Oldham 3 – 1 Pool
25/03/06 - 15:00
A hat trick from Luke Beckett secured all three points for Oldham, the first time they have managed such at feat at Boundary Park since 2001. Despite a positive first half from the Seasiders Beckett’s finishing ability proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Grayson named an unchanged side from the eleven that lost out to Bradford on Tuesday night, Rob Edwards came into the match sixteen replacing Tony Butler on the bench. Once again Grayson stuck to his 4-4-3 with the ball 4-5-1 without the ball, although a good idea in theory, in practice it saw lots of room on the left had side which gave teenager Chris Taylor the opportunity to run riot all over Jason Wilcox.
It was the Seasiders who started the brightest, a free kick on the edge of the area following a hand ball by Chris Taylor gave a chance for Keigan Parker to have a trade mark free kick on goal. But instead Marc Joseph steeped up and fired his shot just wide of Grant’s left hand post.
Oldham also had great chance to take the lead in what turned out to be a very entertaining first half. Paul Warne’s snap shot was dealt with by Lee Jones who was to go on to have another fault less performance in goal.
A fantastic ball from Jason Wilcox found Marcus Bean on 8 minutes, the midfielder burst forward from the center and picked up Wilcox’s long ball well, but his finish didn’t match the ball and he fired high and wide, a wasted opportunity but positive play non the less.
Chances went from end to end, falling to Beckett and a corner from Wellens forced Jones’ to punch clear, most of Oldham’s good work came from winger Chris Taylor who was making his sixth appearance for the Latics.
Keigan Parker, who had another on and off performance today, had a golden opportunity after he forced an error from Will Haining, Parker manage to get a first shot in which was dealt with by Grant, but then in an attempt to get a second effort in the young Scot ended up on the floor missing the ball (was that Keigan in the pantomime horse at half time?).
The Seasiders broke the deadlock on 42 minutes, thanks to a fine finish from Keith Southern and a good decision from referee Mr. Hall. After twisting and turning in an effort to get on to his preferred right foot Parker unleashed a shot that hit a Oldham arm in the area, but Mr. Hall to his credit waited and Southern latched on to the ball and fired into the roof of the net. A deserved lead, and pretty much the only good decision that Mr Hall ended up making in the match.
Southern also picked up his 9th booking of the season, jumping into the away supporters in celebrating his goal.
ut once again Pool’s defence lacked concentration after taking a lead and Luke Beckett was able to put the teams on level terms three minutes later. Taylor’s cross from the right wasn’t dealt with and Beckett pounced to score his 11 of the season.
John Murphy was substituted at the break, his performance was below par in the first half and the big man had fallen awkwardly late in the first period, Williams came on and filled in as the lone man upfront.
Williams was pretty much ineffective on his own upfront for the second half, due to a poor quality of service and a lack of support from Parker and Morris.
Wellens stepped it up the second half and egged on by the chants from the away support he created a good chance for Oldham to take the lead, a run then through ball to Beckett created a fantastic goal scoring opportunity for the loan man, but his shot curled wide of Jones’ right hand post.
Oldham took the lead for the first time in the afternoon ten minutes into the second half. A lobbed ball over the top of the Seasiders defence found Paul Warne, at first glance Warne looked offside, but the former Rotherham striker keep his cool heading the ball into the path of Beckett who slotted the ball past Jones to give the Latics the lead.
Grayson made a double change on 62, Prendergast and Edward replaced the poor Morris and Wilcox, and the former Blackburn player got an ironic cheer from the away following after being run ragged all afternoon. The change meant another formation, 3-5-2, with Edward, Joseph and Clarke as the back three, and Prendergast and Stockley occupying the wing-back roles.
Joseph picked up his third booking of the season, hacking down former Pool player Paul Edwards in the corner.
Fox who had been lively in the first half had a pot shot from 25 yards, forcing Grant into tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.
Keigan Parker who been pretty quite in the second half then came mightily close to putting the sides back on level terms. His free kick from the edge of the area clipped the top of the bar.
Prendergast, who made no difference to Pool’s attacking options picked up a booking, fouling Taylor from behind after the teenager had megged the former Oldham player.
With five minutes left on the clock Oldham rapped things up with Luke Beckett completing his hat trick from 12 yard.
Marcus Bean was adjudged to of handled in the area, but on first glance it could have been a free kick on Joseph following a push or in fact been ball to hand. It didn’t matter, Beckett sent Jones the wrong way, securing his fifth goal in two games.
Beckett had an opportunity to get his forth of the game but couldn’t latch onto Warne’s cross late on. Clarke went up but the Seasiders were unable to grab another conciliation goal.
A point was required from today’s game, but an inform Oldham took their chances, with Beckett, Wellens and Taylor standing out for the Latics. We looked light weight up front, and without Murphy looked to have no ideas at all. It’s going to go right down to the wire, and with tough games against Southern, Swansea and Brentford coming up a result today would have gone a long way to helping Pool retain their League One status.
L Grant, T Forbes, W Haining, G Branston, M Hughes, R Wellens (78 D Hall) , R Butcher, P Edwards, C Taylor, P Warne, L Beckett
Subs: C Day, C Hall, C Porter, D Hall, G Owen
L Jones, S Stockley, P Clarke, M Joseph, J Wilcox (62 R Edwards) , M Bean, D Fox, K Southern, K Parker, J Murphy (45 G Williams) , I Morris (61 R Prendergast)
Subs: L Pogliacomi, R Edwards, G Williams, C Donnelly, R Prendergast