POLEON STARS AS LAT­ICS STALL

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Robert Do­man

OLD­HAM care­taker boss Dean Holden says for­mer Blades for­ward Do­minic Poleon was “un­playable” but his firsthalf dou­ble earned just a point against play-off chas­ing Sh­effield United.

Poleon net­ted twice in em­phatic fash­ion to give the Lat­ics rea­son to dream of a cov­eted top-six fin­ish but Ja­son Holt pulled one back as the Blades sharp­ened up their act af­ter the break.

And Jamie Mur­phy scored his 12th goal of the sea­son to force a pre­cious share of the spoils as United bid to se­cure their own play-off spot with Ath­letic left to rue what might have been.

Old­ham care­taker manager Dean Holden said: “We are ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed not to have won it af­ter hav­ing such a good first half, but we were up against a re­ally good team.

“We were very close to tak­ing the game away from Sh­effield United but things some­times come down to such small mar­gins and those are what we have to look to learn from.

“Do­minic Poleon was un­playable in the first half and his sec­ond strike was ter­rific.

“In the dress­ing room it feels a bit like a de­feat but we kept go­ing un­til the end and now we will look for­ward to Coven­try on Tues­day.”

Liam Kelly’s ninth-minute shot trou­bled United ‘keeper Mark Howard who smoth­ered it at the sec­ond at­tempt.

And Lat­ics stop­per Joel Cole­man was also busy when he saved from Marc McNulty.

But Poleon showed great com­po­sure to open the scor­ing for Old­ham on 22 min­utes, turn­ing Kieron Free­man in­side out be­fore fir­ing a shot across Howard and into the bot­tom cor­ner.

And the 21-year-old then dou­bled Ath­letic’s ad­van­tage with a stu­pen­dous sec­ond, dig­ging the ball from un­der his feet to ri­fle a mes­meris­ing 30-yard strike into the top cor­ner be­fore half-time.

Poleon scup­pered a chance to get his hat-trick four min­utes into the sec­ond half when he was played in af­ter some good work by Ryan Turner.

The Blades pulled one back af­ter Paul Coutts’ low 56th-minute cross squirmed through Old­ham’s de­fence for Holt to slot home from close range.

Cole­man de­nied United’s Michael Doyle from the edge of the area with a scrap­book save to tip the ball over the bar.

But he couldn’t keep the ball out from a sec­ond suc­ces­sive Blades cor­ner with Mur­phy bundling it in af­ter Cole­man had clawed away Chris Basham’s 73rd-minute header.

Doyle then crashed a vol­ley into the post but nei­ther side could snatch a win­ner.

United boss Clough said: “We didn’t get to grips with the con­di­tions too much early on but we played well in the first half de­spite go­ing in two goals down.

“We made two mis­takes in that half and they both cost us but com­ing back from two-nil down away from home is al­ways a good re­sult.

“Over­all I was pleased with our per­for­mance.We want to se­cure a place in the play-offs and the draw takes us a step closer.”

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