Latics 2 Northampton 2

Last updated : 05 November 2019 By Dave Moore

Dino Maamria was proud of the fightback put up by his players against in-form Northampton Town on Saturday. The Cobblers had won their previous three games 2-0 and, with leading by the same score in the 80th minute, who would have doubted that they would record their fourth such result? Scott Wilson and Jonny Smith scored the goals which allowed the Latics to grab an unexpected point. With many of the dwindling number of home fans leaving before, or on Northampton's second goal, it was a just reward for the suffering fans who stuck it out to the bitter end.

Maamria said, “The draw is the least we deserved. Take out the first 10 minutes of the game, we totally dominated. We were unlucky not to score, the second goal against the run of play hurt us but everyone here is seeing the type of team we're trying to build. The character, personality and resilience of the team. This team a few weeks ago, two-nil down, would've lost that game three or four probably. Now we're not a team that will throw two-goal leads, we're a team that will now come back from two-nil against a big, good Northampton team that have been keeping clean sheets and that's the biggest positive. We changed it a little bit. The subs came on and did fantastic. Scott Wilson and Maouche were instrumental and so was Zak [Emmerson]. I thought those three gave us energy going forwards and gave us a better option. Scott Wilson did what he was supposed to do, to run into the channels at the side of the centre backs and he got the deserved goal. We finished the game really strongly and unfortunately for Maouche, because he's been having a lot of stick lately, he came on today and he changed the game and could've easily got the winner late on when their defender did well to stop it.”

“The big gains we've been talking about is discipline and probably fitness-wise. I think our discipline is getting better. Now, fitness-wise, we finished the game against Walsall off in the second-half. Last week against Port Vale we should've won it in the second-half late on and also today in the last ten minutes we scored two goals. So they're the areas I've been working on in terms of the resilience of the team and the personality I keep talking about. We showed spirit and fight. And the opposition don't like it now. It's good to see because they've been used to nice and easy take your win, take three points and go away. Not anymore. We fight, we scrap. We want to reflect that on our fans, who travel with numbers and back us all the time and then come here and back us all the time too and I hope the fans they saw something, a bit of fight and spirit back to Oldham Athletic. Chris [Eagles] has been struggling with his niggles really with a few injuries, but he's been clear the last two weeks. He had a good week in training and he gave me no option but to start him. He's been fantastic to be fair. Him and Chris McCann were the standout players. They don't deserve to be in a drawing team, they deserve to be in a winning team. But that's what those type of players can give us. They're total footballers, experienced, know what to do at the right times and they drive the team forward. Zak [Emmerson] will play without a shadow of a doubt. I came in on Tuesday night to watch the Youth Team and was so impressed with him, I was screaming to Danny Cadamarteri to take him off after 70 minutes because I wanted to save him. Zak is a tremendous talent. I love his work rate. He works with the ball and without the ball. He's relentless and I love that and hopefully we'll get him off school one day a week next week so he can train with the First Team and hopefully be involved again next week."

“They [Northampton] were hanging on for the draw. Like I said, Maouche had a brilliant chance to work inside and then outside of the defenders and then hit it with his left foot. It was going in but their defender did well to clear it. What a fantastic finish that would be if we win that 3-2. Overall, we've got to take from it is we're building a good team, a resilient team. Never say die attitude and that's what we want to see. It's another step forward. It was always going to be a difficult game. The last three games have been difficult games and we came away with two draws and a win, it could've been better but it's not. We'll take that though now and build on it.”