Oldham Athletic 1-0 Fleetwood TownFleetwood Town suffered their first defeat in England’s third tier this afternoon as a Jonathan Forte penalty on the stroke of half time was all that separated the two sides.
Forte converted from twelve yards after Steven Schumacher was harshly adjudged to have fouled Danny Philiskirk.
Following Tuesday night’s first round Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Morecambe, manager Graham Alexander made five changes to his side as they looked to maintain their unbeaten start to the League One campaign.
Returning to the eleven were Nathan Pond, Stephen Jordan, Steven Schumacher, Stephen Dobbie and Jamie Proctor, as Mark Roberts, Stewart Murdoch, Matty Blair, David Ball and Adam Campbell all missed out, with the latter returning to Newcastle United after his loan deal expired.
Oldham, buoyed after a couple of recent wins, started well and Liam Kelly had the game’s first chance as he fired over from long range.
Soon after, Forte went close, but dragged an effort wide of Chris Maxwell’s near post after finding space in the Town box.
The Latics continued to force the initiative, and a loose ball from Nathan Pond was picked up by Danny Philliskirk who bared down on goal, however the attacker fluffed his opportunity.
In reply, Dobbie, making his first league start since the opening day of the season, fizzed a strike wide at the back post from Gareth Evans’ floated ball.
Philliskirk later tried his luck from distance as the home side pressured, before Mike Jones curled a free kick wide.
Oldham were indebted to goalkeeper Paul Rachubka five minutes before the interval as he expertly saved with his legs from Proctor’s close range effort.
In added time at the end of the first half Forte put his side ahead from the penalty spot when Schumacher brought down Philliskirk.
Town endured a scare at the beginning of the second half as Jones’ free kick was cleared against the upright by Pond.
Despite coming into the game more, Philliskirk still looked a threat for the home side, and raced menacingly down the left before firing wide of Maxwell’s goal.
On the hour mark, Graham Alexander brought on David Ball for Antoni Sarcevic as the Cod Army went in search of extra firepower.
Dominic Poleon, a recent addition to Oldham’s squad, squandered a good opportunity to double his side’s advantage when played in on goal by Philliskirk, but the 20 year old could only fire at Maxwell.
Town continued to look for a way back into the game, and Gareth Evans went close as he cut in from the left and unleashed a curling effort which was a whisker away from finding Rachubka’s far corner.
Clear cut opportunities were limited for the Cod Army and they failed to find a way in behind the Latics’ defence, with George Elokobi impressing.
Despite a late rally, and roared on by the magnificent 450 travelling supporters, Fleetwood fell to their first league defeat of the season.