BUNN HAS DREAMS OF RETURN TO BIG CITY
AFTER two late goals were needed to squeeze past Hampton and Richmond Borough in the first round, Oldham had a more comfortable time at Maidstone where they eased to victory thanks to goals from Peter Clarke and Chris O’Grady.
The Latics can now look forward to being in the hat for the third round and Oldham manager Frankie Bunn was pretty clear on who he would like to face next time.
“I was at Man City for a couple of years so that would be good,” he said. “But I just want a big Premier League side away from home.”
Despite suffering from a depleted side thanks to injuries and suspensions, Oldham took just 17 minutes to take the lead.
Aryan Tajbakhsh conceded a freekick about 20 yards out and Gevaro Nepomuceno curled the ball into the box. It looked as though the ball was going out when Alex Finney accidentally kept it in play and Samuel Edmundson found Peter Clarke, who finished from close range.
Poor defending is proving costly for the Stones at the moment and manager Harry Wheeler said afterwards: “All we had to do was clear the ball and we could have gone in at nil-nil at half-time.
“We are disappointed with the little moments, but we matched them and we tried to push as far as we could.”
Going ahead gave Oldham confidence and they pushed Maidstone back for spells. Nepomuceno was involved once again when he whipped in a dangerous cross in which Callum Lang headed over from just six yards out.
Then Sam Surridge was played in down the left and he quickly got a drive away, which took a deflection off Jack Powell and flew up on to the bar.
The Stones were struggling to contain the visitors at times and it wasn’t until the 44th minute that they had a shot. Jake Cassidy did well to chase a long ball and pull it back to Elliott Romain, who hit a first-time effort straight at Daniel Iverson when well placed.
Six minutes after the break, the Latics went close to doubling their lead. A corner from Mohammed Mauouche was allowed to come to Sam Surridge, who headed the ball goalwards, only for it to be blocked on the line and close to the post by Jack Paxman.
Maidstone then had a bright spell where Romain forced Iverson into a block with his legs but, after this, Oldham looked in control and they wrapped up the win after 84 minutes. Chris O’Grady turned past Will de Havilland inside the box and, from an almost impossibly tight angle, squeezed the ball past Grant Smith at his near post.
ON THEY GO: Oldham celebrate their opening goal from Peter Clarke STAR MAN GEVARO NEPOMUCENO Oldham