Latics defeat was 'opportunity missed'

Date published: 15 March 2021

Keith Curle's first home game in charge of Latics ended in defeat as high-flying Cambridge sealed a 4-2 victory.

And all that after such a promising start, with the hosts soaring into a two-goal lead after only 11 minutes.

“I very much enjoyed the opening 25 minutes," said Curle, who replaced the sacked Harry Kewell last Monday.

“We got ourselves 2-0 in front and could have had more maybe, but we were up against a very good Cambridge team and they carry a real goal threat.

“Perhaps some of the players got a bit wrapped in the emotion of the day, though.

“At half-time when we were behind we need to show a bit more maturity maybe, and at that point we needed to press the reset button and go again.

“I’ve already seen we’ve got some good footballers here.

“There’s some really exciting and very good technical players in the squad, but it’s about trying to create a foundation here.

“From that we can then try and discover more of a killer instinct and really start to smell blood.

“Goals change games of course, and I see this an opportunity missed here today.

“We need to be more ruthless.”

Latics went ahead early when Davis Keillor-Dunn met Andrea Badan’s through-ball before tucking past ‘keeper Callum Burton at the second attempt.

After 11 minutes Keillor-Dunn struck again, converting Nicky Adams’ whipped-in cross from close range.

Oldham loan ‘keeper Laurie Walker – making his EFL debut at aged 31 following an emergency loan switch from MK Dons – saved brilliantly from Paul Mullin, before the U’s halved the deficit in the 25th minute.

Mullin tucked home his 26th goal of the season from the spot after Raphael Diarra had tripped Greg Taylor.

Jack Iredale’s deflected strike from 18 yards made it 2-2, before he then pounced again seconds before the interval after meeting Mullin’s smart back-heel.

Keillor-Dunn missed his hat-trick opportunity in the 69th minute when Burton saved his penalty after Kyle Knoyle had bundled over sub Bobby Grant.

Cambridge sub Luke Hannant then curled home direct from a corner-kick to complete the scoring.

Latics are back in action tomorrow night when they travel to Scunthorpe United (7pm ko).

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