Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Oldham Athletic 1
By Tim Hodges at Withdean.
The Albion rolled back the years at Withdean on Saturday afternoon.
Early on the creative and cosmopolitan Seagulls tested the Latics defence.
A clever back heel from Gary Dicker enabled Ashley Barnes a clear strike at goal, which was saved by Oldham keeper Dean Brill.
Albion continued to press Oldham with patient and measured play. Kezenga Lua Lua was giving the Oldham defence an uncomfortable time. Twenty minutes in, he waltzed past Oldham full back Lee, and crossed for Barnes who was again unable to finish.
Barnes then had another chance to score courtesy of a Murray knock down, who had received a cross from Calderon. This time Brill parried to safety.
Although Albion had the upper hand Oldham were very quick on the counter.
The towering Tounkara was proving a difficult opponent for Messer’s El Abd , Elphick and also Painter.
The six foot plus Oldham forward was deceptively skill full for a big man, although a little slow.
After Dicker lost possession in the Oldham half, Taylor raced forward for the visitors, as he squared the ball for the oncoming Alessandro, his team mate Stevens got what appeared to be an inadvertent touch, and this set the ball up superbly for Alessandro, who steered it past Ankergren, to put the visitors in front.
The Albion responded well with both Lua Lua and Bennett becoming more industrious.
Dicker then slipped a superb through to Barnes, who clipped it past the on rushing defender and hit a fantastic shot which agonisingly came back off the bottom of the upright, and back into play.
Still the Albion went at Oldham. With a few minutes left until half time Albion won a corner , which Bennett floated in from the right hand side, and after four previous attempts, Barnes steered the ball past Brill to restore parity .
Albion were very much gung-ho as they started the second half. Lua Lua and Bennett where very much involved. At the back, El Abd and Elphick were dealing with any rare excursions, towards Tounkara.
The seagulls were really taking the game to Oldham. Barnes and Murray both had good chances.
Just pass the hour mark Lua Lua had, what could now be described as a trade mark 25 yard free kick, beaten away by Brill.
Inigo Calderon was now supporting and supplying Bennett with the ammunition.
As the ball was pumped into the area Murray was unable to get a clear shot and as the ball ricochet around the six yard box, Adam El Bad somehow failed to connect with it from underneath the cross bar.
Although it was all Albion, Oldham had a breakaway sortie up field. Jones found himself clean through with only Akergren to beat. However Albion’s Danish keeper parried the ball to safety.
Kishischev replaced Bridcutt and Sandaza came on for Murray soon after and with around 15 minutes to play.
Lua Lua had two clean strikes on goal beaten away by the Latics defence.
With seconds ticking by Adam El Abd found himself with the ball at his feet on the edge of the opposition penalty area, he threaded the ball through to Barnes who, put his fierce strike over the cross bar.
As the 90 minute mark was reached the fourth official signalled there were to be five additional minutes. For the first two of these it seemed likely Oldham might nick it, as Ankergren got down to substitute Kelly’s, low drive.
Then Lua Lua won a free kick which he directed to the far post, an Oldham cleared for a corner in what was now added time in added time.
Bennett this time floated the ball to the far post where after an almighty scramble Sandaza blasted the ball home, to create scenes not seen at the Withdean for a couple of years .
And send Poyets men to the top of League One.
Albion: Ankergren, Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter, Bennett, Bridcutt, Dicker, LuaLua, Murray, Barnes. Subs: Brezovan, Greer, Battipiedi, Baz, Sandaza, Smith, Kishishev.
Oldham: Brill, Lee, Mvoto, Hazel, Black, Jones, Stephens, Furman, Taylor, Tounkare, Alessandra. Subs: Jacobson, Kelly, Jarrett, Brooke, Dikaba, Gerrard, Christophe.
Referee: Andy Penn (West Midlands
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