OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2, SHEFFIELD UNITED 2
Dominic Poleon produced an eye-catching display for Oldham Athletic who held high-flying Sheffield United at home in Sky Bet League One.
The striker scored twice, the second was a spectacular long-range missile, as he almost doubled his season’s total which now stands at five goals.
And the exploits of the 21-year-old striker, who had a loan spell at the Sheffield side earlier in his career, helped Latics establish a 2-0 interval lead as they looked like blunting the Blades’ bid for promotion.
But Nigel Clough’s side showed why it is among the frontrunners for promotion as it mounted a stirring second-half fightback which almost ended in victory which would have delighted their 1,862 followers.
Latics, who kicked off with a line up containing no loan players, had Joseph Mills back after injury at left back as he was preferred to loan-man Mat Sadler while Rhys Turner was preferred to loanee Conor Wilkinson up top.
Liam Kelly had an early chance for Latics as his shot from 25 yards was turned away by keeper Mark Howard as they made a bright start in which Poleon had a shout for a penalty turned down.
Sheffield were a threat on the counter and Latics’ rookie keeper Joel Coleman did well to deny Marc McNulty inside the six-yard box.
Latics made the breakthrough midway through the half when Poleon dispossessed Terry Kennedy and raced through on goal to slot the ball low past Howard.
This sparked Sheffield to life as John Brayford and Chris Basham had chances, but neither troubled Coleman.
But it was Latics who doubled their advantage two minutes before the break when Poleon struck again with a great solo effort. He received the ball 30 yards out, cut inside past two defenders before thundering a drive which dipped over Howard’s head.
Poleon could have completed a hat trick early in the second half when he fired wide under pressure.
Sheffield halved the deficit after 56 minutes when Jason Holt pounced after Latics failed to clear a cross and managed to scramble the loose ball over the line.
Coleman pulled off a magnificent save to deny Michael Doyle and prevent the visitors drawing level, but it was only a temporary reprieve as the Blades soon made it 2-2.
Sheffield were awarded a corner which Latics disputed and from the kick Jamie Murphy forced home a shot through a crowd of players to restore parity after 73 minutes.
Two minutes later and the Blades almost snatched the lead when Doyle’s drive from 25 yards struck the inside of the upright and somehow managed to stay out.
Sheffield continued their pursuit of a winner in the latter stages without seriously troubling Coleman while Latics also had a chance but a free kick from Mike Jones smashed into the defensive wall.