Wootton 30, Moore 74
Oldham Athletic 2
Branger 27, Wheater 77
ARGYLE were unlucky not to claim all three points against Oldham Athletic in Sky Bet League Two after the match ended 2-2 in a breathless encounter at Home Park with both sides having chances to win the game.
The Latics grabbed a lead on 27 minutes through Johan Branger but Scott Wootton quickly levelled for the Pilgrims.
After controlling much of the second period, Byron Moore looked to have grabbed the winner for Argyle but the experienced David Wheater snatched a point for Oldham.
Looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat away to Northampton, Argyle manager Ryan Lowe made three changes to his starting 11, with Josh Grant, Moore and Jose Baxter coming in for Gary Sawyer, Conor Grant and Zak Rudden respectively.
The home side had fashioned the first chance of the game nine minutes in, when Oldham ‘keeper Gary Woods mis-hit kick fell to Danny Mayor, who nutmegged Latics midfielder Mohammed Sylla with ease before finding Ryan Taylor.
Taylor has had an excellent goal scoring start to the season but was unable to add to his three goals as he shot just wide of Gary Woods’ post.
After being named in the Sky Bet League Two team of the month for August, Argyle’s Mayor is quickly becoming the talismanic figure the fans hoped he would be and his performance was again looking impressive.
The attacking midfielder was Argyle’s best creative outlet in the first period, but a combination of Oldham fouls and mis-timed runs prevented any further chances being fashioned.
Despite having a lot of the ball, Argyle were becoming increasingly open to the counter-attack and on 25 minutes Oldham were unlucky not to have equalised when Scott Wilson’s cross was met by Filipe Morais, who looped his header over Alex Palmer in the Argyle goal but Niall Canavan was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.
The chance served as a warning to Argyle and one which they did not heed. Two minutes later, Oldham were in front, when Mohammed Mauoche’s clever backheel on the edge of the box set up Branger to shoot across Palmer and into the corner of the net.
However, the goal seemed to inspire Argyle’s players and parity was swiftly restored, as Baxter’s deep corner was headed back across by Josh Grant allowing for fellow centre-back Wottoon to head towards goal.
Despite the best efforts of the Oldham defence and ‘keeper, the ball couldn’t be prevented from crossing the goal line, giving Wootton his first ever goal in an Argyle shirt
The Greens were now really on the ascendency and Baxter was close to giving the home side the lead when his exquisite free kick so nearly found the top corner
You could sense that Baxter was really up for the game and the midfielder was beginning to dictate the play more and more from the centre of the pitch. He came close again on 44 minutes after being teed up by Joe Riley but his effort was beaten away by Woods, meaning the half would end honours even.
Argyle began the second period how they finished the first and nearly took an immediate lead with Mayor almost scoring a spectacular goal, cutting in from the left to unleash a curling effort that whistled just past the right-hand post.
However, just like the first period, Argyle were again open to the counter and after they failed to clear their lines, Sylla slid the ball to goal-scorer Branger, who was only able to find the side netting on this occasion.
George Cooper was brought on for Baxter and the substitute almost made an immediate impact as he forced an excellent save out of Woods following Callum McFadzean’s cut-back.
Wing-back McFadzean had an excellent chance himself, soon after, when Moore brilliantly held up play before nudging the ball into the path of the onrushing wide-man, who fired across the goal from a tight angle.
It seemed that after every Argyle attack, Oldham would have one of their own, as substitute Desire Segbe-Azankipo was set free down the right wing on 70 minutes, before laying it back to Maouche, who somehow conspired to miss the target.
After the let-off, Mayor once again provided the inspiration for the home team to get back in front as his direct dribbling allowed for McFadzean to find himself free on the wing.
McFadzean then found an inch-perfect cross to pick out striker Moore, who timed his run into the box perfectly to slide in and put the home side ahead.
But again, the game flipped on its head, as Oldham were back on level terms three minutes later. Veteran defender Wheater rose highest to nod Branger’s corner behind Palmer to level matters for Oldham.
The home fans sensed there would be one last chance and it came from substitute Zak Rudden. The striker, on loan from Rangers, was desperately unlucky to see his effort saved in the 88th minute by the scrambling Oldham ‘keeper following excellent build up play from Mayor and Moore.
Argyle would have to settle for the draw after another entertaining game at Home Park.
Argyle (3-5-2): 24 Alex Palmer; 5 Scott Wootton, 6 Niall Cananvan,25 Josh Grant, 2 Joe Riley, 8 Joe Edwards (capt) (20 Adam Randell 76), 14 Jose Baxter (32 George Cooper 63), 10 Danny Mayor, 21 Callum McFadzean; 9 Ryan Taylor (39 Zak Rudden 53), 17 Byron Moore. Substitutes: (not used) 1 Mike Cooper (gk), 3 Gary Sawyer, 4 Will Aimson, 15 Conor Grant.
Booked: Riley 25, Grant 50, Wootton 69.
Oldham Athletic (4-5-1): 1 Gary Woods; 34 Thomas Hamer, 3 Alex Iacovitti, 31 David Wheater (capt), 18 Dylan Fage, 8 Filipe Morais (Dominic McHale 87), 17 Christopher Missilou, 24 Mohammed Sylla, 10 Mohammed Maouche (2 Zak Mills 90), 7 Johan Branger,16 Scott Wilson (19 Desire Segbe Azankpo 57). Substitutes: (not used) 6 Jamie Stott, 9 Urko Vera, 26 Jonny Smith, 39 Gregor Zabret (gk)
Booked: Maouche 39, Sylla 45, Iacovitti 77, Branger 90.
Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: 9,061 (143 Away)