to drop to one of our players. Credit to Darrell for getting it right because he didn’t on Tuesday and admitted that. It’s difficult to say who was our best player because as a team we were very good, but if I had to I think that Roos had his best game for the club and Sinclair was everywhere as always.

Next week we play Peterborough at The Mem, the Posh are fresh off a defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and will likely be out to amend that in BS7, it’s not going to be easy so the fans are going to need to be the twelth man onve again. UTG!

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