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Work still in progress

15 July 2013

Overall it was satisfactory - Lee Johnson


Manager Lee Johnson described it as work still in progress after Latics' 2-0 win at non-league Curzon Ashton in their second pre-season friendly.

Dutchman Sidney Schmeltz’s strike and an own goal gave Latics victory following a performance which showed the occasional spark.

"Overall it was satisfactory, but there are still things to work on and improve, but I thought we did well against a decent Curzon Ashton side which had a lot of the ball so it was a good workout for us," said Johnson.

Looking at the bigger picture, Latics' manager was pleased explaining this was the first 90 minutes of action for some players coming on the back of an intense 10 days of training.

Johnson played arguably his strongest available line up as new loan keeper Mark Oxley was handed his debut and James Wesolowski was back in action after missing the Dinamo Bucharest friendly through injury.

If Latics' manager was looking for a spark to break the deadlock, it came from an unlikely source, central defender James Tarkowski.

The centre-back strode forward out of defence and made a mesmerising run down the left from his own half before cutting into the box and squaring he ball to Schmeltz to sweep high into an empty net.

Latics doubled their advantage late in the opening half when James Dayton fired over a dangerous ball from the right and left-back Connor Hampson, under pressure from Charlie MacDonald, turned the ball past his own keeper.

And in stoppage time there was so nearly a third goal when Korey Smith, made captain for the night, fired against an upright and Tarkowski, following up, crashed a shot against the crossbar.

There was a triple substitution shortly after the hour when Jose Baxter, MacDonald and Schmeltz made way for Adam Rooney, Kirk Millar and a pony-tailed trialist striker.

Later another trialist and David Mellor made appearances with the pony-tailed wide attacker twice going close.

First he latched on to a wayward back pass from Simon Lakeland only for keeper Callum Tongue to save well.

Then he fired in a fierce shot which struck the underside of the bar and somehow stayed out as Latics could conceivably have scored four or five goals without ever hitting top gear.

Latics (4-4-1-1): Oxley; Brown (Trialist 71), Byrne, Tarkowski, Grounds; Schmeltz (Rooney 62), Wesolowski, Smith (Mellor 80), Dayton; Baxter (Millar 62); MacDonald (Trialist 62). Sub (not used): Simpson.



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