Latics woes continue

Written by Gary Skinner

Oldham Athletics dismal start to the season continued at Valley Parade on Saturday where they slumped to a crushing 3-0 defeat against Bradford City.
The Latics went into the game after a somewhat improved performance away at Blackburn in the Carabao Cup in midweek, and kept an unchanged lineup while Bradford were looking for their first win of the season after starting their campaign with two draws.

Latics got off to the worst possible start, conceding after just four minutes. Connor Wood was afforded too much space on the left wing by Zak Mills and his cross evaded the onrushing Clayton Donaldson but Vaughan stole in behind Iacovitti at the far post for a neat finish past Woods  in the Oldham goal.

Following that early setback however it was Oldham who started to play the more attractive football and forcing Bradford onto the back foot. Playing some neat, crisp passing around the midfield and putting the Bradford defence under pressure.

Maouche was unlucky when his 20 yard shot hit the post and the rebound evaded Azankpo, but apart from several corners forced by Latics they could not convert their pressure into goals. On 32 mins a long ball clearance from the Bradford defence found Donaldson in acres of space with Mills apparently playing him onside, advancing into the penalty area he smashed the ball past Woods into the roof of the net to put Bradford two up albeit against the run of play.

A half time scoreline of 2-0 to the home team slightly flattered them although Latics had not mustered many goal scoring opportunities themselves.

The second half however saw Bradford grow in confidence and they at times seemed to out-muscle the Oldham players in key areas of the pitch, something which is becoming a familiar pattern with this Oldham squad.

It came as no surprise when Bradford got their third goal in the 72nd minute. A block tackle on Nepomuceno and an appeal for a foul was waved away by the referee, the ball broke to Donaldson who easily rounded Sefil, Iacovitti was able to push him to the edge of the area but a pass inside found Scannell following up and he struck a fierce shot that gave Woods no chance.

That was game over for Athletic and although there were half chances for both sides after that, it was a comfortable end to the game for Bradford who had dominated much of the second half and thoroughly deserved the win.

It’s back to the drawing board for Laurent Banide and his team, with a quick turnaround at home against Exeter on Tuesday evening. The return from injury of David Wheater looks crucial to bringing some much needed organisation to a struggling defence, and perhaps more reinforcements are needed in midfield where a ‘ball winner’ appears to be sadly lacking at the moment.

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