Latics continue their immense upturn in form as John Sheridan’s outfit secure an impressive three points on home turf against Bradford City.
Hallam Hope and Davis Keillor-Dunn fired their side into a well-earned lead before the interval which highlighted the spirit within the squad at the moment.
In the second-half, Paudie O’Connor – wearing the armband – was shown a red card after an altercation with Hope, and then, Tom Elliott’s late goal was chalked off for a foul on Danny Rogers, epitomising the Bantams’ display as Oldham make it five unbeaten.
Shez named two changes to his side as Bradford turned up at Boundary Park in search of an elusive victory. Following a frantic encounter against Newport County, Hallam Hope and Jack Stobbs entered the line-up in front of a bumper crowd for the Roses rivalry as they replaced Dylan Bahamboula (suspension) and Junior Luamba (injury).
Prior to the commencement of the fixture, The Athleticos unveiled a brand new tifo across the Jimmy Frizzell Stand which was a truly stunning sight, and one that embodies the passion amongst the fanbase as they constantly perform as our 12th man.
After the dismissal of Derek Adams in midweek, the Citizens were aiming to rebuild their confidence on the pitch under the caretaker helm of Mark Trueman and they initially started brightly as they had the first chance of the game.
Alex Gilliead raced down the right-hand side before clipping a cross towards Nathan Delfouneso at the back post, however, the former Aston Villa man steered his header over the crossbar, and then, illustrated a frustrated facial expression.
In the 19th minute, the hosts found themselves a much-deserved opening goal through Hope. Adams delivered a pinpoint cross to the frontman and he expertly glance his header into the far corner of the goal to impress the gaffer in his first game back in the team.
As emotions remained high, Latics frantically doubled their advantage to the joy of the faithful in the bitterly cold terraces. Keillor-Dunn made it four goals in three games for himself as he coolly directed his header past Alex Bass from close range in front of the away contingent.
Andy Cook, a physical presence alongside intelligent movement, managed to barge his way through on goal, however, the target-man fizzed his low effort straight at Rogers from an acute angle – meaning that the ‘boys in blue’ would head into the interval with a commanding lead.
Following the introduction of Elliott from the bench, the Bantams deployed a lot more long balls in order to ask questions of the Oldham backline. The route one tactic was exemplified as they lofted the ball into the box and Yann Songo’o flicked into the path of O’Connor, however, the captain’s overhead-kick sailed over the crossbar.
With the Paraders applying pressure on Latics, O’Connor severely let his teammates down as he received a needless red card following a tussle against Hope in the 72nd minute with the latter shown a yellow card. The dismal halted the momentum of the visitors with the frustration vocalised by the Citizens supporters.
Latics went in search of a third and nearly put Bradford out of sight in the match when Adams sprinted down the right-wing before he delivered a cross onto the head of Stobbs, but the wideman navigated his attempt off target.
In the 82nd minute, the West Yorkshire-side thought that they’d pulled a goal back as Elliott clattered into Rogers, and then, headed into the back of the net, however, the referee spoke to the linesman and the goal was disallowed.
Remarkably, Latics held onto their lead until the final whistle which meant that the Club has beaten the Bantams on their previous four visits to the Ice Station Zebra stemming back to February 2018.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Clarke, McGahey, Piergianni ©, Hart, Keillor-Dunn, Whelan, Missilou (Hunt 89’), Adams, Stobbs (Vaughan 87’), Hope (Obadeyi 79’).
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Fage, Diarra, Couto.
Goals: Hope 19’, Keillor-Dunn 23’
Bradford City XI – Bass (GK), O’Connor ©, Songo’o, Cooke (Elliott 53’), Cook (Robinson 83’), Gilliead, Watt, Staunton (Cousin-Dawson 43’), Sutton, Hendrie, Delfouneso.
Unused Subs: O’Donnell (GK), Kelleher, Evans, Daly.
Red Card: O’Connor 72’
Attendance: 7,716 (1,985 away)
Referee – Anthony Backhouse