COLCHESTER UNITED 2, OLDHAM ATHLETIC
New-boy Jonathan Forte crowned an impressive debut for Oldham Athletic with both goals in the opening-day draw in Sky Bet League 1 at Colchester United.
The former Sheffield United striker, hardly renowned a prolific scorer, displayed a cutting edge as the one-time Blade displayed a ruthless touch in front of goal.
Despite the efforts of Forte, Latics had to settled for a share of the spoils in an evenly-contested match at the Weston Homes Community Centre.
Yet Latics made the worst possible start to the campaign when Magnus Okuonghae fired the U’s ahead within seven minutes.
Latics displayed spirit and character in adversity and were on level terms after 18 minutes when Forte scored a fine individual goal as he cut in from then left and rounded keeper Sam Walker before scoring.
The U’s ought to have regained the lead when Jabo Ibehre eluded the offside trap and chipped keeper Paul Rachubka only to see the ball fly narrowly wide.
Latics made the most of their luck and went ahead five minutes before the break when Forte found the net again as he executed well from a Brian Wilson cross.
They were unable to hold on to their lead and George Moncur equalised on the hour when Genseric Kusunga lost possession. Freddie Sears let fly from 25 yards only for his shot to hit the upright and rebound to West Ham loanee Moncur who made it 2-2.
Latics could conceivably have fallen behind had striker Jonson Clarke-Harris not shown his prowess at the opposite end of the pitch as he made a vital goalline clearance to prevent the U’s from taking the lead.
Manager Lee Johnson brought on strikers Willy Gros and Danny Philliskirk along with defender George Elokobi, only signed yesterday, as he hoped the introduction of fresh legs might sway the game their way.
Latics (4-4-2): Rachubka; B Wilson, J Wilson, Kusunga, Mills; Winchester (Philliskirk 85), Jones, Kelly, Dayton (Elokobi 80); Forte (Gros 80), Clarke-Harris. Subs (not used): Coleman, Brown, Dieng, Mellor.