Cheltenham Town 1 Oldham Athletic 1

Last updated : 06 October 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Cheltenham Town and Oldham Athletic shared the points in a match that was gritty and not particularly pretty at Whaddon Road.

There was no shortage of endeavour from both sides as managerless Cheltenham set about rebuilding following the departure of John Ward and Oldham made another attempt to kick-start their stuttering season.

Oldham nearly snatched it at the end when ten-man Cheltenham allowed Gary McDonald a stoppage-time shot in the area but goalkeeper Shane Higgs made a reflex save. Matthew Wolfenden followed up for the rebound but lifted his shot over the crossbar.

A defeat would have been harsh on Cheltenham, who battled hard and took the lead in first-half stoppage time with a twice-taken penalty.

Michael Ricketts was adjudged to have handled from David Bird's corner. Michael Townsend's first spot-kick was saved but the assistant referee spotted that goalkeeper Mark Crossley had strayed off his line. Townsend made no mistake with his second attempt.

However, the lead lasted for less than a minute after the half-time break.

Oldham drew level straight from the re-start when Chris Taylor's cross-field ball was flicked on by Neil Kilkenny and veteran midfielder Andy Liddell beat Higgs with a well-struck shot from the corner of the penalty box.

Higgs dived to save a long-range shot from defender Neil Eardley but the match boiled over into controversy with 20 minutes left on the clock.

A niggling confrontation between Ricketts and Cheltenham left-back Jerry Gill suddenly got out of control with both players appearing to raise hands at each other.

Gill was sent off but Ricketts only cautioned to the consternation of the home supporters.

Oldham continued to struggle for fluency and were unable to open up the ten men until those late chances for substitutes McDonald and Wolfenden that went astray.