Football: Redmond shows precious mettle

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The Independent Online
Oldham Athletic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Swindon Town. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

STEVE REDMOND chose the perfect moment to score his first goal since joining Oldham 18 months ago, shooting home from the edge of the penalty area six minutes from time to salvage a desperately needed full complement of points.

Oldham were on their way to surrendering two of those points to opponents with a suspiciously doomed look about them. That would have narrowed the odds on them accompanying Swindon into the First Division at the end of the season, so Redmond's right- foot volley after Rick Holden's corner had been cleared to him could hardly have been more valuable.

Swindon were notable only for strong-arm tactics and a complete absence of attacking threat until midway through the second half.

Then Andy Mutch warned that it all could go horribly wrong for Oldham by looping a header on to the bar with their very first attempt on goal.

Six minutes later, another header lobbed wearily over Gary Walsh's goal-line. It would not have been a sharper knife to Oldham's ribs if it had broken the netting.

Horlock had been one of three Swindon players booked as they seemed intent on shedding their reputation as constructive but ineffectual during a rugged first half.

His was a double punishment, with Holden curling in the free-kick after Gunnar Halle had been floored for his first goal since his return to Boundary Park, with Fraser Digby able to palm it only into the roof of the net.

Oldham were not helped by the loss of Neil Pointon after a challenge by Terry Fenwick, nor of the pounds 500,000 new signing Sean McCarthy, who pulled a hamstring stretching for a Halle cross.

'It was a bit nervy, but the right result in the end,' a profoundly relieved Joe Royle said. 'It's now a good little run of two home wins with an away draw in between. If we carry on like that we'll have no problems.'

Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Walsh; Fleming, Jobson, Redmond, Pointon (Pedersen, 36); Halle, Milligan, Bernard, Holden; Sharp, McCarthy (Ritchie, 23). Substitute not used: Hallworth (gk).

Swindon Town (4-4-2): Digby; Fenwick, Whitbread, Taylor, Horlock; Summerbee, Nijholt, Moncur, Bodin; Mutch, Scott. Substitutes not used: Ling, Maskell, Hammond (gk).

Referee: D Allison (Lancaster).