Oldham Athletic 5 Forest Green 5
Forest Green’s juggernaut to promotion hit a bump in the road as struggling Oldham Athletic put the skids under Rob Edwards’ table-toppers side in a 10-goal avalanche.
Latics, who started the game in 91st place, stunned the leaders and went ahead through Davis Keillor-Dunn’s 11th-minute howitzer, but Rovers found their feet two minutes later with on-loan Barnsley midfielder Jack Aitchison finishing with aplomb thanks to the trickery of Kane Wilson.
Rovers ran riot with Jamille Matt firing home after strike partner Matty Stevens fashioned the opportunity. Matt bagged his second on the cusp of the break – nodding in a Nicky Cadden cross.
Rovers started the second half without star defender Jordan Moore-Taylor who felt unwell during the game, but his absence wasn’t missed when Stevens struck clinically for 4-1 from another Wilson assist, bagging his 17th goal of the season.
Rovers seemed home and dry but the introduction of former Swindon Town striker Hallam Hope turned the game on its head.
Hope pounced to make it 4-2 and the goal avalanche continued – Keillor-Dunn volleying in from the edge of the box for his second of the afternoon.
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Stevens increased Forest Green’s cushion just after the hour, but Jack Stobbs closed the gap again with his first for Oldham.
Latics failed to be beaten and turned the screw to make it 5-5 when Wilson directed the ball past his own goalkeeper.
“”That’s a real freak result, after what was a freak game. Credit to Oldham, they never gave in and I really don’t know where that comeback came from,” said Edward’s told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
“We didn’t defend well enough at times. We gifted Oldham at least one or two goals, and that’s given them the belief.
“When we were 4-1 up we should have seen the game out, though.”
Forest Green have not been beaten in the league since October 9 and went into the game having won four on the spin.
“Something happened, and now it’s up to me to look back at the game and pick the bones out of it,” Edwards added.
“It will take a long time to do that, but at least we didn’t lose the game.
“Perhaps that was the most important thing, that we didn’t go on to lose the game.
“It’s disappointing that our winning run is over of course, and we’ve been punished.”
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler; Clarke, Piergianni, Couto (Stobbs 52); Adams, Whelan, Bowden, Hart; Bahamboula (Vaughan 67), Keillor-Dunn; Luamba (Hope 52).
Subs not used: Southerington, Cisse, McGahey, Hopcutt.
Forest Green Rovers: McGee 7; Bernard 6, Moore-Taylor 7 (Godwin-Malife 5, 45), Cargill 7; Wilson 7, Stevenson 6, Adams 8, Cadden 7; Aitchison 7 (Diallo 6, 66); Matt 8, Stevens 8 (March 6, 79).
Subs not used: Thomas, Sweeney, Young, Hendry
Referee: Andrew Kitchen.
Star man: Matty Stevens. A brace for the busy striker.
Next up: Rovers welcome Nigel Clough’s Mansfield Town to the Fully Charged New Lawn on Saturday, 3pm,