Two goals in the last 10 minutes saw the Lincoln City Under-18’s fall to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
It proved to be a frustrating game for Tom Shaw’s side, as a superb long-range effort and a shot from close range proved to be the difference for the visitors in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.
After putting four goals past Rotherham the week before, City struggled to create chances during the opening 45 minutes. Freddie Draper had an early attempt, but the young striker sent his volley over the bar.
Nathan Odokonyero forced the Oldham ‘keeper into making a save in the 15th minute, but his effort was dealt with comfortably and the young Imps then had their best chance of the game. A skewed shot from Billy Brooks found Draper unmarked at the edge of the box. It was the perfect chance to put the hosts in front; however, the young striker’s shot flew over the bar once more.
As the first half drew to a close, chances remained limited for both teams. City looked the better of the two as they utilised their pace out wide, but creating an opening in the visitors’ defence was proving to be tough.
It was Odokonyero who was looking the most likely to score for the hosts. The young striker had a shot saved by the Oldham ‘keeper early in the second half before seeing a curling effort go narrowly wide in the 66th minute.
City continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock as the game drew on. Mekhi Angol forced the Latics ‘keeper into making another save at the near post in the 71st minute. Freddie Draper then headed over the crossbar shortly after; a free-kick deep into the box was kept in by Jasper Tetlow, whose ball back across the box could not be finished by Draper.
Bobby Deane then had a similar chance in the 80th minute. The centre-back was found unmarked in the middle of the box, but the centre-back headed over the bar.
However, their search for a goal came unstuck with eight minutes remaining. The young Imps’ backline stood off, allowing the Oldham attack to drive forward, before the Latics’ number 10 fired an unstoppable attempt into the top corner beyond the reach of Sam Long.
The visitors then made it 2-0 and sealed the win with a minute left as Lincoln chased an equaliser. After a counter attack down the left-hand side, a ball across the box found an unmarked Oldham player to poke home from close-range.
Tom Shaw’s now face a trip to Solihull Moors in the first round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday 4 November.