Davis Keillor-Dunn and Alfie McCalmont score their first goals for the club as Latics make it three wins out of three in the Papa John’s Trophy group stage.
It was a special evening for second-year scholar Will Sutton who was handed his professional debut in the backline at the Utilita Energy Stadium. New signing Raphael Diarra also came straight into the side with Sido Jombati, Tom Hamer, Keillor-Dunn, Callum Whelan and George Blackwood also making a return.
Before kick-off, both sides showed their respect observing a one-minute silence ahead of Remembrance Day tomorrow.
Harry Kewell’s dominated the opening encounter and got their rewards in the seventh minute as the in-form Rowe had the vision and the passing ability to send Keillor-Dunn through on goal and the midfielder kept his composure to slot into the bottom right corner to get off the mark at the club.
The Bantams started to get a foothold in the clash and tested Ian Lawlor when a free-kick was cleared to Finn Cousin-Dawson on the edge of the 18-yard box and he managed to strike low and hard through a sea of bodies, but the Latics number one got his foot to the effort which was enough to keep the youngster out.
The visitors continued to show promise and produced an impressive piece of play down the left which resulted in Jombati lobbing a ball over the Bradford backline to Blackwood and the Australian hit it first time on the volley but dragged it wide of the far post.
Whelan should’ve doubled Oldham’s lead late into the first-half as he intercepted a defender on the edge of the area and drove towards goal, beating a man before striking however Sam Hornby did well to get a strong hand to it.
The last chance before the interval fell to Stuart McCall’s men as Paudie O’Connor raced forward from defence and played it out wide to Tyler French, who crossed low into the path of the onrushing Kian Scales, but from an angle, he powerfully struck straight at Lawlor.
Latics raced out of the blocks once again and came close early in the second period when Dylan Bahamboula played a one-two with Hamer and dribbled into space inside the area, but he opted to shoot and blasted into the side-netting instead of passing across goal to Blackwood.
Just moments later, the away side raced forward again which saw Blackwood play Keillor-Dunn one-on-one with Hornby, but he couldn’t double his tally for the game.
However, City had themselves level around the hour-mark as French delivered a trademark powerful cross into the box from the right and, after an impressive performance, Oldham debutant W.Sutton turned into his own net from close range.
They kept their pressure up and nearly took the lead just minutes after equalising as Jackson Longridge’s corner found the head of Cousin-Dawson inside the box and his attempt cannoned off the crossbar with Latics managing to clear the trouble.
With five minutes left of normal time, Oldham found themselves a deserved goal as Alfie McCalmont was played through into the box and the promising midfielder poked a strike into the top right corner which meant that Latics closed in on their third win in three group stage games.
The game was sealed in the 93rd minute as Keillor-Dunn picked out the onrushing McCalmont inside the box and he confidently side-footed into the far corner to secure the same outcome that Latics had here in the same competition in October 2018.
Bradford City XI – Hornby (GK), Longridge, O’Connor (Staunton 46’), Richards-Everton ©, French, L.Sutton (Sukiennicki 80’), Cousin-Dawson, Sikora, Scales, Shanks (Wood 80’), Mottley-Henry.
Subs – O’Donnell (GK).
Goals: W.Sutton (OG) 60’
Oldham Athletic XI – Lawlor (GK), Jombati, W.Sutton, Diarra (Jameson 72’), Hamer ©, Keillor-Dunn, McCalmont, Whelan, Bahamboula (Da Silva 61’), Rowe, Blackwood (Garrity 72’).
Subs – Chapman (GK), Grant, Fage, Hough.
Goals: Keillor-Dunn 7’, McCalmont 85’ 90+3’
Referee – Scott Oldham