Johnson builds his defence in 48 hours
OLDHAM manager Lee Johnson claimed his makeshift defence had needed to learn fast after Jonathan Ground’s second-half goal was enough to earn his side victory at Swindon.
The Latics had not won away in the league since November 26 but controlled large parts of the game and thoroughly deserved to take all three points.
Swindon had salt rubbed in their wounds when Troy ArchibaldHenville saw red after collecting his second yellow card of the match.
And Johnson admitted it was impossible to guess his back four had been thrown together in 48 hours.
“We’ve come down to a tough place in tough conditions and I think we’ve won the day tactically, technically and effort wise,” said Johnson.
“We chucked that back four together and we’ve done two days of work on it which is not enough for any defence.
“The two centre halves were both very aggressive and the two centre midfielders in front of them offered them protection and they rarely threatened. Adam Lockwood has been the captain of Doncaster and played many Championship games and James Wilson is one of the best sweepers you’ll see.”
The only real excitement for the home side came when Ryan Harley’s swirling 25-yard effort was well parried by Mark Oxley in the Oldham goal. The Latics started the second half in a similar fashion and Gary Harkins was unlucky to see his effort slide just past the post.
Home keeper Wesley Foderingham produced two fine saves, first from Danny Philliskirk and then from a Jon Stead header, but it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. The impressive Harkins made space on the left and his cross found Stead in the sixyard box. The striker’s effort was blocked but Grounds was there to drive it home from ten yards out.
Swindon’s misery was compounded when substitute ArchibaldHenville was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Robins manager Mark Cooper was disappointed with his side’s display but was adamant they should have been awarded a penalty in the second half.
“There was a blatant pull on Michael Smith in the box,” he said.
“You’re not allowed to get your arms round somebody’s body and stop them getting the ball, that’s a penalty. I feel at the moment the referees we’ve been getting are simply not good enough.
“We haven’t played well at home for a couple of weeks. We have to be patient and wait because it’s a project.”
STAR MAN GARY HARKIN