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Oldham Athletic 2
Saturday 18th January 2003
Football League Division Two
Richard Harris
Richard Harris - Headed goal got Wanderers back in the game.[profiles]
Wanderers drew 2-2 against ten man Oldham at Adams Park but should have won the game having pulled themselves back from a goal down at the break. An unchanged line-up from the side that drew at Mansfield the previous week had been heavily stretched during the first half by an Oldham side unbeaten on their league travels this season. Wanderers created chances too but it was no surprise when Wayne Andrews gave the visitors the lead in the 26th minute after he headed in at the near post following a disputed corner from the left.
However, a red card for Julien Baudet for a shocking challenge on Steve Brown just a minute into the second half changed the course of the game. Oldham were forced to sit deeper and a triple substitution on 68 minutes where Darren Currie, Lewis Cook and Richard Harris were introduced for Keith Ryan, Mark Rogers and Stuart Roberts saw Wycombe switch back to 4-4-2 and within three minutes were on level terms. It was Currie's curling cross from the right that was picked out by a towering jump from Harris at the far side of the six yard box and his looping header beat Latics 'keeper Leslie Pogliacomi into the opposite corner of the Valley End net.
With the visitors rocking, Wanderers then took the lead when Steve Brown converted from the spot with eight minutes remaining after Danny Senda had been brought down by Chris Armstrong. But thoughts of a remarkable victory and league double were dashed a minute later when Tony Carss drove a low shot past Frank Talia after poor defending following a throw-in from the left wing by Will Haining.
The point keeps Wanderers in 13th place in the table but will be rueing the chance to have completed a unlikely double over 2nd placed Oldham especially after the visitors had been reduced to ten men.
The incident that sparked the red card for Baudet came in the dying seconds of the first half. Michael Simpson was caught in a tussle with the Oldham player and can count himself extremely lucky that the officials did not see an elbow into Baudet's face. The players were quickly ushered away down the tunnel as the half-time whistle blew but Baudet was still seemingly raging as the second-half started and an insane challenge on Brown brought the envitable red card. The incident completely changed the flavour of a game that Oldham appeared to be controlling.
Andrews opener on 26 minutes came after the visitors had survived a decent opening spell from Wycombe although Wanderers always looked suceptable at the back starting as early as the 5th minute when Paul Murray got past Ryan down the right but dragged his shot wide of Talia's far post.
Andy Thomson gets up for a headerHowever, Wanderers hit a purple patch midway through the half with Andy Thomson going closest in the 21st minute when his snap shot from Brown's cross from the right being cleared off the line by Lee Duxbury who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The inspirational Brown could have equalised for Wycombe on 32 minutes when he shrugged off a challenge and suddenly found himself in space down the right channel but the final shot was never enough to beat Pogliacomi. A minute later at the other end Andrews saw a shot deflected over while Bulman's cross from the left on 36 minutes was headed back into the danger by Craig Faulconbridge but there was no Wycombe player on hand to connect.
Half-time Wycombe 0 Oldham 1
Mark Rogers gets a grip of Fitz HallWycombe always knew it would be an uphill task going in at the break a goal down. On the seven previous occasions this season they had trailed at half-time in Division Two they had gone on to lose every time. But helped by the departure of Baudet, Wanderers eventually fought back.
Senda's low cross from the right on 49 minutes saw Oldham scramble the ball away while Brown went close with another effort five minutes later.
Brown forced a brilliant save by Pogliacomi on 65 minutes when he sent in a looping header after Thomson had delivered the ball from the right to the far side of the six yard box. It was a rare occasion where Wanderers had managed to get in a cross that eluded the Oldham defence or 6'5" Pogliacomi's grasp. And there was more to come after Wanderers' triple change on 68 minutes. This time it was Currie's curling cross that saw Harris direct his header home and level the scores.
Armstrong should have few complaints over the penalty decision that enabled Brown to give Wycombe the lead and if it wasn't for a relapse in the Wanderers defence, then Wycombe would have been celebrating three points at the final whistle. The equaliser came when former Chesham player Fitz Hall flicked on Haining's throw and substitute Carss was first to react to the loose ball.
Full-time Wycombe 2 Oldham 2
Wycombe: Talia, Senda, Thomson, Rogers (sub 68 Currie), Johnson, Ryan (sub 68 Cook), Bulman, Simpson, Brown, Faulconbridge, Roberts (sub 68 Harris) - subs not used: Lee, Simpemba
Yellow Cards: Johnson (46 ungentlemanly conduct), Ryan (50 foul)
Oldham: Pogliacomi, Hall, Beharall, Haining, Murray, Duxbury, Eyre, Baudet, Armstrong, Burgess (sub 79 Vernon), Andrews (sub 59 Carss) - subs not used: Miskelly, Clegg, Boshell
Yellow Cards: Armstrong (82 dissent) Red Card: Baudet (46 violent conduct)
Referee: Clive Penton (Woodindean) Attendance: 6,226 (571 away end)
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