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Match Report


Posted Wed 18 Dec 13 at 05:00 AM

Anfield beckons for 4 star Latics






Latics secured their trip to Anfield with a superb second half display at the One Call Stadium last night. Trailing 1-0 at the break, Lee Johnson's side produced a scintillating 45 minutes of football, scoring four goals without reply on the way to a 4-1 victory over League Two Mansfield.


The starting line up showed one change from Saturday's agonising late defeat at Brentford with Adam Rooney coming into the side to replace Ellis Plummer, in a move that saw David Mellor start at left back, with Danny Philliskirk dropping into the midfield four allowing Rooney to take his place up front alongside Jonson Clarke-Harris.


Mansfield took the lead on 12 minutes with their first meaningful attack, good work down the left hand side between Lindon Meikle and Sam Clucas allowed Meikle to drive in a cross that was met by the forehead of Ross Dyer who's bullet header gave 'Keeper Mark Oxley no chance as the Stags edged in front.


Latics suffered an injury blow midway through the half as influential midfielder James Wesolowski was forced off with a nasty looking facial injury following an earlier clash with Jamie McGuire which went unpunished by referee Seb Stockbridge. Carl Winchester replacing the stricken Australian who was assessed by doctors before being taken to hospital and kept in overnight.


Just before half time Jonson Clarke-Harris did have the ball in the net but was perhaps harshly adjudged to be offside, the striker slotting home after excellent work from the lively Mike Petrasso. Petrasso went on to have two further opportunities as Latics started to dominate, limiting the hosts to occasional counter attacks. However as the half time whistle went Athletic still trailed despite enjoying over 60% of the first half possession.


Johnson made a tactical change at half time with Matteo Lanzoni replacing Genseric Kusunga as Latics changed formation to go three at the back pushing Danny Philliskirk into a more central role supporting Rooney and Clarke-Harris.


Latics drew level in just before the hour mark in fine style. Petrasso's goal bound run was brought to a halt inside the 'D' and up stepped Philliskirk to curl an exquisite free kick into the top corner as Latics leading scorer hit double figures for the season.


Within five minutes Latics were ahead and again it was QPR loanee Petrasso who was at the centre of the move, twisting and turning before threading an inch perfect ball through to Clarke-Harris who took aim before emphatically firing home past the helpless Mansfield goalkeeper Marriott.


On 76 minutes Latics extended their lead even further, Rooney's hard work won a corner on the left hand side.  Philliskirk delivered a superb corner which was firmly met by the head of half time substitute Lanzoni, who directed the pink ball high into the roof of the net for his second Latics goal to send the travelling supporters into raptures.


Soon after three became four as Rooney got in on the act with a superbly taken penalty.  Clarke-Harris unleashed one of his trademark thunderbolts that was blocked by the hands of John Dempster, who saw red for his actions as Rooney made no mistake from 12 yards sending the keeper the wrong way and sending Latics into round three.


Latics had chances to extend their lead whilst at the other end Mark Oxley produced a smart diving save to deny Ollie Palmer to cap an impressive display. Anton Rodgers came on to replace skipper Korey Smith for the final few minutes as Oldham kept the ball away from their hosts to complete the turnaround.


The second half display in-particular will have delighted manager Lee Johnson, as will the tremendous team spirit shown in turning around the half time deficit. For the third year running Latics will take on Liverpool in the FA Cup with Budweiser, this time on a Sunday afternoon on Merseyside.


Mansfield Town: Marriott, Dempster, Riley, Clucas, Dyer, Hutchinson, Meikle, Murray, McGuire, Westlake, Daniel. Subs: Briscoe, Rhead, Howell, Beevers, Clements, Deakin, Palmer

Oldham Athletic: Oxley, Grounds, Wesolowski, Kusunga, Tarkowski, Smith, Rooney, Mellor, Clarke-Harris, Petrasso, Philliskirk. Subs: Brown, Winchester, Rodgers,Lanzoni, Miller, Plummer, Rachubka.



Dyer (12) for Mansfield

Philliskirk (59), Clarke-Harris (63), Lanzoni (76), Rooney (81)



Attendance  2,836 : Latics fans 223

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