At the risk of repeating myself, Notts once again threw away points this afternoon after a 3-2 defeat to Oldham Athletic, a fourth straight defeat in all and fifth straight defeat away from Meadow Lane. In a game played out in dreadful conditions at Boundary Park, it was fitting that five scrappy goals were scored, with all three of the goals Notts conceded ONCE AGAIN coming from horrendous defensive errors.
Things started pretty well, too, when Notts took the lead after riding a bright early start from the hosts. Ten minutes in, a corner fell to Hamza Bencherif who mishit his shot, but it fell kindly for Lee Hughes to glance home and give the visitors the lead. However, Notts constantly struggled to retain possession and were given a warning of things to come when a long clearance from Oldham goalkeeper Alex Cisak somehow set Tom Adeyemi through on goal, but the Norwich loanee somehow contrived to miss with just Stuart Nelson to beat.
The hosts had their equaliser soon enough though, when the hapless Hamza Bencherif lost the ball in a dangerous area, allowing Luca Scapuzzi to dance through the Notts defence, past Stuart Nelson and slide the ball home. Despite the home side's dominance, Notts somehow managed to find themselves infront again ten minutes later though, when another corner fell kindly for the Magpies, this time for Neal Bishop whose shot deflected off an Oldham defender and over Cisak.
As the second half meandered on, Notts began to look comfortable, whilst the home crowd began to get on their teams' backs, particularly when the creative goalscorer Scapuzzi was withdrawn for Filipe Morais. However, the game hinged on a substitution from Allen that I still have no explanation for (as much down to Colin Slater's refusal to ask as anything else). The energetic Judge, Notts' best player of late, was withdrawn and the momentum immediately swung in the favour of the hosts. As soon as Morais' inswinging cross evaded everyone and nestled in the far corner the ending seemed inevitable and, indeed, Zander Diamond sealed the win for the Latics after scrambling home when Notts yet again failed to deal with a set piece. The well-known goalscoring juggernaut that is Charlie Allen was sent on to pick up his appearance fee in injury time, but even he couldn't help Notts to create a third shot on target. Notts need shaking up and they need it quickly.