Elokobi celebrates birthday in style
AFTER the easiest of victories over Notts County, Oldham boss Lee Johnson praised the volunteers who helped clear the Boundary Park pitch pregame, and who arguably had a tougher job than his Latics side.
A two-goal salvo in the space of two minutes helped Johnson’s charges to a straightforward victory which keeps alive their hopes of a top-six finish.
Birthday-boy George Elokobi scored the opener in the 30th minute and moments later Amari Morgan-Smith extended the lead.
Jonathan Forte wrapped up the win with a fine header in the second to leave Johnson purring.
“It was a solid win, I was really pleased with it,” he said. “There were not too many scary moments for us and I thought the third goal was absolutely superb.
“I haven’t seen it, but in my mind it was excellent and I can’t wait to watch it back.
“It was a tough game because of the conditions and a big shout out to the volunteers who helped clear the pitch of snow because we needed the game. The midfield dominated and I knew eventually we would open them up and we did.
“And I must say I thought our goalkeeper was outstanding. He was very safe and claimed three or four crosses, punched at the right time and caught at the right time – he was very good.”
Notts boss Shaun Derry was far from happy with his side’s defending at a ground where he saved the Magpies from relegation last May.
But there was no triumphant return for the ex-QPR midfielder who saw Elokobi head in Liam Kelly’s cross before Morgan-Smith raced through to slot past Roy Carroll.
The Magpies goalkeeper was in magical form after the break and kept the score to 2-0 with a string of wonderful saves.
But he was eventually beaten when Connor Brown crossed for Forte who couldn’t miss.
It was a second defeat in the space of a week for Notts and Derry said the calamitous two-minute period was decisive.
“The disappointing thing for me is that before those two goals we were just starting to produce some really good passages of play and got into some really good areas,” he said.
“We were starting to make our mark and then we had a crazy couple of minutes when people did not do their jobs.
“At the end of it we were 2-0 down and we never really recovered from it.
“We’ve come to a stage in the season now when I have spoken too often to the press about the goals we’ve conceded.
“I sound like a broken record, but we are giving away goals.”
STAR MAN JONAT
HAN FORTE Oldham