Football: Oldham tuck in

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Oldham Athletic. . .5

Nottingham Forest. .3

THERE have been dark mutterings at Boundary Park over the decision to sell Rick Holden, provider of so many of the goals which took Oldham into the top flight and then kept them there last season.

To fans brought up on Holden's wiles, a team sheet with a bit-part player and a converted Norwegian full-back listed in the wing positions looked less than inspiring.

But Neil Adams and Gunnar Halle were more than enough to keep Forest in permanent discomfiture until their flurry of goals near the end gave the scoreline some respectability.

Nottingham were a lace tablecloth of a side, plenty of intricate needlework, but even more holes. And many a team would have enjoyed dining off them yesterday.

Oldham were particularly voracious in a 15-minute spell that brought them four goals, the first from Adams, often the man left out last season, when Redmond's deflected cross reached him on the far post.

Forest's centre-backs showed a rare unanimity and first Chettle and then Wilson made a hash of their clearances to let Sharp in for the second, and Halle's headed flick for Nick Henry made it 3-0.

Less than a minute into the second half, fine work by Adams and Bernard gave Halle the chance for a well-earned goal. It was the tenacity of Adams and Halle that then allowed Bernard to flight a fifth golden goal past Crossley.

A Stuart Pearce penalty and two late efforts from substitute Gary Bannister could not make up for Forest's earlier failings or undo all Oldham's good work. Rick Holden - who he?

Oldham: J Hallworth; S Redmond, N Pointon, N Henry, R Jobson, I Marshall, G Halle, P Bernard, G Sharp, M Milligan, N Adams (R Palmer, 75 min). Subs not used: C Fleming, J Keeley (gk). Manager: J Royle.

Nottingham Forest: M Crossley; B Laws, S Pearce, T Wilson (K Black, 45 min), S Chettle, R Keane, G Crosby, S Gemmill, N Clough, T Sheringham (G Bannister, 63 min), I Woan. Sub not used: A Marriott (gk). Manager: B Clough.

Referee: R Groves (Weston-super-Mare).

Goals: Adams (1-0, 31 min); Sharp (2-0, 38 min); Henry (3-0, 44 min); Halle (4-0, 46 min); Bernard (5-0, 59 min); Pearce (5-1, 66 min); Bannister (5-2, 86 min); Bannister (5-3, 88 min).