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SEASON REVIEW: November 2014

29 May 2015

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

Latics were on a high going into the month after two months unbeaten in the league but faced their toughest test of the season at the start of November as they travelled to top of the table, Bristol City.

Supporters sold their allocated tickets and the stadium was near enough sold out, making it a superb atmosphere.

Bristol City had yet to lose in the league and there was a confidence amongst Latics fans that they could get a result from the game.

A game in which Latics more than matched their opponents, Kieran Agard scored the only goal of the game through a well worked free kick to seal the win for the Robins and end the club's 13 match unbeaten run.

Latics responded in the right way to that defeat as they extracted revenge on Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup.

After the O's beat Athletic 3-1 at Park earlier in the season, Mike Jones' free kick from 25 yards sealed a passage through to the second round of the competition.

After that victory, Latics made some off-field changes and brought in midfielder Daniel Johnson from Aston Villa.

With Paul Murray departing for Hartlepool in October, Lee Johnson recruited Dean Holden to his backroom staff as first team coach.

Johnson's first game for Latics was against Crawley Town at Park and it did not take long for him to make an immediate impact.

Only seven minutes into the game, the midfielder picked up the ball just outsider the box, raced into the area and cooly slotted past the goalkeeper to give Latics the lead.

That lead was pegged back just before the 45 minutes were up as Gwion Edwards rifled home from 25 yards as Latics had to settle for a point.]

Three tough games followed against three of the teams in and around the play-off areas. 

Firstly, Latics travelled to Bramall Lane as Sheffield United were the hosts for the Sky Bet League One clash.

Daniel Johnson's fine start to life at Athletic continued as his inch-perfect through ball found the foot of Jonathan Forte to smash home his 12th of the season and put Latics ahead against his former club.

Latics led at the break but Jamal Campbell-Ryce equalised in the second half, before Jabo Ibehre saw red in the final minutes of the game as the game ended a draw.

Preston North End were the next to visit Park in the quarter final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

After falling behind early in the game through a Scott Laird goal, Latics started the second half positively and Dominic Poleon equalised a minute after the half time break.

Latics were starting to dream of Wembley as Danny Philliskirk put Athletic ahead on the hour mark.

With ten minutes of the game remaining, Tom Clarke struck from inside the six-yard box to send the game to a penalty shootout.

After Danny Philliskirk and Liam Kelly had put Latics 2-1 ahead on penalties, Kevin Davies saw his spot kick saved by Neil Etheridge, but from the next kick, Mike Jones had his saved. 

16 perfect penalties followed until Etheridge stepped up and he skied it well over the bar to dash Latics' hopes of progression through to a Wembley final.

At the end of November, Latics faced neighbours Rochdale in an eagerly anticipated derby clash.

With over 3,000 Latics fans packed into Spotland for the game, it made for an intimidating atmosphere.

Athletic responded the better to the conditions and took the lead before half time courtesy of Daniel Johnson's second goal for the club.

The midfielder saw his initial shot saved by goalkeeper Conrad Logan but he finished at the second attempt to send the supporters into delirium.

It was still all to play for as Rochdale started to put Latics under pressure but Danny Philliskirk was fouled inside the penalty and presented Jonathan Forte a chance to make it 14 for the season from the penalty spot.

He accepted the chance and struck the ball straight down the middle to extend Athletic's lead.

As things were getting heated off the field, Latics upped the intensity and finished the game strongly, making it three with ten minutes remaining through Johnson.

The game finished 3-0 and it took Latics' impressive run to only one defeat in 19 games, placing them in 6th position going into December.

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