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Match Reports

Coventry City v Latics

29 December 2013

Coventry City v Latics: Match Report

Latics picked up another vital away point at Sixfields on Sunday in a thrilling encounter. In­ form Jonson Clarke-­Harris scored his 6th goal of the season with a bullet header on the cusp of half­-time before Carl Baker’s spectacular overhead kick brought the sides level on 73 minutes. A thoroughly deserved point, Coventry dominated early on with keeper Mark Oxley surviving an early scare after bringing down the onrushing Callum Wilson outside the area. However, referee Dean Whitestone deemed his challenge worthy of only a yellow card and with Coventry skipper Carl Baker sending the subsequent free kick into the stand, Latics survived. 

Nevertheless, Latics held their own and eventually found their way back into the game. Defender Genseric Kusunga had his header athletically saved by Coventry keeper Joe Murphy after twenty minutes, before James Tarkowski’s shot whistled just over the bar. Creating plenty of chances and on the front foot, Latics deservedly opened the scoring at the end of the first period. The excellent Mike Petrasso fuelled a Latics counter attack from a Coventry City corner, resulting in Latics getting one of their own before Clarke-­Harris found himself on the end of a Grounds corner to go into half-­time in front.

Athletic had made just one change from the side that had drawn at Bramall Lane on Thursday, with Carl Winchester preferred to David Mellor in the centre of midfield. Winchester’s performance show cased the strength in depth that manager Lee Johnson has at his disposal with the Northern Ireland international energetic throughout. James Tarkowski and Korey Smith both battled well and Jonson 
Clarke-­Harris worked hard, putting in a good performance as the lone striker. Although it was winger Mike Petrasso who stole the show with a fantastic performance for Latics. Petrasso, 18, has impressed since joining Latics from QPR in November and was a constant menace, creating chaos in and around the Coventry City defence while still tracking back and performing his defending duties superbly. Petrasso started the counter attack which resulted in the corner for Clarke-­Harris’ opener but the Canadian winger nearly found a reward for his own efforts in the last few minutes, with a surging run and shot bringing a smart save out of the ever impressive Joe Murphy in the Coventry City goal.

At half-­time, Matteo Lanzoni was replaced by David Mellor with James Tarkowski, who’d impressed in midweek in midfield, returning to his native centre­ half spot. However, Coventry started to feel their way back into the game and created several chances, each either heroically blocked by a Latics player or shamefully wasted by a misfiring Coventry forward. Despite warrior like defending from Latics, Coventry eventually broke through and on 73 minutes Carl Baker’s emphatic knee high overhead kick found its way past Mark Oxley and into the Oldham goal. Pressing on, Coventry searched for a winner and went close with both Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson both testing Oxley as the game neared the final whistle. An end ­to­ end spectacle, it was Athletic who had the better chances to snatch a victory despite Coventry’s constant pressure. Petrasso again forced a late save out of Murphy before Clarke-­Harris and Rooney had headers saved by Murphy yet again. The draw extended Latics’ impressive away form, with Lee Johnson’s men losing just once in their last nine away games in all competitions. A win against Shrewsbury on New Years Day will now be more important than ever, as Latics look to steer clear of the drop zone.

Full-time: Coventry City 1, Latics 1.

Attendance: 3347 including 524 Latics supporters.

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