A 5-2 away victory over bottom of the league York City extended Oldham Athletic youth team’s winning run to seven games.Brad Kay and Rio Murray put Latics two goals ahead, however York hit back to draw level before the half time break.
Despite their fightback, Jamie Stott put Athletic back ahead early into the second half before goals from Ryan Leonard and Jake Hargreaves rounded off the scoring to complete a comfortable victory.
Speaking about the performance, boss Tony Philliskirk said: “It was a banana skin game really as York are bottom of the league and I’m really surprised to find that because I thought their front three were decent and caused us problems all game.
"We were 2-0 up and comfortable but they got two back before half time and the lads were really disappointed.
"I think the lads expected me to go in and have a go at them at the break but I went the other way and told them to relax.
"I think because we were on a good run and York were bottom of the league, they expected to win and that showed in the first half.
"We lacked composure and were nervy on the ball but our front two of Rio and Brad were a handful all afternoon.
"We just calmed them down at half time because they were panicking in their play and we looked rushed going forward so half time came at a good time for us.
"The lads went back out for the second half with real determination and Stott’s goal settled us down and we went on to get a fourth and fifth to make it a comfortable victory but I don’t think 5-2 was a fair reflection of the game.
“I think we deserved to win but the result flattered us slightly because we had to work very hard for it.”
That result put the young Latics in a good position in their pursuit of the league title, but Philliskirk knows there is a long way to go yet.
“We’re now four points off the top of the league with two games in hand and all the top teams to play away from home so if we win all our games, we’ll win the league,” he said.
"It’s a massive ask but when we won the Youth Alliance Cup last season, we had a run in the league similar to the one we are on now.
"We finished the season strongly, despite not getting off to the best start and that seems to be the case again this season.
"Another reason could be because we have integrated our under 16s all season, whereas other clubs are only just starting to do so.
“Some of our under 16 players have played 15 or 16 games already this season so our players are now used to the standard of the league.
"That tells me that our under 16s have developed quicker through putting them into the playing environment this season.
"If we went on to win the league, it would be an amazing achievement to say we were third from bottom a couple of weeks ago.
"I wouldn’t put it past this group because they have great spirit and work very hard. If they do go on and win the league, they deserve it.”
The youth team face Hartlepool on Saturday, March 26, 12noon kick off at Chapel Road for supporters not travelling to Burton Albion on Saturday.