Veteran Ellison sinks Latics in season opener

Date published: 08 August 2021

Veteran Kevin Ellison struck in the 89th minute to hand Newport the spoils in Latics' opening-day fixture at Boundary Park.

Latics boss Keith Curle was without five key men due to Covid-19 protocols and lacked the necessary spark up top in the absence of Dylan Bahamboula and Hallam Hope.

There were clamours for a red card in the first half as Carl Piergianni seemed to hold the neck of Cameron Norman and push him to the floor, but both were instead handed bookings by referee Tom Nield

Michael Flynn’s County came close to breaking the deadlock in the 57th minute when Micky Demetriou nodded Robbie Willmott’s free-kick past Danny Rogers, but he was ajudged to have been offside.

Oldham attempted to seize the advantage with a Piergianni header from Nicky Adams’ free-kick, but his effort went over the bar.

And Newport eventually got their just rewards when, after a number of Latics errors, Ellison sprinted forward on the counter-attack and his glancing header beat the goalkeeper.

“We did okay in bits,” said Curle after the match.

“We were well organised, there was a good understanding of the roles.

“I think the frustrating thing is that we get an opportunity to break with the three on two, their lad makes a step on to it and even within a second we've got a four on three, then within three seconds, the ball's in the back of our net.

“It's difficult to take but it's a learning curve.

"The game's 90, 95 minutes and you've got to be switched on. 

“Even then, loss of possession, loss of possession, allowing the ball to come into our box too easily, allowing people to get runs on you in the box far too easily.

“It's difficult because we've had players who've just joined us within the last two days, players who haven't trained for the last ten days and seven first-team players not available for the squad because of Covid, injury or registration issues.”

Latics are at home again on Tuesday when they welcome Tranmere Rovers for an EFL Cup first round tie.

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