Latics lose out on opening day

Oldham Athletic began their second season in League Two with an opening day defeat at Forest Green Rovers, losing 1-0 at the New Lawn.

It was a day to forget for new manager Laurent Banide, who believes his side 'must play better' if they're to win games as the season progresses.

The decisive moment of the game arrived in the 72nd minute when substitute Taylor Allen, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes, rifled an effort into the roof of the net to give his side the three points.

Despite the loss, Oldham started the game well and were backed by 554 travelling supporters. Latics created a handful of chances but were profligate in front of goal, with new signing Scott Wilson wasting the best of them with his back to goal.

Wilson was in the thick of the action as the first half approached its conclusion. After beating two defenders, the striker went down inside the box, but his protests for a penalty were waved away by referee Neil Hair.

Latics were also denied a penalty in the early stages of the second half, this time Zak Mills was told to get up by the referee.

The scare appeared to wake the hosts up, and they began to apply the pressure and create chances of their own. Mark Cooper's side thought they had broke the deadlock in the 54th minute, but an eagle eyed linesman raised his flag for offside after Mills converted from close range.

Rovers continued to apply the pressure and their efforts were eventually rewarded in the 72nd minute. After being introduced to the action from the bench, Allen found space inside the box and converted a cross into the roof of the net. 

Latics had a glorious chance to equalise in the dying minutes, but substitute Erco Vera pulled his shot wide of the target from close range.

 Following the game, Banide spoke to Latics' media team and provided an honest assessment of his side's defeat. "It was a bad result and we must play better if we're going to win games" he said.

“We had a game plan, but we needed to keep the ball better and create more opportunities.

“We lost the ball too quickly and we became tired, so we have to be more technical and have more quality.

“If we have more quality then we'll have better occasions to score goals, but after their goal it was difficult.

“We had a couple of chances to score but we didn't, we're upset, but we must work for the next game.”

Of Vera's missed opportunity, Banide said: “It's why he goes onto the pitch he has a chance, but I don't think he was ready.

“It's football, it's like that he must continue to work and maybe he needs more confidence.

“There's a lot of things to do as a team and step by step we must produce more for the supporters and our team.”

“We try to do what we can, there's a lot of games and we don't have too much time to prepare.

“We'll work tactically, we'll look at the video and work with the coaches on how to improve.

“Today it was better, but not 100%, we have a good opportunity to improve and we need time, but we don't have too much of it.”

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