Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Boundary Park
OLDHAM ATHLETIC VS TORQUAY UNITED – NATIONAL LEAGUE
Match details: Oldham Athletic versus Torquay United
Venue: Boundary Park, Oldham
Date: Sunday 11th August 2022
Oldham Athletic: L, L, L, D, L, L
Torquay: D, L, L, L, D, W
Oldham: Ben Tollitt (6)
Torquay: Aaron Jarvis/Will Goodwin (6)
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1866
Nickname: The Latics
Last season’s league finish: 23rd in League Two
Division Two/Division One/Championship:
Division Three/Division Two/League One:
Division Three North:
Semi-finalists: 1912-13, 1989-90, 1993-94
MANAGER: DAVID UNSWORTH
An FA Cup winner with Everton in 1995, David Unsworth had two spells with the Toffees in a playing career that also saw him receive an England cap.
He also had spells in the top-flight with West Ham United, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic and in the Football League with Burnley and Huddersfield Town.
As a coach, Unsworth had spells with Preston North End and Sheffield United before he returned to Goodison Park in 2013 when he became assistant manager of Everton’s Under-23 side. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to the manager’s role of the Under-23’s and also had a spell as caretaker manager for the Toffees’ final game of the 2015-16 season against Norwich City – following the departure of Roberto Martinez.
Unsworth later had a second spell in caretaker charge of Everton following Ronald Koeman’s dismissal and stood down from his position as the Toffees’ Under-23 side in the summer of 2022 prior to his appointment as Latics boss in September 2022.
PLAYER TO WATCH: HALLAM HOPE
Hallam Hope joined Latics in June 2021 before penning a new contract ahead of the current season.
Born in Manchester, Hope began his career on the blue half of Merseyside as he progressed through the academy at Goodison Park. Whilst at Everton, he enjoyed loan spells with Northampton Town, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday.
Hope scored five goals in eight games for the Shakers, and he attracted attention from teams higher up the football pyramid.
He then put pen-to-paper on a permanent deal with Bury in January 2015 for an undisclosed fee. During his time at Gigg Lane, Hope helped guide the club to promotion from Sky Bet League Two and throughout his three-year spell made 71 appearances.
Hope later joined Carlisle United – initially on loan before agreeing a permanent deal. Whilst at Brunton Park, he managed to net 31 goals and finished as the club’s top goal scorer in the 2017-18 season.
Hope has represented England at U16, U17, U18 and U19 level before proudly being called-up to the Barbados senior squad, who he’s scored four goals in six games for.
Date of Birth: 7th March, 1994 (28 Years Old)
International: Barbados, 9 Caps, 4 Goals
Former Clubs: Everton, Northampton, Bury, Sheffield Wednesday, Carlisle United, Swindon Town.
NL Stats 22-23: Played 11, Goals Scored 3, Yellow/Red 1/0
Torquay 0-0 Oldham
6th August 2022
Oldham Athletic will have to wait a while for their first ever National League win after securing a goalless draw with Torquay United – despite being reduced to ten men.
With new owner Frank Rothwell in attendance, the Latics, who are now the first ex-Premier League side to appear in non-league’s top tier, found themselves at a numerical disadvantage when the returning Dan Gardner was dismissed on 74 minutes – but still managed to come away with a point.
In an action packed opening period, the Gulls almost got off to the perfect start when Ali Omar nodded a Kieron Evans free-kick into the path of Will Goodwin, who rattled the cross bar on four minutes.
In the eighth minute, Goodwin went close again as Latics keeper Magnus Norman turned his low drive behind for a corner.
Four minutes later, Hallam Hope looked well placed to open the scoring for Oldham – after being teed up by Jack Stobbs – but he missed the target.
On 14 minutes, Brett McGavin threaded the ball through to fellow debutant Corie Andrews, but he stabbed his close range effort wide. Whilst attempting to score, Andrews collided with Norman and sustained a knock and was replaced by Olaf Koszela four minutes later.
The Latics were then in the ascendancy, and in the 24th minute, Ben Tollitt was denied by United keeper Mark Halstead before Ben Wyatt blocked a Chris Porter effort on the goal line.
In the 69th minute, Oldham went close again as sub Mike Fondop curled an effort around the post.
Five minutes later, the Latics were reduced to ten men as Dan Gardner received a second yellow for a foul on Gulls skipper Dean Moxey.
United also finished the game with ten men as Omar went off injured – and they had used up all their remained subs – as the points were shared.
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2):
Nathan Sheron – Liam Hogan – Peter Clarke – Mark Kitching
Hallam Hope – Dan Gardner – Ellis Chapman – Ben Tollitt
Alex Reid – Sydie Peck
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Ross Marshall – Mark Ellis – Dean Moxey
Dylan Crowe – Kieron Evans – Asa Hall – Shaun Donnellan – Stephen Wearne
Will Goodwin – Dillon De Silva