Noah Dougherty
Saturday 12 January 2019

Oldham Athletic and Forest Green Rovers played out a goalless draw at Boundary Park in tough conditions.

Rovers failed to score away from home for the first time since April as they extended their unbeaten run to six games.

Mark Cooper named an unchanged side for the fourth game running, rewarding a side who had gone unbeaten in that period.

Dayle Grubb was absent from the travelling squad, suffering a knee injury in training, while new signings Shawn McCoulsky and Junior Mondal started on the bench alongside Christian Doidge following his return from Bolton Wanderers.

A bright start from the visitors could have given them an early lead as a quick attack down the left saw a Joseph Mills cross almost turned home by George Williams but his looping effort was clawed onto the crossbar by Daniel Iversen before Tahvon Campbell’s follow-up header was cleared off the line.

Rovers’ dominance continued to show throughout the opening 20 minutes and Williams was presented with a golden opportunity after 16 minutes. A swift break saw the Welshman pick the ball up from his strike-partner Campbell before firing an effort straight at Iversen from inside the area.

As Oldham struggled to get into their rhythm, Forest Green went closer still to breaking the deadlock as a deft flick from Williams set Reece Brown away down the right before his thundering effort cannoned off the near post, flew across the goalmouth and bounced off the far post before being gratefully gathered Iversen.

A dangerous effort from Mohamed Maouche which flashed narrowly wide of James Montgomery’s proved to be the best chance of the half for the hosts despite having more of the ball in the latter stages.

A Williams free-kick could have handed FGR the opener just before the break but Iversen did well to get across his goal and push the effort away.

The second half started more evenly than the first with both sides sharing the chances, Williams going close for Rovers while Johan Branger-Engone testing Montgomery at the other end.

The 61st minute brought with it new signing Shawn McCoulsky as well as the return of Christian Doidge, both joining the fray in an attempt to break the deadlock.

On his 100th appearance, Doidge could have handed his side the lead with 10 minutes to go as he tried to bundle Liam Shephard’s cross over the line, but the linesman’s flag pulled him back for offside.

The Latics could have one it in the dying minutes but Jose Baxter fired wildly over after a loose ball fell his way in the area.

Oldham Athletic XI: Iversen, Edmundson, O’Grady (Hunt 46’), Missilou, Lang, Branger-Engone (Baxter 70’), Clarke, Nepomuceno, Maouche, Hamer, Sylla

Unused subs: De La Paz, Taylor, Norris, Robinson

Forest Green Rovers XI: Montgomery, Shephard, James, Rawson, Winchester, Brown, Williams (McCoulsky 61’), Campbell (Doidge 61’), Gunning, McGinley, Mills

Unused subs: Thomas, Collins, Digby, Mondal, Reid

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance:4 ,194 (160 away)

Man of the Match: Reece Brown