John­son builds his de­fence in 48 hours

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By David Tay­lor To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

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

S Old­ham

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