Oldham welcomed Trafford MV to Manor Park for Saturday’s league game with not many people giving Oldham much chance of victory, writes Jimmy Forster.

Trafford have been flying high having won seven and drawn one of their eight league games so far this season and being unbeaten in their previous 16 games.

Jenson Hamilton, Rob Froggatt, Jordan McEwan and Tom Fereday all returned to the starting line-up bolstering the side following their one point defeat the previous week.

Oldham had worked on defensive structure in the week, and this showed early on with Trafford controlling most of the possession but really struggling to make it count against a resolute defensive line.

It was from this defensive effort that Oldham’s first try came. Trafford attempted a move in midfield and with Oldham pushing up the ball was spilled and Alex Jobson pounced on it and ran 50 metres to score under the posts. He converted and the hosts led 7-0.

Tactically Oldham were playing better rugby with Tom Davies and Froggatt kicking well, turning Trafford’s back three and putting them under pressure and they went in at half time 7-0 up.

Trafford however were not top of the league for nothing and answered straight after half time scoring firstly an unconverted try in the corner following a quick tap penalty and then following further pressure a converted try to leave the score at 12-7 to the visitors.

At that stage Oldham looked tired and Trafford seemed to go up a gear. However, the home side managed to answer back straight away. Some decent ball from a set piece with the pack working down the right-hand side carrying well.

Jordan McEwan then executed some “heads up” rugby seeing the Trafford defence had been drawn in very narrow, kicked a cross field kick straight into the arms of James Perks who then outpaced the covering defence to score.

Oldham then took the last quarter of the game by the scruff of the neck. They went back to putting pressure on the Trafford back three who again struggled with their game play.

An interchange of passes with James Perks led to Hamilton going over under the posts to put Oldham back in front. With the Jobson conversion Oldham took a 19-12 lead.

What followed could have then taken the game back in Trafford’s favour when Froggatt was sin binned for not rolling away.

But Oldham carried the ball setting up a ruck on the Trafford 22 metre line and with McEwan finding Jobson straight behind him, he sat in the pocket and hit a drop goal which sailed over from 30 metres to lengthen the lead to 22-12.

Over the previous weeks, Oldham’s game management had been a major problem area that the opposition had been able to use to their advantage. Oldham kept Trafford scoreless until Froggatt returned from the sin bin with only a few minutes remaining. Oldham again worked their way up into the Trafford half and with only seconds left, won a kickable penalty.

Up stepped Jobson to add the further three points to leave Oldham to celebrate a well-earned 25-12 victory.