A Latics side featuring a number of young players suffered a defeat in the latest pre-season friendly at Bradford (Park Avenue).
Latics and Park Avenue exchanged half-chances early on in the game, with none of them challenging the ‘keepers enough to get either set of fans off their feet.Benny Couto created the first major chance of the game when his corner found the head of Will Sutton, but George Sykes-Kenworthy caught the ball and started a counter-attack which came to nothing. The hosts upped the pressure and created a number of chances, including an attempted overhead kick from Eddie Church, which was cleared by the Latics defence. Church redeemed himself on the half-hour mark when his shot found the far corner, putting the West Yorkshire side a goal in front. Not long after the restart, a nice piece of skill from Harry Vaughan started a chance for Oldham - the 18-year-old skipped past his man and ran into space, before giving it to Luamba who couldn’t beat the ‘keeper. Another chance came just a few moments later when Jordan Windass dispossessed a Bradford trialist and set up Mike Fondop, who didn’t find the back of the net on his right foot. Park Avenue got a second, against the run of play of the preceding ten minutes when Church found himself on the right-hand side, cut back on to his left, and fired a sweet shot into the far corner, giving Magnus Norman no chance.
Two more youngsters came on after the interval, with Joe Edwards and Aaron Atkinson replacing Windass and Trey Turner.Athletic came close to halving the deficit when Junior Luamba received the ball inside the box, but he could only hit the side-netting. Park Avenue and Church looked to be pushing for a third, as the hour mark approached, when he attempted to head home a Hopper ball, but Sutton in defence denied him of his debut hat-trick. Frazer Cookson entered the field in place of a trialist with 20 minutes to go, as John Sheridan gave more youngsters a chance. Norman was forced to make a cracking save when Harrison Hopper flung a shot towards goal from the edge of the box. The record-breaking heat was having an effect on the players as the game came to a close, as neither side created many chances during the closing stages of the game. Couto did aim a shot on goal from a free-kick, but he saw it go over the bar.
Oldham Athletic: Norman, Da Silva, Sutton, Kilner, Couto, Turner (Atkinson 45), Windass (Edwards 45), Vaughan, Luamba, Fondop (Forshaw 77), Trialist (Cookson 68). Attendance: 362