Latics leave it late to earn valuable point at Doncaster Rovers
Monday 18th December 2017 @ 11:10 by Mark Phillip
Football

A late Eoin Doyle strike earned Oldham a valuable point at struggling Doncaster Rovers.

The striker, on-loan from Preston North End, fired home from close range in the 88th minute to extend Latics’ unbeaten run to three games in all competitions.

Following the draw, which has pushed Oldham to a league high position of 15th spot, manager Richie Wellens said it was a positive point away from home – although he did rue his indecision to not make a tactical change when necessary. Speaking to IFollow Latics, he said: “I thought in the first 15 minutes we were playing well and were on the front foot and I thought we got too confident in the game.

“They were playing a narrow diamond and we tried to play through it too much.

“In the second half we had a bad five minute spell where we were conceding too many little niggly free kicks, balls were going into our box.

“I’m going to blame myself because I had a feeling and I wanted to change it before we conceded, in fact I had then changed as they scored.

“I wanted to get two strikers up there because I thought we could have caused their two centre-backs a lot of problems.

“We definitely deserved something out of the game, the last half an hour at times was the Alamo.

“The only disappointment for me was that we didn’t test the keeper enough, we dragged shots wide.

“Whenever you go one nil down in this league, especially away from home it’s a positive to take a point.

“It was a really good performance in the second half, it shows that we go to the very end and that we ask teams questions.

“Today was an important goal for Eoin Doyle, not just because we got a point but it’s more that they don’t get three, you come away from home, go behind, so without a doubt it’s a point gained.”

Oldham had to come from a goal behind in the game when Andy Butler headed home for the hosts in the 60th minute.

However, Oldham battled back well and almost drew matters level through Craig Davies. The striker saw his effort drift just wide of the post, before Ryan McLuaghlin, who’s spent the majority of the season on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, headed home form close range.

Doncaster looked the be on course to claim their seventh win of the season, only for Doyle to pop up in the dying stages and rescue a point in front of the travelling faithful.

Latics are now preparing for a busy Christmas period, which continues on Saturday with a long trip to Plymouth Argyle. Wellens has recently lambasted the fixture, suggesting the tie is ridiculous. He said: “We’ve got Plymouth away on December 23. Who’s done that at the FA? That’s ridiculous. We play in a North West league and I don’t know how many clubs are within a 50 mile radius, yet we get Plymouth away on the 23rd

“The day before is the busiest Friday of the year. Everybody is breaking up from work and school and getting on the road to visit family, and we have to travel to Plymouth. It might be a bit of a culture shock for some of the players having a 10 hour bus journey before the game.

“It’s crazy. There are a lot of London teams, you have Portsmouth down there too, let them play and we’ll play a local team and get a bigger crowd.

“If you’re an Oldham fan and a die hard, it’s a terrible journey to go to Plymouth on that day. We could have had an away game at Wigan or Rochdale and take 2000 or 3000 fans.

“They say it’s random because a computer does it, but I think the computer definitely had something against us that day.”