Late goal decides the game and delays inevitable

After Fridays disappointing result pretty well ended our Play Off hopes I found it very difficult to really build myself up for this game and to be honest was just wishing that the season had now come to the end but of course there were still 9 points to play for in what has been our most successful season for many years. I was pleasantly surprised with the team sheet with starts for Partington, Harris and Montano and a return to what I see as our most successful formation with 4-4-2. It turned out to be a typical end of the season game with Oldham probably needing the points more than us to retain League 1 status and looking a much better side under Sheridon than the side we beat earlier at their place. They probably had as much of the ball as us but thankfully their strikers looked no better than ours and for a large part of the game it had 0-0 written all over it. It was not until the Millwall and Southend latest scores came in with both losing that I thought if we could only score we could at least drag the miracle on to next Saturday. I was just thinking that Harrison should have been one of the first players substituted when he turned cleverly in the box and dispatched an accurate low shot inside the keepers near post for what turned out to be the winning goal.

Lumley 7

Reliable as always. Dealt well with everything that was thrown at him which was not a lot but excellent save with his feet to keep the three points. He is an excellent footballer at dealing with pass backs and shows great calmness and authority for one so young.

Partington 6.5
Looks a good acquisition and did a good job defensively and showed confidence on the ball. not as dynamic as Leadbitter but looks classier overall although could have been a bit tighter in the first half.

Lockyer 7.5 MOM

Another top performance from Tom. Read the game superbly and used the ball well. He is a great player to have when the going gets tough and put in many last ditch interceptions especially in the second half.

Sweeney 7
Back to his best and apart from a couple of scares he dealt with everything both on the ground and in the air. His power in the air was vital as Oldham played a lot of the ball into the box and he held firm, the thing about him is when he heads the ball it clears the danger effectively and gets distance that no previous central defender has.

Harris 6.5

Came in and for me did a good job. Better passer of the ball than Lee Brown but not quite as reliable in the tackle and rushed in a couple of times. I think he is a more than capable replacement for Brown and well worth retaining to push Lee for his left back berth.

Bodin 6
Not at his best but still looked the most likely to score and probably should have done better with two chances. His clever footwork kept the Oldham defence busy but just wasn’t getting the run of the ball other than once in the first half where he managed to get a hard shot away and the keeper produced a good save.

Lines 6
Strode through the game with an authority when on the ball but too often the final ball went astray and so often I wish he would have a shot at the end of the runs. He was involved in most of our forward moves and with Sinclair always going sideways or back it is essential that Chris does bring the ball forward and with thois is the bigger risk of giving away possession.

Sinclair 6
I can understand why his industry wins him Man of the Match but for me whilst he wins a lot of challenges, the final pass is either sideways or back which whilst it retains possession does tend to slow the game down and give the opposition time to get back. It is strange that since Ollie Clarke has been out so Chris Lines form has dipped a bit.

Montano 5
Drifts in and out of the game looking dangerous at times and showed some good close controls and touches which on a couple of occasions was too much for his former team mates and he was the subject of a couple of uncompromising challenges. Personally I would have taken Harrison off before Monty but that shows why DC is Manager and I am reporting on the game!!!

Harrison 5

A very mixed game from Ellis but a superb goal to decide the match with a brilliant turn and shot and afterwards a tremendous challenge in our six yard box to get in a tackle when an equaliser looked on. Before the goal I felt Ellis was thinking too much rather than making sure he was first to the ball and because of that he was too often second best.

James 4 Flatters to deceive and just doesn’t look like ever scoring a goal but his shot in the second half which he dragged wide from a brilliant position was the first time this season I can recall him actually missing a chance. he always works hard but that just isn’t enough for a main striker.

Easter 6

Just like Friday as soon as he entered the fray the ball started staying on the ground more and he looks so comfortable on the ball, keeping it close to his body and shielding it from the opposition. I would definitely give him another years contract as ;despite his age; he is still well worth a place in the squad and retains possession the best out of the forwards we have.

Moore 5.5
Did quite well in the time he was on the pitch and probably should have done better with his shot which went over the bar but put in a couple of good crosses and a couple of useful direct runs.

Broom 6
Couple of good crosses and worked hard. He could well have a future with the club but only time will tell.

Crowd 7

Considering Friday’s result which left us with very little to play for barring a miracle it was a good turnout with just over 9000 and provided good backing.

Ref 7

Bit lenient but overall a good game.

DC Got the team pretty well right and the substitutions as well and it was the right result to a hard fought game.

Oldham 6
Have one of the best defensive records in the division but it was easy to see why they are where they are as didn’t really look much like scoring although a lot of their build up play was good to watch.

So we can still get over 70 points but have to rely on Southend, Rochdale and Millwall not winning their last two games to sneak into the Play offs but we would have to win both our games too. It is difficult to see that happening but in my opinion it is more likely that we will lose at Peterborough anyway based on recent away games to make other results not matter anyway and then it will be roll on the summer break. UTG

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