August 1, 2012 by backofthenetjl
Match Report on the Local derby, come pre-season friendly at Boundary Park.
Oldham Athletic capped off a superb pre-season with a 2-1 win over Premier League Champions Man City. There were many fans in support for both sides and it was a great result, on and off the pitch, with the attendance over 6,000, generating more money for the League 1 outfit.
City fielded a strong starting eleven that included stars such as Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Roque Santa Cruz, James Milner, Joe Hart and skipper Nigel De Jong. Oldham also put out a competitive squad, giving new signing’s Jonathan Grounds, Lee Croft, Cliff Byrne and an unknown trialist all being selected from the off.
It was the home side he made a bright start to the game and caught city off guard, in the opening stages Gael Clichy cheaply gave away the ball and the Portugese trialist seized on the Frenchman’s mistake, he played Robbie Simpson through, who drove the ball into the far corner, giving Joe Hart no chance and sending Latics’ fans into roars of cheers. It was Simpson’s 4th goal of pre-season and his second goal against a Premier League giant, having scored the opening goal against Liverpool in the Fa Cup last season.
Oldham were getting right into the faces of the Champions, giving them no time and space on the ball and pressing at every opportunity, whilst also putting a string of passes together of their own and playing some beautiful football. City responded well to going behind and had a good chance to level through Croatian under 19 striker Mario Jelavic, Reece Wabara showed great skill down the left, got to the byline and crossed for Jelavic,who tried his luck first time, but failed to get a sweet connection. In the first 10-15 minutes, there were some key battles going on, most notably the Skipper’s Dean Furman and Nigel De Jong going it in midfield, wasn’t it a friendly?
Many of the City lads were looking rather tired as they hadn’t been training as intense as the lads who went on tour in Austria and Malaysia. Oldham on the other hand, were looking incredibly sharp and fought for every ball, putting in a spirited performance. As new signing Jonathan Grounds gave away the ball on the edge of his own box, Nasri collected the ball, slid a perfect pass through to Jelavic, who’s shot beat Cisak, but rattled off the post.
Great work from Santa Cruz, led to Clichy darting down the left, he squared the ball for Milner, the former Villa midfielder struck his shot powerfully, Cisak read it quickly and it was beaten away, a good stop from the Australian shot-stopper.
HT Oldham 1-0 Man City
No changes were made at the break and City upped their game a little, just after the break they went close again, Jelavic’s deflected shot fell into the path of Milner, he sidefooted and again Cisak denied the England international. Moment’s later, City’s patient build up was rewarded, Roque Santa Cruz took the ball round Cisak and finished cooly, after the ball had ricocheted off Cliff Byrne. 1-1. Good work from Simpson and Furman gave M’changama a shot from distance, although Hart held comfortably.
Midway into the second half, City range the changes, with Nasri, Hart, Milner and Jelavic all coming off and Emyr Huws, Albert Rusnak, Jordi Hiwula and Ian Lawlor all coming on. Later on Gael Clichy, Joleon Lescott, Roque Santa Cruz and Shay Facey also made way for Greg Leigh, Adam Drury, Kieran Kennedy and Harry Bunn. Oldham’s Portugese trialist Rui Miguel had a brilliant game and was replaced by Daniel Taylor, at the same time Nigel De Jong was brought off for Glendon. City’s big stars had been replaced and it was a chance to give the youngsters a glimpse of first-team action.
City’s new breed of talent searched for a winner and pushed forward, they did their very best, but Cisak in the Oldham goal looked unbeatable and made an excellent saved to deny Rusnak, who cut in from the left and unleashed a shot that took a deflection and forced Cisak to tip onto the post, that was followed up by a goal-line clearance from Jean-Yves M’Voto. As City committed men forward, Latics had a final chance from a corner and they netted a last-gasp winner. Substitute Matt Smith made a nuisance of himself in the City box and the ball fell to Jonathan Grounds, he smashed the ball past Ian Lawlor with his right-foot to send the fans wild. A great display from Oldham. full of encouraging signs for next season. From City’s perspective, it was all about the fitness, it was a great workout for the lads who featured in the Euro’s and terrific to see some new names in the City lineup.
FT Oldham 2-1 Man City
Man of the Match: Jonathan Grounds, attacked a lot down the left and was the eventual match winner.
Match Rating: 8/10
City: Hart(Lawlor), Wabara, McGivern, Lescott(Kennedy), Clichy(Leigh), Facey(Drury), Milner(Huws), De Jong(Glendon), Santa Cruz(Bunn), Nasri(Rusnak, Jelavic(Hiwula).
Oldham: Cisak, Byrne, Grounds, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Wesolowski,(Millar) Furman(Winchester), Trialist A,(Taylor Simpson(Smith), M’changama, Croft.(Hughes).