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Match Reports

Swindon Town v Oldham Athletic

1 February 2014

Swindon Town 0 Latics 1

Latics clinched three points at The County Ground thanks to a second half Jonathan Grounds strike on 72 minutes. The defender's goal bringing Latics their first victory away from home since November in a game that Lee Johnson's side had dominated for long periods and thoroughly deserved to win.

The Latics manager saying afterwards: "It was a great win, I thought we played the conditions much better than Swindon. I am an advocate for playing Barcelona type football but at times you can't do that. In the first half we against the wind but they didn't get near our box for the first 20 minutes. I never thought we looked in danger but obviously you are always worried about a ricochet going against you.

"It was a lovely build-up for the goal, Gary Harkins has squared it to Jon Stead who fed Jonathan Grounds to finish it well, it was a lovely feeling to see the ball hit the back of net"

Johnson named three of his new signings in the squad for the game against the Robins, James Wilson starting alongside Adam Lockwood, Jon Stead and JP Kissock making the bench.

A poor touch from Wilson almost created an early opportunity for the home side, his clearance being intercepted by Ryan Harley. James Wesolowski coming to his new team mate's aid as he cleared the danger. 

A superb counter attack from Korey Smith, driving through the home midfield, earned Latics the first corner of the game. The Robins defence dealing with the resultant corner comfortably.  

Neat play on 9 minutes from the recalled Danny Philliskirk and Gary Harkins created the first goal scoring chance of the game, David Worrall failing to connect with Harkins' cross in the six yard box.

The Robins wasting their chance to put pressure on Latics new defensive partnership on 12 minutes, as Harley's free kick was too deep. The midfielder's next effort a minute later was much better as his direct free kick forced Mark Oxley into a smart save to his right.

The home side's first corner kick of the game, on 15 minutes created confusion in the Latics six yard box before Lockwood and Wesolowski cleared the danger between them.

Jonson Clarke-Harris looked to have been barged off the ball in the area on 19 minutes, the big striker bursting onto Philliskirk's neat pass. Referee Robinson waving away his appeals.

Playing against a strong wind Latics were definitely on the front foot, Wesolowski trying his luck with a long range effort which cleared the bar on 21 minutes.

After soaking up a spell of pressure, the home side created an opportunity on 25 minutes, Nathan Byrne racing away on the counter attack. Jonathan Grounds doing well to get back to block the cross.

Oxley was back in action on 28 minutes, racing to the edge of his box to head clear Wesolowski's wayward back pass. The Robins having broken swiftly from a Latics corner.

Grounds again blocked a chance a minute later after Harley's free kick hadn't been cleared at the first attempt. 

Latics were denied a clear penalty on 31 minutes as Philliskirk was pushed over in the area as he raced onto Smith's delightful ball in behind the defence. Referee Robinson again giving nothing. 

Michael Smith became the first player into the referee's book on 34 minutes, punished for a wild lunge on Philliskirk.

Latics continued to push forward at every opportunity, David Worrall testing Wesley Foderingham with the keeper collecting the Latics winger's cross under pressure from Clarke-Harris.

Latics survived a penalty shout themselves on 43 minutes as Grounds was punished for bringing down Byrne. Referee Robinson giving a free kick on the edge of the box, much to Grounds relief. Darren Ward heading wide from Harley's free kick.

HT: Swindon Town 0 Latics 0 

Home skipper Ward was replaced for the start of the second, Troy Archibald-Henville his replacement. The central defender quickly into action as he headed back to his keeper under pressure from Clarke-Harris.

Grounds wasted an early chance to put Foderingham under pressure, his free kick from wide of the area too high and wide. Harkins then shooting just wide after the Robins failed to clear their lines.

The home supporters were again asking for a penalty on 55 minutes after Wesolowski and George Barker came together in the Latics box, again no foul being given.

Swindon made their second substitution on 58 minutes, popular striker Nile Ranger replacing Barker, with Raphael Rossi-Branco the second home player to go in referee Robinson's book after a challenge on behind on Worrall.

Stead became the second player to make his Latics debut during the game, entering the fray on 63 minutes to replace Clarke-Harris.

A quick counter from Latics almost brought the opening goal, Foderingham diving to his left to keep out a smart shot from Philliskirk on 65 minutes.

Substitute Archibald-Henville was lucky to remain on the pitch three minutes later, receiving only a yellow card after he had completely flattened Grounds.

Stead almost opened his Latics account a minute later, his deft header superbly tipped away by Foderingham for another corner to the visitors.

GOAL: 1-0 to Latics

The goal that Latics had threatened for so long finally arrived as Grounds blasted a loose ball into the bottom corner of the Robins goal to give his side the lead on 72 minutes. The goal coming after a superb flowing move involving several players, Harkins delivering the final ball in, which the home side failed to clear.

The goal stung the Robins into action. A neat move down the right ending with Byrne firing wide when well placed.

Philliskirk came within inches of doubling Latics lead on 79 minutes, his chipped effort from 30 yards beating Foderingham but skimming the bar to land on the top of the net.

Kissock became the third player to make his Latics debut as he replaced the tiring Worrall, who had also collected an earlier booking for a trip.

Archibald-Henville collected his second booking on 90 minutes, his late challenge on Wesolowski ending an eventful half for the big defender.

Kissock blocked a cross to give the home side their first corner of the half in added time. Lockwood clearing the ensuing kick.

Johnson was full of praise for his side, especially his new defensive pairing: "I thought James Wilson and Adam Lockwood were superb today, we have had to throw together a centre half pairing and it's great that they have come in and played so well. Wilson is a good player who has been unloved for a while, you don't get to play over 30 Championship games and become an international if you aren't a good player".

Wilson adding: "It was a good result today so it has been a really good start for me. I have had a couple of injuries which have interrupted my career but have played a few games this season so I was ready for the game today. The hardest part was trying to remember all the lads names having only met them yesterday, although I played with the gaffer and Jon Stead at Bristol City so I did know a couple of faces".

FT: Swindon Town 0 Latics 1

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

Unused subs: Rachubka, Mellor, Rodgers, Dayton, Millar.

ATT: 7,391 (198)

Latics STATS:

Possession - 53%
Shots on Target - 6  
Shots off target - 3
Corners - 6
Fouls - 14
Bookings -  Worrall 

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