King Kong can’t stop Kelly from late point

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more

LAT­ICS boss Dar­ren Kelly felt strong enough to tus­sle with King Kong be­fore his man­age­rial bow – and Jonathan Forte’s late equaliser en­sured his new boss has no mon­key on his back.

Kelly ad­mit­ted he was burst­ing with pride ahead of his first game as a ‘gaffer’ but only a bril­liant Forte volley en­sured he was not left wait­ing for his maiden man­age­rial league point.

The Old­ham boss said: “There was so much adrenalin in my body to­day that I could have taken on King Kong – I was up for ev­ery­thing!

“The big thing for me was that when we went a goal down, I’m in­ter­ested to see what the char­ac­ter is like, are heads go­ing to go down? But we re­ally took the game to them and dom­i­nated.

“In hind­sight, we are prob­a­bly un­lucky to just come away with a point. But, es­pe­cially with it be­ing the first game, I’m just pleased to break my duck.”

Last sea­son’s top scorer Forte started on the bench but Kelly in­sists he will have a mas­sive role to play.

Kelly added: “Jonathan’s a big part of what I want to try to achieve here. He’s a proven goalscorer and he’s more than ca­pa­ble of get­ting you 20-plus goals a sea­son.

“He’s only just com­ing to back match fit­ness so, like David Dunn, we don’t want to just throw them in there. Hope­fully in a cou­ple of weeks they will be able to start and fin­ish games.”

Wal­sall be­gan brightly and Ro­maine Sawyers – whose low cross had been lashed just over mo­ments ear­lier by Jason Demetriou – gave them an eighth-minute lead, ping­ing a beauty into the top cor­ner from 20 yards.

Old­ham im­proved and had chances to level but a 25-yard Liam Kelly volley flew wide and Rhys Turner fired off tar­get un­der pres­sure from Wal­sall keeper Neil Etheridge.

The Lat­ics – who also had a first-half penalty ap­peal turned down as Joseph Mills tum­bled un­der pres­sure from Demetriou – had the bet­ter of the sec­ond half.

Mills’ 30yard screamer was ac­ro­bat­i­cally fisted away by Etheridge but, seven min­utes from time, Forte em­phat­i­cally volleyed home Jake Cas­sidy’s cross to earn Old­ham a de­served point.

And Wal­sall boss Dean Smith felt his side brought the equaliser on them­selves, ad­mit­ting:“The over-rid­ing dis­ap­point­ment for me was that we were so sloppy.

“For the last 20 min­utes of the first half and for the ma­jor­ity of the sec­ond half, play­ers who are nor­mally a lot bet­ter on the ball gave it away.

“We started brightly. We played a dif­fer­ent sys­tem and I sup­pose it is in its in­fancy.”

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