Oldham Athletic 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 15, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/79271

Bolton suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since January, as they went down 1-0 to ten-man Oldham Athletic at SportsDirect.com Park.

Latics were left a man short on 64 minutes when Michael Ngoo was shown a second yellow card but they broke the deadlock 14 minutes from time to take all three points, as Lee Erwin tapped home from close range after Mark Howard had inadvertently punched a cross onto the head of Jay Spearing.

Wanderers were unfortunate not to take anything from the game, with Adam Le Fondre and Chris Long both smacking the crossbar, while Dorian Dervite also had a shot cleared off the line, but their recent dip in form continues as promotion continues to come under further doubt with each passing week.

Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side that started in defeat at Scunthorpe United last time out, as Derik Osede came in at the expense of Conor Wilkinson. The Spaniard took up a place alongside Spearing and Darren Pratley in midfield, allowing Josh Vela to tuck in just behind Le Fondre in attack.

Both teams struggled to adapt to the blustery surroundings in the early exchanges, during which Latics created the first shooting opportunity - as Erwin saw a hopeful strike from the edge of the box deflect behind.

Erwin was involved again on nine minutes, dragging a shot just wide of Howard's goal, while Ryan McLaughlin was required to turn away a dangerous cross from Vela at the other end moments later.

Wanderers' first real chance arrived with 20 minutes on the clock, but Darren Pratley managed to clear the roof of the stand with a volley, after he had pounced on a poor defensive clearance from Peter Clarke.

That seemed to spark the visitors into life, with David Wheater next to be denied by a last-ditch challenge from Clarke, before Connor Ripley raced off his line to pip Le Fondre to the ball midway through the half.

Bolton then forced three corners in quick succession as the half-hour mark approached, the final of which resulted in Pratley once again shooting over the crossbar as Oldham struggled to deal with the set-piece delivery of Filipe Morais.

Morais was involved again shortly afterwards, forcing Ripley into a save from a free-kick, before the Latics goalkeeper was seriously troubled for the first time as he got down low to keep out a tame effort from Le Fondre.

The hosts hit back in the closing stages of the half, with former Wanderers forward Tope Obadeyi a threat down the right-hand side, but they were unable to carve out any shooting opportunities as the sides went in level at the break.

There were no changes to either side as the players emerged for the start of the second period, which began with Osede playing Morais through on goal. With the angle narrowing, the winger tried to beat Ripley at his near post but the goalkeeper made a fine stop with his legs to keep the game goalless.

Oldham's first chance of the half fell the way of Paul Green, whose volley from 25 yards was, rather fortunately, straight into the arms of Howard, who was left counting his blessings after a poor clearance.

Pratley forced Ripley into a comfortable save with a header just before the hour, moments before the Wanderers captain tried again, only to see his goalbound effort cleared to safety by McLaughlin.

Oldham escaped again when a cross from Morais was headed out from under the crossbar, before the momentum of the match turned in Bolton's favour as Ngoo was sent off for a second bookable offence, following a late challenge on Pratley.

Aside from a long-range piledriver from Spearing, it was Latics who stepped up their game and they were rewarded with the opening goal on 76 minutes courtesy of a mishap in the Bolton defence.

Moments after shooting wide from six-yards, Erwin made amends as pounced on a mistake from Howard, who had punched the ball against the head of Spearing, tapping into the empty net as John Sheridan's side edged towards safety.

Bolton, desperate for an equaliser, responded immediately and would have been level within two minutes had it not been for McLaughlin, who cleared a strike from Dervite off the line.

Wheater headed against the crossbar from the next attack, before Le Fondre saw a chipped effort bounce agonisingly wide of the far post.

Long, on as a late substitute for Osede, struck the woodwork with a thunderous drive inside five minutes of added time, but there was to be no comeback story for Bolton, who tasted back-to-back defeats for the first time since January.

Defeat for Wanderers means they remain four points clear of the chasing back in the race for automatic promotion, with six points from their final three games still required if they are to guarantee a place in the Championship.

They return to action on Tuesday evening, when they host local rivals Bury at Macron Stadium - a side who, themselves, are in need of points as they hover just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Oldham Athletic: Ripley, Wilson, Clarke, Stott, McLaughlin, Green, Fane, Banks, Obadeyi, Ngoo, Erwin
Subs Not Used: Kettings, Law, O'Neill, Flynn, Croft, Edmundson
Booked: Ngoo
Sent Off: Ngoo
Goals: Erwin 76

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, Beevers, Wheater, Dervite, Moxey (Henry 79), Osede (Long 86), Spearing, Pratley (Clayton 70), Morais, Vela, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Turner, Karacan, Wabara, Wilkinson
Booked: Dervite

Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 8,788

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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