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Alex Gilliead reflects on a late goal to take a point against Oldham

17 March 2021

Despite it being a late equaliser, midfielder Alex Gilliead felt the Iron deserved maximum points from their midweek home league encounter against Oldham Athletic.

Jordan Hallam volleyed home Junior Brown’s left-winged cross in the third of five minutes added onto the end of the game to rescue a deserved point for United, who had 19 attempts on goal throughout the match.

“It was frustrating. We feel we had the better of the chances but couldn’t get that first goal,” he said, speaking to iFollow Iron.

“Once they went ahead they could waste time and they’re a good team and they showed tonight they could pass the ball well. They didn’t hurt us much. We’ve got to put our chances away and make sure that we’re on top for the 90 minutes.

“It’s good that we had a never say die attitude. We’re always playing until the last minute but tonight we don’t feel like we should have been in that position, especially going in at half-time. We felt we had three or four good chances in the first-half and we wanted to keep doing what we were doing, so for them to score so early in the second half killed us.

“It’s another point in the right direction, and we move onto Saturday.”

The 25-year-old was closest to Jai Rowe’s tackle shortly after half-time which saw the Latics awarded a corner from which the away side broke the deadlock.

Asked whether it should have been a goal kick, Gilliead stated: “Yeah, it was a good tackle from Jai and he played it off the lad’s shin. The referee said it was either a foul or a corner, so I don’t know what he’s seen.

“I don’t envy the officials, they have to make the decisions and he thought it was the right one. It’s one of those things that has gone against us.

“We battled on, created more chances, hit the bar. It’s good to get a goal in the last minute, but we feel as though we should have taken all three points.”

10 of the 19 attempts on goal on the night were on target, with the Scunthorpe midfielder reiterating that the first goal in a game is vital and felt that had the Iron scored earlier, they would have gone on to score more.

“If we score the first goal, they have to come out more and we could’ve got in behind them more than we did,” he stated.

“Earlier on in the season when we went one down, we’d go two down and maybe even three. We’re staying in games longer and making sure we’re not out of the game when it comes to the last five or 10 minutes.

“For myself, personally, I think I got more of the ball in the last 10 minutes than I did for the whole 90. It’s something we need to work on, but we’ve come a long way from earlier in the season when we might have lost that game.”

Next up for the Iron is the second of four games in a row at home, with the side looking to put some added breathing space between Southend, who currently occupy the last relegation place in the league.

As shown in the reverse fixture though, it won’t be an easy encounter: “They’re all massive games at the minute.

“We’re doing well, but now we have to turn a few of these draws into victories and pick up a few more wins to guarantee that we’re safe. For personal pride and as a team, to finish as high as possible will do us the world of good.”

See much more from Alex Gilliead and Neil Cox on iFollow Iron. Click here to subscribe.

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