Kusunga clanger costs Oldham
OLDHAM manager Lee Johnson claims his side were “bitten on the backside” after Genseric Kusunga’s last-gasp own goal handed Doncaster a route into the FA Cup third round.
Chances were few and far between in a largely forgettable affair as Doncaster boss Paul Dickov triumphed on his first visit to former club Oldham since his departure in January 2013.
Afterwards, a frustrated Johnson said:“I’m very disappointed to be out of the cup. We saw it as an opportunity to impress in front of the home fans after a good win.
“It just goes to show you that football – the minute you think you’ve cracked it – turns out to bite you in the backside. I think our players went out there and didn’t perform as they could do.
“Our players should be good enough to compete. I thought we did compete but both teams cancelled each other out and then we got caught out and ended up on the receiving end of a smash-andgrab loss.The cup was important to us and we failed.”
Dickov led Oldham to a memorable 3-2 victory over Liverpool in the fourth round shortly before relieved of his duties at Boundary Park.
And following Doncaster’s marginal win, Dickov is looking forward to another money-spinning tie with Rovers.
When asked which team he would like to face in the third round, Dickov said: “It doesn’t matter. I’ve been lucky enough as a manager to play Liverpool twice. We’re in the hat and we can sit back and enjoy the draw. A club close to here would suit me best.”
On the match, Dickov added: “We knew they were going to have possession. For all of their possession in the second half, they never created anything and I was delighted.
“In the last three or four games, we’ve played a lot better football. We looked strong defensively and Sam Johnstone made a couple of fantastic saves.”
Visitors Doncaster almost broke the deadlock on 33 minutes as Richie Wellens struck a close-range effort straight at Paddy Kenny.
The first half finally livened up in the closing stages. Oldham spurned two excellent chances in the space of a minute as striker Jonathan Forte was brilliantly denied by the feet of goalkeeper Johnstone before Jabo Ibehre fired over with the goal gaping.
The hosts continued to probe forward with striker Forte beating his man on the left-hand side before smashing a powerful effort into the side netting.
But it was Doncaster who turned the screw.With just seven minutes left, striker Theo Robinson saw a venomous left-footed strike superbly palmed away by Kenny.
And the sucker punch soon arrived. After Doncaster full-back Enda Stevens crossed low from the left, there was a mix-up between goalkeeper Kenny and Kusunga.
Kusunga’s initial clearance rolled agonisingly towards the line with the centre-back narrowly failing to keep the ball out with his second touch.
Oldham responded well to the setback and almost leveled instantly as Forte’s goal-bound effort was superbly parried away by the excellent Johnstone while captain Liam Kelly struck the top of the crossbar in injury time with an audacious long-range effort.
CALAMITY: Genseric Kusunga’s mis-hit clearance rolls over the goal-line
Forte SMASH: Oldham’s Jonathan