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

IT’S the longest-run­ning League One match-up – but Lat­ics boss John Sheri­dan knows he needs to make changes if this fix­ture is to be played again next sea­son.

Th­ese third-tier stal­warts have been play­ing each other home and away for 11 sea­sons on the trot now.

Wal­sall are the sec­ond longest-serv­ing League One side – stuck there since 2007 – but even they do not come close to match­ing Old­ham’s whop­ping 21 years at this level.

Book­ies have tipped both for rel­e­ga­tion but on this ev­i­dence Old­ham look like­li­est to strug­gle and Sheri­dan did not mince his words af­ter­wards.

Af­ter shad­ing a poor first half through Ryan McLaugh­lin’s opener, the Lat­ics faded badly as Joe Ed­wards’ lev­eller and Erhun Oz­tumer’s late win­ner gave Wal­sall the points.

Sheri­dan said: “It’s criminal – you come out sec­ond half and I’m just watch­ing to­tally dif­fer­ent play­ers. We’ve only had a 15-minute break, what is it, some­thing in the wa­ter?

“I need to get five or six more play­ers in. I need to change the sys­tem be­cause there are some play­ers who, I’m go­ing to have to say it, are un­for­tu­nately not good enough to get in the team.

“We’ve thrown the game away. It was a great op­por­tu­nity to get three points but the sec­ond-half per­for­mance, I don’t even have the words to de­scribe it.”

Hosts Wal­sall had, like Old­ham, lost both of their open­ing games in league and cup be­fore this so the clash did have the strange feel­ing of an earl­y­sea­son six-pointer.

And Sad­dlers boss Jon Whit­ney was de­lighted with re­sult and per­for­mance: “It could have been 5-1 with how we dom­i­nated the sec­ond half.

“First half, I thought we started a lit­tle bit anx­iously, a bit slow, but we re­sponded re­ally well in the sec­ond half.

“It’s prob­a­bly a re­ally im­por­tant turn­ing point for our new squad. It’s only the sec­ond game of the sea­son but the man­ner of the per­for­mance was pleas­ing as well.

“We had them on the ropes the whole of the sec­ond half and it would have been an in­jus­tice if they had scored late on.”

Wal­sall fielded a com­pletely new de­fence, all mak­ing their com­pet­i­tive home de­buts – and they were all at sea when McLaugh­lin’s cross evaded ev­ery­one to give Old­ham a 32nd-minute lead.

Had Sad­dlers keeper Mark Gille­spie not got fin­ger­tips to Aaron Amadi-Hol­loway’s 20yarder on the stroke of half-time, the re­sult might have been dif­fer­ent.

How­ever, Ed­wards’ de­flected strike brought Wal­sall level on 53 min­utes.

Oz­tumer hit the post from 20 yards and missed a close-range sit­ter but made amends by

pok­ing home from a long throw right on 90 min­utes.

Old­ham al­most snatched a point deep into stop­page time but Gille­spie made a su­perb save to thwart sub Tope Obadeyi’s point-blank header.

WAL­SALL (3-5-2): Gille­spie 7, J Wil­son 7, Don­nel­lan 6, Guthrie 7, Devlin 7, Morris 7, Cham­bers 6, Ed­wards 8, Leahy 5, Oz­tumer 7 (Jack­son 90 N/A), Bakayoko 6 Subs not used: Roberts L, Roberts K, Kin­sella, Sangha, Kouh­yar, Can­dlin.

OLD­HAM (4-1-4-1): Ben Wil­son 4, Dum­mi­gan 6, Clarke 6, Ger­rard 6, Hunt 6, Fane 6, Davies 6 (Obadeyi 68 5), Banks 6, Fawns 5 (Brian Wil­son 68 5), McLaugh­lin 6, Hol­loway 6 (Duf­fus 84 4) Subs not

used: Ed­mund­son, Man­tack, Ky­ere­meh, Osei

PIC­TURES: PSI/Alan Franklin

JOY: Erhun Oz­tumer is ec­static af­ter his late win­ner and, in­set, Craig Davies cel­e­brates Old­ham’s goal STAR MAN JOE ED­WARDS Wal­sall

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