Jack Iredale strikes twice as Cambridge United fight back to beat Oldham Athletic in Sky Bet League Two
Jack Iredale struck twice as Cambridge United came back from two goals down to beat Oldham Athletic 4-2 in an extraordinary Sky Bet League Two game at Boundary Park.
United were 2-0 down inside the first 11 minutes, but Iredale's efforts, a goal apiece from Paul Mullin and Luke Hannant, and a penalty save from keeper Callum Burton helped them to victory.
There was early promise inside the first two minutes when Joe Ironside headed Iredale’s cross back across goal, but then United went to sleep for the next 20 minutes.
A long ball breached United’s offside trap as Davis Keillor-Dunn burst through, and although Burton saved the first attempt, the Oldham striker tapped the rebound into the empty net.
Alfie McCalmont had a long shot that was comfortably held by Burton and Keillor-Dunn should have done better with a header from close range that he put over the bar.
Oldham doubled their lead in the 11th minute as Nicky Adams put over a terrific delivery from the right, and an unmarked Keillor-Dunn side-footed home first time.
United were all at sea, and Oldham should have added to their tally.
Marcel Hilßner got on the end of a long ball but only fired wide when he should have at least hit the target, and a swerving effort from Conor McAleny was well dealt with by Burton.
The visitors started to settle, and once they got a foothold in the match, it was one-way traffic for the rest of the half.
Mullin had been thwarted by a good stop down low by Oldham keeper Laurie Walker and had appeals turned down for a penalty before he did pull one back for the U’s.
The striker had an effort deflected wide for a corner which it was not dealt with properly by Oldham, and Greg Taylor was brought down in the area by Raphaël Diarra.
There was no hesitation in the award of the penalty, which Mullin dispatched with a thunderous spot-kick down the centre to equal David Crown’s league goals record for the U’s.
The U’s were on the front foot, and had the equaliser in the 36th minute as Mullin laid off to Iredale at the edge of the area and his shot took a deflection to beat Walker to make it 2-2.
Declan Drysdale was denied United’s third at the back post by Walker, but a minute later they did have the lead.
A smart back-heel by Mullin put the on-rushing Iredale through on the overlap in the area, and he slid an effort in at the near post to make it 3-2 to the U’s at the break.
It was an even start to the second period, with the first talking point an appeal for a foul on Ironside at the back post at a corner which was dismissed by the referee.
In the 58th minute, Carl Piergianni headed a long free kick wide for Oldham, and play swung up the other end where Mullin fired into the side-netting.
Oldham had a chance to make it 3-3 in the 68th minute.
Andrea Badan was deemed to have been fouled in the area by Kyle Knoyle, but Keillor-Dunn’s penalty was saved to his right by Burton.
Bobby Grant had an acrobatic overhead kick go wide for Oldham in the 71st minute, and the Latics’ spot-kick miss was compounded by the U’s in the 73rd minute.
Knoyle’s shot was deflected over, and substitute Luke Hannant curled a corner directly in at the near post, possibly assisted by keeper Walker, to make it 4-2.
The goal clinched the three points for United, which keeps them second in the table after Cheltenham Town scored a stoppage-time winner at Exeter City to remain top.