Exeter are hoping to make it 10 unbeaten in the league and 14 in all competitions as Oldham come to Devon on Saturday.
Jed Penberthy looks back on last seasons demolition against the Latics.
Exeter City 5-1 Oldham Athletic
11 February 2020
St James Park
Exeter City were unbeaten in the last 15 home games going into this one and the trend wasn’t going to break with the arrival of Dino Maamria’s Oldham.
Matt Taylor made two changes to the side from victory at Stevenage last time out. Nicky Law dropped out of the squad and Brennen Dickenson was relegated to the bench in favour of loanee Jayden Richardson and Matt Jay.
Richardson wasted no time repaying the gaffer’s faith. On 20 minutes a brilliantly executed move between Archie Collins and Matt Jay on the edge led to the Forest Youngster dinking the ball into the far corner for his first league goal of his career.
Oldham responded not three minutes later. A neatly worked short corner allowed Johnny Smith to deliver a wicked ball across the Exeter box. Fortuitously the ball bounced up onto the head of David Wheater who couldn’t miss from 5-yards-out.
Tom Parkes picked up a knock midway through the first half and had to be replaced by Dean Moxey
Hero turned villain for Oldham two minutes before the break. Wheater channelled his inner David Seaman as he pulled off a miraculous save on the line from Randell Williams effort. After remembering he was playing centre-back though, the Oldham Captain was given his marching orders.
From the resulting penalty Matt Jay stroked the ball into the left corner to mean City went into half time one goal and one man to the good.
Five minutes after the break, the rout began.
The short corner was the business of the day as Randell Williams found Archie Collins with acres of room on the Oldham edge. Collins’ rasping effort darted through a crowd of players and must’ve been seen late by Zeus De La Paz in the Latics goal, as the keeper couldn’t get the strongest hand to it and Archie Collins wheeled away for his first goal of the season. A true captain’s goal.
Ryan Bowman got in on the act ten minutes later. The Oldham defence were all over the place as Ajose could have gone down in a heap on the edge of the Blue’s box. Instead he clambered to his feet still in possession and laid the ball back to MJ. Jay’s floated ball to the back post was met by Bowman whose head looped back over the despairing De La Paz for number four for City.
With the points sealed, Matt Taylor turned to his bench. Bowman and Williams were rested as Alex Fisher and Brennen Dickenson took to the wet boggy stage.
Oldham midfielder Christopher Missilou thought he pulled one back for the visitors, but his goal was ruled out for handball.
Alex Fisher thought he notched a goal when his near post header from a Matt Jay corner was well saved by the feet of De La Paz.
The fifth did come though in freak fashion.
Deep into injury time, Brennen Dickenson’s looped free kick from about thirty yards out on the right touchline evaded everybody. The whipped effort nestled in the far corner and Exeter completed their biggest result of the season.
A tidy and comfortable night for Matt Taylor’s men who would stay in fourth going into, what nobody realised would be, the final five games of the season.
City XI: Ward, Martin, Parkes (Moxey 29’), Sweeney, Richardson, Atangana, Collins, Jay, Williams (Dickenson 72’), Ajose, Bowman (Fisher 65’)
Unused: Arthur, Taylor, Holmes, Martin
Oldham XI: De La Paz, Hamer, Wheater, Piergianni, Borthwick-Jackson, Smith, Sylla (N’Guessan 59’), McCann, Missilou, Branger (Mills 44’), Rowe (Dieseruvwe 71’).
Referee: Keith Stroud