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Match Reports

Notts 0-0 Oldham

Back-to-back draws for Magpies

6 November 2018

Notts County drew 0-0 with Oldham Athletic to claim a hard-earned point at Meadow Lane.

It needed a strong defensive performance from the Magpies, who came under sustained pressure at times, but it could have been so different had Enzio Boldewijn not hit the post with a golden opportunity at the death.

Harry Kewell made two changes to the side that drew at Port Vale three days earlier.

In came Shaun Brisley and Nathan Thomas, replacing the bench-bound Matt Tootle and Kane Hemmings, who was absent from the squad.

That move saw Brisley slot in alongside Elliott Ward at centre back, with Jamie Turley at right back. Thomas took Hemmings' left-wing berth.

The two sides traded tentatve blows in the early exchanges before Ross Fitzsimons was called on to make an excellent save on 16 minutes.

Ishmael Miller was the man denied, the former Forest forward capitalising on a lucky break of the ball to burst into the area. He sent a low effort towards goal but Fitzsimons got down to his left brilliantly to push the ball behind.

Notts' hearts were in their mouths again minutes later when Rob Hunt whipped a dangerous low cross into the middle. Thankfully for the Magpies, no-one was on hand to turn it home.

Shortly afterwards, it was Oldham's turn to survive a scare as Thomas' driven free-kick from deep sailed over everyone and into Turley's path at the back post. The defender slid in to meet the ball but could only volley it over from close range.

But the Latics were looking the more likely team to open the scoring and saw a number of excellent chances go begging before half-time arrived.

Two of them came in quick succession, Turley clearing Andy Taylor's header off the line moments before Fitzsimons made another brilliant save from a Peter Clarke header.

The keeper then had to position himself well at his near post to prevent Miller's low cross reaching an unmarked team-mate in the middle.

Rob Milsom claimed the half's final shot, sending a left-footed 25-yarder over before the sides returned to the dressing rooms level.

There were no changes for either side at the break and Oldham picked up where they left off after the restart, Lang heading narrowly wide before stinging Fitzsimons' palms with a sweetly struck effort from a narrow angle moments later.

Samuel Edmundson then sent a free header over the bar from Dan Gardner's corner as the visitors continued their search for the elusive opener.

Kewell's first change came on the hour mark when Richard Duffy replaced Dennis in a move which saw Boldewijn move up front and Brisley shift into central midfield.

It did little to stem Oldham's immediate flow, however, as Jonathan Benteke spurned another good opportunity - blazing wide under pressure from Cedric Evina having been picked out by Miller.

But the switch almost paid off shortly afterwards when Boldewijn held the ball up following Fitzsimons' long clearance, taking it into the area but seeing his shot saved by Daniel Iversen.

Oldham soon regained dominance, however, and were ruing Turley once again when he blocked Benteke's shot before, minutes later, producing a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Miller.

The onslaught continued as Gardner saw a curling effort well tipped over by Fitzsimons and, from the resultant corner, Clarke sliced an effort wide from the edge of the area.

Elliott Hewitt was booked for an over-zealous challenge on Benteke shortly before two minutes of added time were indicated.

And Boldewijn had a brilliant chance to snatch victory for his side at the death when Ward's looping header dropped for the Dutchman in the box, but he could only strike the post.


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