Latics made it two wins in a week with a comfortable performance over playoff hopefuls Bradford City at Boundary Park.
The game was delayed half an hour but this clearly did not have any effect on Dino Maamria’s men. First-half strikes from Zak Dearnley, Jonny Smith and Mohammed Maouche made it a comfortable afternoon for Latics fans.
Latics were the quickest out of the blocks and the first chance fell their way. A scramble in the box saw the ball fall to Carl Piergianni but his shot didn’t threaten Richard O’Donnell’s goal.
On the 10-minute mark, Oldham got the reward they deserved for the opening minutes. Anthony O’Connor lost his footing and this allowed Zak Dearnley to run through on goal with only the Bantams’ stopper in his way. Dearnley opened up his body and side-footed the ball beyond the oncoming O’Donnell to get his first goal of his second spell at Boundary Park.
The impressive Jonny Smith doubled the hosts lead 10 minutes later. He started and finished a decisive counter-attack. His shot was a characteristically brilliant effort from range. He picked out the far bottom corner from just outside of the box.
Dino Maamria’s side continued to impress and Piergianni had another chance. He did well to get his head to the ball at the back post but his diving header was wide of the mark. Danny Rowe was denied his first goal at Boundary Park by a fine stop by Bradford’s number one, he toyed with the Bantams back four before unleashing a fierce shot that stung the gloves of Richard O’Donnell.
Oldham again came close to increasing their advantage in the 37th minute, Jonny Smith put a dangerous cross into the corridor of uncertainty and Bradford defender Ben Richards-Everton could only head it over the top of his own crossbar.
Clayton Donaldson had a good chance to get Gary Bowyer’s side back into the contest but he flicked his effort wide; not troubling Zeus De La Paz in the Latics goal.
Latics completed a perfect 45 minutes, the ball was flicked into the path of Mohammed Maouche who had a tight angle but still managed to slot the ball through the legs of the oncoming Richard O’Donnell. The only downside of an impressive first half was goalscorer Zak Dearnley having to be replaced due to injury.
Bradford did show signs of improvement in the early stages of the Second half but Wheater and co never looked in any real danger. Latics jumped into life when Christopher Missilou won the ball back in the midfield and he gave the ball to Nepomuceno who tried to slide the ball to Danny Rowe but he over hit the pass and O’Donnell was able to gather.
Jonny Smith continued to torment the Bradford defence and this time he did well to cut inside before testing the Bradford stopper who’s save diverted the ball to Nepomuceno who chose to go for goal rather than to tee up Danny Rowe. His low shot was well saved by O’Donnell. Latics again almost had number four; this time skipper David Wheater beat the keeper with his diving header but there was a Bantam defender on hand to prevent the goal.
Shay McCartan forced a neat save out of De La Paz from a free-kick from range and Richards-Everton had a golden opportunity but he headed the ball over the bar with 20 minutes left on the clock.
In the 73rd minute, Mohammed Maouche nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon. He evaded a plethora of challenges and found himself some room to manage to get a shot off. His effort would have found its way into the corner of the net if it weren’t for an impressive stop by O’Donnell in the Bradford goal.
Bradford were perhaps lucky to end the game will 11, Ben Toner decided that a yellow card was the appropriate punishment for Ben Richards-Everton’s late foul on Maouche with little more than 10 minutes left to play.
Oldham fans will have enjoyed seeing Chris McCann, who recently signed up to an improved deal at Boundary Park, returning from his injury setback and come on for a late cameo.
Latics blew Bradford away in the first half and put in a thoroughly professional performance in the second half ensured back to back wins for the first time since boxing day.
Oldham Athletic 3-0 Bradford City.
Attendance: 5198 (1925 away).
Oldham Athletic: De La Paz, Nepomuceno (Mills, 60), Missilou (McCann,87), Sylla, Smith, Wheater ©, Piergianni, Hamer, Dearnley (Maouche, 31), Rowe, Borthwick-Jackson
Substitutes: Allen, Mills, Branger-Engone, Maouche, Wilson, N’Guessan, McCann
Bradford City: O’Donnell, P. O’Connor(McCartan, 45), Richards-Everton, A. O’Connor, Reeves (Mottley-Henry, 45), Donaldson ©, Connolly, Henley, Wood, Cooke, Taylor
Substitutes: McGee, Pritchard, McCartan, French, Gibson, Akpan, Mottley-Henry
Referee: Ben Toner