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SEASON REVIEW: March 2015

5 June 2015

We take a look back at Oldham Athletic's 2014/15 Sky Bet League One campaign in our season review feature.

After losing Lee Johnson and Tommy Wright to Barnsley, Dean Holden was tasked with dealing with first team duties.

Latics entered the month on the back of a 4-0 home defeat to Preston North End but Holden had the chance to rectify that quickly as they travelled to Port Vale.

The Valiants were in very good form, not conceding a goal in over 300 minutes of football previously and boasted their best unbeaten run of the season.

However, Latics welcomed back Adam Lockwood after a nine-month absence at a time which was pivotal due to the club's injury crisis. 

He partnered the returning James Wilson in defence whilst Carl Winchester returned to the starting 11 after recovering from a hamstring strain.

It was Mike Jones, however, who was the match winner through a trademark free kick.

The midfielder placed the ball down from 30 yards, curled the ball over the wall and into the back of Chris Neal's goal as Dean Holden picked up his first victory in charge.


Expectation soon followed as Latics travelled south for the clash with Yeovil Town who sat bottom of the Sky Bet League One table.

Carl Winchester gave Latics the lead at the break through a neatly placed finish into the bottom corner after great work from Mike Jones and Jonathan Forte.

However, two second half goals turned the game on its head and the Glovers came away with the victory to take them off the bottom of the table for the time being.


17 days after leaving the club, Lee Johnson and Tommy Wright returned to SportsDirect.com Park, this time in the opposition dugout as Barnsley were the visitors.

It was a very raw and hostile atmosphere as supporters made their frustrations known to Johnson before the game.

On the pitch, Lewin Nyatanga gave the Tykes the lead before a Conor Hourihane doubled their lead in fortuitous circumstances.

As Carl Winchester attempted to clear the ball, it ricocheted off the former Plymouth man into the back of the net.

Mike Jones, who was proving to be in good form, pulled a goal back for Latics before the break as they pushed for a leveller.

Jonathan Forte and Conor Wilkinson went close but Nyatanga grabbed his second of the game to win the game for Lee Johnson's men.


That week, Oldham Athletic supporter Kenny Jones was awarded the Fan of the Month for March after an anonymous nomination. 

Kenny has followed Latics for 55 years and prior to the start of this season had not missed a game for 11 years.
 
At the start of this season Kenny was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he has continued to follow Oldham, home and away, missing just seven games.


A 3-1 defeat to MK Dons followed on Tuesday night and Latics needed a response.

They then faced a trip to Crewe, knowing that victory would stop their slide down the table and put them back within touching distance of the play-off positions.

Joel Coleman was handed his first start for the football club after Jake Kean was ruled out with injury.

The youngster grew into the game and prevented the Railwaymen taking the lead early into the second half as he clawed a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

That save seemed to inspire Athletic and they grabbed the winner with 15 minutes remaining on the clock through a superb team goal.

In a move which consisted of over 10 passes, Mat Sadler, who was making his debut, guided the ball into the path of Conor Wilkinson and he finished comfortably past former stopped Paul Rachubka to win the game for Latics.


Tuesday, March 25. Rochdale brought over 1,000 supporters to SportsDirect.com Park eyeing revenge for the events in November.

Supporters were lifted by the victory over Crewe on the Saturday and hoped for a repeat of that November afternoon.

That was what they got as Latics prevailed 3-0.

Rhys Turner fired the home side into a half time lead, sweeping home the rebound after Mat Sadler's initial effort was saved. 

Dean Holden knew his side needed another goal as Rochdale started to pick up the momentum and after the break, Jonathan Forte grabbed his 15th of the season to double the lead.

Two quickly became three as Turner bagged his second of the game and Latics' third as he danced around the defence to finish into the bottom corner.


After the game, internet sensation Andy Tate made an appearance in the Oldham Athletic dressing room and he delivered a message to the players.


Two clean sheets in two games for goalkeeper Joel Coleman was a massive confidence booster to the youngster and with Anthony Gerrard and Adam Lockwood in front of him, he wanted to continue the strong run of form he was on.

Latics had plenty of chances to take the lead in the game at the Coral Windows Stadium but Conor Wilkinson's effort sailed wide and Mat Sadler's volley was tipped wide.

Late into the second half, Bradford nicked the game with two goals from Billy Clarke as Latics' play-off hopes suffered a blow.


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