Oldham see off 10-man Walsall

EFL League Two: Oldham Athletic 2-0 Walsall

Oldham Athletic eased to a welcome third league win of the season to boost their bid to avoid relegation from League Two, at the expense of 10-man Walsall. 

After Mat Sadler was sent off early in the second half, the Latics capitalised on their numerical advantage with goals from Scott Wilson and Desire Segbe-Azankpo. 

Dino Maamria's side ended a run of three successive defeats in all competitions and five matches without a win, moving up one place to 20th in the table. 

Oldham came closest to making the breakthrough during a poor opening 45 minutes, in front of 2,438 fans at Boundary Park, on Tuesday night. 

Former Burnley and Wigan midfielder Chris McCann, who joined the club last week, almost got his first Latics goal but his thumping 25-yard strike was superbly palmed away by Walsall keeper Jack Rose. 

The Saddlers, who are just one point and one place above Oldham in the table, had chances through Alfie Bates and Dan Scarr but were up against it when reduced to 10 men on 52 minutes. 

Former Oldham defender Sadler was given his marching orders by referee Ollie Yates for handling Alex Iacovitti's hopeful punt forward. 

And it took just three minutes for Maamria's side to cash in, as Wilson rifled the ball into the roof of the net from Jonny Smith's lay-off to score his first Oldham goal. 

They increased their advantage on 69 minutes, with Smith the provider again as he teed up Segbe-Azankpo to drill a low shot into the bottom corner. 

There was a proud moment for the Latics' Academy as Zac Emmerson came on with seven minutes to go, making his professional debut and becoming the second youngest player to play in the EFL at just 15 years and 73 days old. 

Reece Gaskell was also introduced in the closing stages for his professional debut, in place of Wilson, as Oldham comfortably saw out the game and recorded only their second clean sheet of the campaign - the first being on 20 August when they held Exeter City to a 0-0 draw. 

 

Images by Eddie Garvey

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