Latics hit top form at undefeated league leaders

Last updated : 13 September 2006 By Dave Moore
Athletic came away from Nottingham Forest with a resounding 2-0 victory, one of the team's best ever performances. Our man at the match, Boundary Blue, was ecstatic and couldn't speak too highly of the workmanlike performance. Perhaps his appraisal of the Oldham players as follows should do his speaking for him!

Pogliacomi 8 - Dominated his area. Claimed most crosses. I hate GK's punching the ball, but just once or twice Pogs maybe should've done it tonight when he just couldn't reach a ball and only half cleared. Overall though, when he was called upon, he made a few top saves and did enough to put off their player when they did get through 1 on 1. Always was hitting into the side netting.....pi$$ funny that Forest thought they'd scored! :-D

Eardley 9 - Absolute rock. Stopped most. If not stopping them, forced players into non-dangerous areas. Made a few vital stops, indeed, one last ditch flying interception when Forest looked certs to pull one back.

Haining 10 (MOTM) - Won every single header within his radius. Commanded like never before, stopped everything, was everywhere. Oooozed class. To outshine Stam in his current form you've got to play amazingly.....Haining did just that!

Stam 9 - Dealt with everything thrown at him. A couple of shaky moments when he'd maybe skew-whiff a clearance and not completely end a clear and present danger. But these were rare moments when Forest tried to pressure us back.....Stam was up to it and all-action and he rarely left a mess for anyone else to clear up.

Charlton 8 - Cool, calm, collected, relieves pressure, great going forward, best performance in a Latics shirt. Class showed through tonight.

Edwards 8 - Superb again.....ran and ran and ran. Crossing vastly improving. Peach of a ball which deceived the lot, for Porters 2nd. Sometimes left Charlton a tad exposed when being attacked, but always available when the ball came to Charlton in defence to relieve the pressure which Forest aimed to put on us. Was this which stopped us being pushed back and left Forest completely unable to put their foot on our necks.

Wellens 9 - Completely out-thought Forest in the middle....stopped their attacks, found the simple ball (or not so simple sometimes but reached the man with perfection) and totally helped relieve pressure. Helped us batter their wings by playing Eddy, Lids, Warne and Porter useful balls.

MacDonald 8 - Great 1st. half. Ran his socks off. Faded a bit in the 2nd. half. Gave the ball away cheaply and didn't break up the tackles so much once we began long balling it again. Rightly the one sacrificed as the team began to run on empty after an exhilarating running display.

Liddell 8 - His best game by far. Some great moments, especially his effort narrowly over the bar. Sometimes drifted out of the game, but that again was due to some long balls we played. Overall a fairly solid performance.

Porter (pictured) 8 - Aggravated defenders all over the place. Pulled them out of position, ran at them when possible and then clinically finished when some might spoon over the bar. 2nd. was on a plate from Eddy's cracking cross. Starting to show the promise he did at Huddersfield last season. Ridiculously booked when he won the ball fairly and only real annoyance with him was being guilty of not having had a hat-trick. Missed a far post header by inches and then screamed blue-murder when Grabban selfishly tried one when squaring was probably the right option for a tap in. Thing is, Porter had a great chance before them when he could've powered into a gap and been 1 on 1 and put in a pi$$y weak shot instead...that annoyed me and therefore, he had no right to be upset when Grabban did what he did....Ports had enough chance to grab his hat-trick. But he did what he does best.....he gets into the right places! Which is exactly what we've missed and is exactly what will make this team! He really has been the missing link!

Warne 9 - Never ever stopped. The Duracell bunny. Reminded me very much like Tony Carss tonight but in a more forward role. The defence struggled to track him. He often picked up the ball with back to goal and set us on our way. I really think that Porter with Warne and vice versa, could be a case of oxygen and fire!!! Ports and Warne make each other tick.......this could be the start of a beautiful thing!

Grabban, Rocky and Taylor 7 - All fresh legs when needed, right near the end. Not a lot of time to impress, but Grabban's surging runs did what we needed to do, kept Forest at bay and had us defending from the front. Rocky broke things up and Taylor mucked out any loose balls. Effective in what they needed to do to see the win out.

Sheridan - 10 - Got the tactics to a T!!!!!!!!!!! Simply went for the jugular. Knew we couldn't sit back and be picked off. Played to a high tempo, a high line and when the aerial assault didn't work early on, we passed them to death. When being pushed back by Forest, he got the defence to get the ball up to the front ASAP so we could defend up there. Caused Forest to make many mistakes and allow us opportunities to play in their 3rd...something we've sometimes been guilty of not doing. And it paid the ultimate dividends! A text-book performance on how to beat top of the league! Well done're earning your stripes at a ridiculously fast rate!