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Match Previews

2015/16 preview - introducing Oldham Athletic FC

7 June 2015

Meet Millwall's League One opponents

OLDHAM ATHLETIC

Founded: 1895

Stadium: Boundary Park

Nickname: The Latics

Position: 15th in League One

Manager: Oldham confirmed Sunderland Academy coach Darren Kelly as their first team manager in May, with the 35-year-old officially starting his new position on Monday 1st June.

Kelly may lack managerial experience at League level - this is his first job - but there is no doubting his enthusiasm to grab the opportunity.

The former Northern Irish international defender, who will have Dean Holden as his right-hand man, began his playing career at hometown club Derry City before moving to Carlisle United.

He spent two seasons with the club, which included an appearance in the 2003 Football League Trophy Final, before returning to Northern Ireland with Portadown where he was captain.

Kelly rejoined Derry for a second spell playing in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League, and enjoyed further stints at York City, Portadown again, Stalybridge Celtic, Garforth Town, Frickley Athletic and Scarborough Athletic.

He has experience coaching at youth level with York and was Academy coach at Sunderland for five months before being handed the opportunity to manage Oldham this summer.

Key Player: Former Leeds United striker Dominic Poleon has proved a big hit after signing for Oldham on a two-year contract in the final hour of transfer deadline day in August 2014.

Having started his career as a youngster at Chelsea, Newham-born Poleon was unable to push his career on at Stamford Bridge and moved to Southend United in 2008 before signing for Leeds two years later.

He made 29 appearances for the Whites during his time at Elland Road, bagging three goals and also gained further experience with loan spells at Bury and Sheffield United.

Poleon is a tricky, pacey player who scored six goals for Oldham during his maiden season with the club, causing problems to defenders in equal measure with his unpredictability on the ball.

Top scorer: Jonathan Forte (15 goals)

Head-to-head: The teams have met on 62 previous occasions with Millwall enjoying a healthy 25 victories to Oldham's 17 in all competitions. Twenty matches have finished all square, but only one of those draws has come in the past 13 encounters with an outright winner in the other 12 games.

In recent seasons Millwall recorded a win double during the 2009/10 campaign (1-0 away and 2-0 at home) with Oldham securing a brace of victories against The Lions the previous year, edging a seven-goal thriller 4-3 on the opening day of the 2008/9 season and following up with a 3-2 success at The Den. Chris Taylor, who went on to play for Millwall, scored late winners in both of those matches.

Last time we met: A controversial penalty clinically dispatched by Neil Harris on 57 minutes was enough to earn Millwall a narrow victory over struggling Oldham.

The sides were locked level at 0-0 in the second-half when an eagle-eyed linesman spotted an off-the-ball incident when Steve Morison was fouled with Oldham on the counter-attack. Referee Andy Haines pulled the game back 50 yards and Harris converted from the spot despite furious protests from the home side.

Such was Oldham's fury that they lost concentration and nearly went 2-0 down moments later when Morrison evaded his marker and hit the post, with Lewis Grabban's follow-up shot saved.

It was a victory described by manager Kenny Jackett as "a good ugly win" and moved The Lions to within two points of the Play-Offs.

Oldham Athletic: Brill, Jacobson, Hazell, Gregan, Furman, Taylor, Stephens, Goodwin, Smalley, Abbott (Brooke, 70mins), Parker (Eaves, 84mins). Subs not used: Ollerenshaw, Black, Whitaker, Lee, Marrow.

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Craig, Robinson, Ward, Schofield, Martin, Abdou, Trotter, Harris (Grabban 59mins, Price, 83mins)), Morison. Subs not used: Sullivan, Dunne, Barron, Fuseini, Laird.
Scorer: Harris (57mins, pen)

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