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Match Reports

Oldham Athletic v Bristol City

8 February 2014

Latics held by Robins

Latics stuttered to a home draw against an unadventurous Bristol City side that were happy to sit back and hit the home side on the break throughout. Danny Philliskirk's first half opener being cancelled out before the break by Aden Flint after which the visitors appeared happy to leave Boundary Park without losing. 

Latics manager Lee Johnson said after the game: "It was a great strike from Danny to give us the early lead, but we never really looked as threatening as we have done of late. 

"I'm not too disappointed with a draw from another game played in dreadful conditions, I was a bit disappointed with the goal we conceded, but I do think that earlier in the season we could have lost that game".

Johnson had named on-loan striker Jon Stead in the starting line-up to face his old club but it was his strike partner who took the early headlines with a superb opening goal for Latics.

After a fairly tentative opening to the match from both sides, Latics opened the scoring on 4 minutes through Danny Philliskirk.

GOAL 1-0:  Philliskirk, latching onto a loose ball 30 yards out, took a couple of strides forward before launching an unstoppable effort beyond Simon Moore in the City goal.

The Robins earned the first corner of the game in their first real attack, James Wilson heading Wes Burns cross behind. From the resultant corner kick, the scores were level.

GOAL 1-1: Latics defence failed to clear the first ball in and central defender Aden Flint was on hand to head home past Mark Oxley to bring his side level.

The goal appeared to knock the confidence in Johnson's side as they concentrated on keeping the ball rather than push forward. City happy to let Latics keep the ball, without looking to attack themselves.

A swift counter from the visitors almost caught Latics rearguard out on 24 minutes, Sam Baldock's effort bouncing wide after neat play from Bobby Reid.

Latics launched a counter of their own three minutes later, David Worrall's deep cross headed wide by Stead, after good play from skipper Korey Smith in the middle of the park.

There was a hold up in play soon after as a stretcher was needed to take Robins' Marvin Elliott off the field. The stricken midfielder replaced by Wade Elliott after he appeared to land awkwardly following an aerial challenge with James Wesolowski.

Latics were looking for a penalty on 32 minutes after Smith's deep free kick appeared to be handled in the box by Derrick Williams, referee Deadman waving away appeals.

City were on the back foot again on 36 minutes as Gary Harkins header, from another Worrall cross, was cleared by goal scorer Flint.  

Oxley was on his guard twice in quick succession on 38 minutes, firstly to punch clear from a City corner, then to save smartly to his right, tipping away an effort from Tyrone Barnett for another corner kick to the visitors.

Reid wasted a chance to put his side ahead on 42 minutes, Barnett chasing a long ball whilst Latics waited for an offside flag, his cross blazed over by his team mate. James Wilson then being booked on his home debut for bringing down Sam Baldock.

Latics centre half Adam Lockwood somehow missed a chance to put Latics back in front from two yards as the half time whistle approached. The big defender heading wide after a superb piece of play from Harkins had created the opening.

HT: Latics 1 (Philliskirk) Bristol City 1 

The opening five minutes of the second half saw both sides unable to put a string of passes together, the wind, which was  absolutely howling around Boundary Park, not helping either team.

Stead came close to opening his account for Latics on 54 minutes, his free kick flashing just wide. Adam El-Abd booked for the a foul in the build-up. Stead joining him minutes later for a late challenge on Flint.

Burns came close to putting his side in front on the hour mark, his effort flashing wide after Latics had failed to clear a ball in from the left after a swift counter.

Another piece of skill from Harkins brought the Chaddy End to their feet on 62 minutes, his fine turn and shot beating Moore, but unfortunately the far post too.

David Mellor, who had replaced Wesolowski moments earlier, announced his arrival with a pile-driver that whistled over the bar on 64 minutes.

Philliskirk came close to notching his second goal of the day on 68 minutes, his header well saved by Moore, after Harkins had tricked his way into the box before finding Philliskirk at the far post with a deft ball in.  

Connor Brown became the latest to find his way into referee Deadman's book for a trip on Baldock, City wasting the chance to score from the resultant free kick. Elliott then shooting wide when well placed.

Latics again appealed in vain for a penalty on 83 minutes, Philliskirk looking to have beaten Moore to the ball in the area before going down under the keepers challenge. Charlie MacDonald replacing the tiring Stead a minute later.

Wilson had a chance to put one over his former club in added time, the centre half, up for the last corner of the game, blazing hopelessly wide.

Johnson added afterwards: "I think that overall a draw was a fair result in difficult conditions, but if we are to have serious ambitions we need to do more in terms of movement and quality in the final third".

"The new defensive partnership will grow, Adam Lockwood and James Wilson have only played together twice but they are doing well. Lockwood has the experience whilst Wilson is really good at sweeping up".

Central defender Lockwood added:

"We are a bit disappointed to only take a draw, albeit in difficult conditions. We would have taken four points from the two games against Swindon and Bristol beforehand, but we felt that today we didn't quite get going.

"The good thing is we are growing as a team each week and we have some real quality in this squad, I am looking forward to playing more games and helping the young squad achieve their ambitions alongside the other older heads in Gary Harkins and Jon Stead"

FT: Latics 1 (Philliskirk) Bristol City 1

Latics: Oxley, Brown, Grounds, Wilson, Lockwood, Wesolowski (Mellor), Smith, Worrall (Clarke-Harris), Harkins, Philliskirk, Stead (MacDonald).

Unused subs: Rachubka, Kusunga, Dayton, Kissock. 

ATT:  3,822 (292)

Latics STATS:
Possession - 51%
Shots on Target - 2 
Shots off target - 7
Corners - 5
Fouls - 8
Bookings - 2 (Wilson, Stead, Brown) 

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