The Football League Paper - - FA CUP SECOND ROUND - By Ruth Tun­nell

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

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