OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, CHELTENHAM TOWN 1
Head coach Dino Maamria was In the half-glass full camp as Oldham Athletic’s home draw against high-flying Cheltenham Town.
“It’s a good point against a very good team who came here third in the league. I thought we showed a lot of resilience,” he said.
On the flip side, though, those with an empty outlook will view it as two points dropped by Maamria’s men.
After the defeat at Carlisle, Maamria made three changes, though they were all enfoced through injury.
Zeus de la Paz returned in goal after Gary Woods suffered a recurrence of a groin strain.
Tomas Egert was handed a debut in a rejigged defence after Zak Mills was ruled out.
And Jonny Smith was given a first start in place of Johan Branger-Engone.
Latics had the first cahnce in the fifth minute when Filipe Morais fired over after Christopher Missilou’s cross was cleared to him on the edge of the box.
Moments later, the visitors should have been ahead after Ryan Broom forced a good save from de la Paz and the rebound fell to Alex Addai, but he lost his footing and somehow couldn’t get any connection on the ball as an open goal beckoned.
Maamria’s side took the lead in ninth minute as Smith produced a great pass to put Morais clean through on goal and he calmly slotted past Scott Flinders.
After the restart, Desire Segbe Azankpo nearly doubled his side’s lead when he seized on a loose ball but his shot was comfortably saved by Flinders.
Again, Azankpo came close to finding a second goal as he was set up by Mohamed Maouche, but the striker was denied by the Cheltenham goalkeeper.
From the resulting corner, David Wheater’s header back into the box caused a goalmouth scramble but somehow the ball didn’t cross the line and then the danger was cleared.
The Robins came close to equalising when Conor Thomas was free inside Latics’ penalty area, but his effort was cleared off the line by Wheater.
Michael Duff’s side continued to apply pressure and were nearly rewarded as Ben Tozer found room on the edge of the box but he shot narrowly wide.
Cheltenham equalised in the 71st minute as a cross found Broom and he smashed a shot past de la Paz.
Latics should have retaken the lead when Tom Hamer headed narrowly wide from Maouche’s free kick from the left.
The Robins thought they had snatched a late winner as Chris Hussey forced a great save from de la Paz and Jonte Smith had a free header inside the six-yard box, but saw it clear the bar.
Goals: Morais (9) for Oldham. Broom (71) for Cheltenham.
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2):de la Paz; Hamer, Egert (Fage 80), Wheater, Iacovitti; Smith (Wilson 77), Sylla, Missilou, Morais (Adams 76); Maouche, Azankpo. Subs (not used): Zabret, Stott, Smith-Brown, Eagles.
Attendance 3,496 (182 visitors).