Latics miss chance to go fourth thanks to Husin's late leveller

Reporter: Mark Rooney
Date published: 02 March 2024

Latics were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Southend United in front of nearly 6,500 fans at Boundary Park after conceding an equaliser with just 10 minutes to go.

That denied them a win which would have seen them propelled into fourth place for the first time as their poor home form continues to stifle their attempts to cement their National League play-off position with just 10 games remaining.

Fresh from an impressive victory away at Eastleigh on Tuesday night, manager Micky Mellon named an unchanged starting 11, although there was good news as 16-goal striker James Norwood returned from his hamstring injury to take his place on the substitutes bench.

The first half was a very even affair with the away side getting the better of possession in the first 20 minutes, but Latics gradually grew into the game.

Oldham 'keeper Matt Hudson had denied a couple of efforts for the visitors and continued to command the goal as he has done all season, but the best chance of the first 45 minutes fell to Nathan Sheron shortly before the interval.

Joe Garner went down the left side of the penalty area and as keeper Collin Andeng-Ndi came out, Garner passed it to Sheron who was 10 yards from goal.

Sheron hit it firmly and straight but Andeng-Ndi, who somehow managed to scramble across and parry the ball out.

It was a tremendous save from the 'keeper to prevent a goal that could well have changed the complexion of the game in the second half.

Fortunately, they were not punished for this in stoppage time when Hudson Scott-Morriss’s shot into the corner was well kept out by Hudson at the other end.

The other news from the first half was that Devarn Green, who has only recently returned from injury, went down after 37 minutes with what appeared to be an ankle injury and was replaced by Tom Conlon.

The start of the second half was similar to the first with honours even.

After 58 minutes Norwood replaced Mike Fondop and his involvement enabled Latics to make the breakthrough on the hour.

It was his assist from the left which found Sheron in space and he calmly found the net.

Latics came close to grabbing a second with some intricate work between Sheron and Garner, but no avail.

Southend refused to give up and drew level when a cross into the Oldham box was only cleared to Noor Husin on the edge of the penalty area who fired in a shot which was deflected past a hapless Hudson.

On the balance of play it was a just reward for the away side.

Though Dan Gardner replaced Hammond in stoppage time neither side could find a winner despite both teams chasing the three points.

Boss Mellon said: "We were more solid today and worked really hard.

"There are always things that we want to do and we want improve and do better, that always will be."

Latics remain in the play-off places and play Bromley at Boundary Park on Tuesday night.

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