MAIDSTONE UNITED 0, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2
Oldham Athletic safely negotiated a second non-league hurdle following their Emirates FA Cup victory at non-league Maidstone United.
Goals from captain Peter Clarke and Chris O’Grady booked their passage to the third round for the first time since 2013/14 season and hopefully a lucrative tie.
Winning in Kent was not without its rewards, though, as Latics earned a prize cheque for £54,000 and also extended their unbeaten run to six league and cup games.
And in was far less stressful than in the first-round at Hampton and Richmond where two late goals prevented Latics from becoming victims of a giantkilling act after they had trailed for most of the match.
Latics were forced to make changes from the home draw against Lincoln City with Dan Gardner injured and Ishmael Miller suspended while left-back Andy Taylor refused to play on the 4G pitch for fear of injury.
Manager Frankie Bunn recalled Cameron Dummigan at right-back and switched Rob Hunt to left back to cover for Taylor while Mohamed Maouche replaced Gardner in the middle.
Callum Lang switched from striker wide left to replace Johan Branger-Engone while O’Grady came in for Miller up top.
Indeed, Latics were so short of players they had three trainees and a total of five teenagers on the bench with Giles Coke and Branger-Engone the only two seniors.
After an uninspiring start, Latics went ahead in the 17th minute through the first chance of the game.
Gevaro Nepomuceno fired a free kick into the box and George Edmundson turned the ball into the path of fellow central defender Clarke to stab home.
Surridge was then denied from a brilliant save from Grant Smith who tipped his effort onto the bar.
It was a wet and windy afternoon in Kent as referee Tom Young handed out five yellow cards in the first half.
Maidstone, currently in the National League relegation places, created their first chance on the stroke of half time as former Latics’ striker Jake Cassidy got the better of Edmundson to find Elliot Romain, but his effort was fired straight at Daniel Iversen.
Latics started the second half positively as Maouche curled an effort into Smith’s hands before Surridge hit the post from a corner.
Romain then forced a great save from Iversen, as the Maidstone man found space in the box before the Danish U21 goalkeeper produced a smart stop with his feet.
O’Grady sealed Latics’ victory six minutes from the end as he sold Will De Havilland with a fantastic turn before cutting in from the left and scoring from a tight angle to make it 2-0.
Maidstone hit the bar at the end through Ollie Muldoon, but it was one of the rare moments when they were troubled with Bunn dreaming of a tie at Manchester City where he was once on the coaching staff.
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Iversen; Dummigan, Clarke, Edmundson, Hunt; Lang, Maouche, Missilou, Nepomuceno; O’Grady, Surridge. Subs (not used): Coke, Graham, Branger-Engone, Hamer, McFarlane, Norman, Williams.
Attendance 3,516 (426 visitors).