OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0, DONCASTER ROVERS 1
Former manager Paul Dickov made a triumphant return to SportsDirect.com Park as Doncaster Rovers defeated Latics to book their place in the third round of the FA Cup.
It was a disappointing afternoon for below-par Latics who missed out on a potentially lucrative repeat of games against Everton and Liverpool of recent season as Dickov, who left in January 2013, masterminded a hard-earned victory.
And it could not have been a more cruel exit as George Elokobi, making his first start since being injured in late September, put through his own goal from an Enda Stevens cross.
Latics were without the suspended James Wilson, injured Mike Jones while Timothee Dieng dropped to the bench as Elokobi, Carl Winchester and the fit-again Jabo Ibehre all won recalls.
Doncaster made the brighter start as Kyle Bennett and former Latics’ loanee Reece Wabara had shots easily saved by keeper Paddy Kenny.
Loan man Kenny made a super stop after 20 minutes to prevent Theo Robinson from giving the visitors the lead.
Former Latics’ player Richie Wellens also had a chance but was unable to beat Kenny from six yards.
Latics had their two best chance of the opening period at the end of the half as Doncaster keeper Sam Johnstone, another ex Latics loanee, denied Jonathan Forte and Ibehre fired the rebound wide from six yards.
Latics started the second half brightly as Elokobi headed over, Liam Kelly’s volley cleared the crossbar and Danny Philliskirk saw a header well saved by Johnstone who then turned away a 25-yard drive from the striker.
Dominic Poleon replaced Winchester midway through the second half and immediately set up Forte who fired into the side netting.
Doncaster finished the stronger and struck the decisive blows with three minutes of the 90 remaining when Stevens crossed low from the left and Kenny and Elokobi got into a tangle with the defender turning the ball into his own net.
Latics were unable to conjured an equaliser in the three remaining minutes of normal time and a further five of added and Doncaster could have sealed victory when Robinson fired wide