Oldham Athletic are still searching for their first win of 2018 after they were held to a draw at home to Rotherham United.

Oldham made four changes from the team that lost 1-0 at Charlton Athletic, with George Edmundson and Tope Obadeyi coming in, along with new signings Kundai Benyu and Ben Pringle, who finally had their registration cleared allowing them to play.

Millers boss Paul Warne kept faith with his starting line-up, which was named for the New Year’s hosting of Blackburn, for the trip over the Pennines.

The Latics nearly took the lead in the opening minutes of the game when Ben Pringle played in Dan Gardner who laid the ball back for Davies but the striker’s effort was cleared off the line by Millers defender Richard Wood.

Rotherham made Oldham pay for the missed opportunity when they made the breakthrough after just seven minutes.

The ball dropped to Williams in the box, who blasted the ball past Johny Placide and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Pringle almost deceived Marek Rodak just before the half hour mark before Ousmane Fane’s bursting run won a free kick right on the edge of the box for Latics.

They took full advantage, as the free-kick was tapped to Davies who smashed the ball home from 20 yards out to level things up (1-1).

Minutes later, Ajayi showed calmness personified, as last man, to jink his way past Pringle and Davies, before playing a superb diagonal pass which saw Yates race clear but Wilson snuffed out his tame centre before Wood almost got the end of Towell’s floated centre but Placide was quick off his line to clear the danger.

Oldham nearly went ahead just before the interval, as good work from Tope Obadeyi saw him create an opportunity, but he could only fire over the crossbar.

Half Time – Oldham Athletic (Davies 31′) 1-1 Rotherham United (Williams 7′)

Athletic had to be wary at the start of the second half as Will Vaulks’ long range effort had to be tipped over the crossbar by Johny Placide.

A minute later, Latics countered and went close to gaining the lead. After neat build up play, Obadeyi crossed for Gardner who knocked it down for Pringle to strike but he fired over the crossbar.

Richie Wellens turned to his substitutes bench as he tried to help his side find a winner, bringing on Ryan McLaughlin, Aaron Holloway and Gevaro Nepomuceno in place of Gardner, Benyu and Cameron Dummigan.

Rotherham brought on a familiar face, as Jonson Clarke-Harris came off the bench, a few days after Oldham boss Wellens confirmed he would be interested in bringing him back to Boundary Park.

Vaulks found himself fortunate to still be on the pitch as on 75 minutes he caught Fane late but the referee only had a word with the midfielder.

After a flurry of substations stopped the flow of the game, Athletic had their best spell in the final minutes of the game, however, they were forced into some defending as well.

Substitute Nepomuceno fired a fierce ball across the face of the Rotherham six yard box but Wood managed to clear, whilst seconds later, Davies felt he should have been awarded a penalty but the referee waved away his protests.

In the dying seconds, sub Joe Newell struck a shot straight down the throat of Placide before Towell blasted over from a promising position.

Full Time – Oldham Athletic (Davies 31′) 1-1 Rotherham United (Williams 7′)

Attendance: 4,775 (1,172 visiting supporters)

Oldham Athletic: Placide, Dummigan (85’), Edmundson, Gerrard, Wilson, Fane, Gardner (70’), Benyu (74’), Pringle, Obadeyi, Davies.

Subs: – Hamer, Sheridan, Maouche, Duffus, Nepomuceno (85′), McLaughlin (70′), Holloway (74′).

Rotherham United: Rodak, Emmanuel, Mattock, Vaulks, Ajayi, Wood, Forde, Ball (86’), Towell, Yates (66’), Williams (82’).

Subs – Price, Taylor, Ihiekwe, Cummings, Clarke-Harris (86′), Smith (66′), Newell (82′).

 

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