Lee hails hurricane saviour for Latics
THERE was a storm brewing at Oldham before a “hurricane” performance, as promised, by Jonson Clarke-Harris helped the Latics steer further clear of the drop zone with victory over Bradford.
Two goals from ClarkeHarris laid the platform for a vital win, which keeps them well in the mix to avoid relegation.
And boss Lee Johnson was delighted for his striker, who bagged his first goals since December.
“It was important we were clinical, we’ve gone through a few games where we’ve had better chances than that and not finished them off,” Johnson said.
“I was pleased for Jonson, because he said he was going to be a hurricane out there for us – and I was thrilled he got the two goals.
“We controlled it and felt comfortable throughout; obviously it's never totally comfortable but I think we sent our travelling support home really happy.”
With Oldham just four points above the relegation zone at the start of play, the win was vital in their attempts to stay in League One.
And they got the lead their early play deserved after 22 minutes; a great nod down from ClarkeHarris enabled James Wesolowski to smash home from six yards, and put the visitors in front.
However, the home side got back into it after 35 minutes. After winning the ball in midfield with a superb tackle, Matty Dolan provided a fine through ball for Adam Reach, who had the composure to round Paul Rachubka and slot home.
Two goals from that man Clarke-Harris either side of half-time put the Latics firmly in control though, the first thundered home after good work from Gary Harkins and the second a stunning finish after being put clear by Jonathan Grounds. They managed to see the rest of the game out trouble-free until the 94th minute, when Bradford skipper Gary Jones bagged a consolation with a low shot from the edge of the area.
The performance left Bradford boss Phil Parkinson ruing a missed opportunity to all but confirm their League One status – the Bantams are still hovering on 49 points with five games left.
“This was a chance to put it to bed, but we didn’t take it. But I’ve got to look at myself, because I’ve asked the same team to go again for the third time in seven days,” Parkinson said.
“It’s in our own hands, but it was a chance to move towards finishing in the top half, but we didn’t give ourselves a chance with the way we played unfortunately.”
STAR MAN GARY HARKIN