WINCHESTER IS A LATICS HERO
LEE Johnson watched Carl Winchester turn in a man-of-the-match performance for Oldham Athletic – and then challenged the Northern Irish winger to do it more often.
Winchester settled a tight contest six minutes from time, charging 25 yards upfield with the ball, dodging a couple of tackles before rolling a shot into the far corner.
It moved the Latics into the top six – and furthers their dream of a return to the Championship.
And in Winchester they potentially have a Premier League player, according to his boss.
“We know he’s got it. He was superb throughout – nice and controlled on the ball,” said Johnson.
“I had a long discussion with him – and a couple of the other lads – about how he good he is.
“What he needs to do it get to the level of consistency where he’s getting eight or nine out of ten for three or four games.
“Athletically and mentally he hit the heights he can. If we can keep that mindset, it’s almost like signing a Premier League player.”
“I’d probably say it was my favourite performance of the season.
“After Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Barnsley we had a bit of soulsearching but we responded and could have maybe won by a couple more. As a manager, I’m really pleased for the players because they needed that.”
A first-half devoid of quality struggled to produce much in the way of chances.
Scunthorpe’s Tom Hopper glanced a header wide from Jordan Clarke’s outswinging cross in the 24th minute while at the other end, defender James Wilson somehow blazed wide fro m the edge of the six-yard box as he raced in to meet George Elokobi’s header back across goal.
The second half was more of a spectacle, but efforts on goal were again few and far between.
The Iron’s Luke Daniels was the busier of the two goalkeepers and after racing off his line to deny Conor Wilkinson, Daniels did well to hold on to an effort from Jonathan Forte after he robbed Andrew Boyce of the ball and charged into the box.
Just when the contest looked to be heading for a goalless draw, Winchester struck the decisive blow, a goal United manager Mark Robins felt was harsh on his team.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose it, a more than fair result would’ve been a draw,” he groaned. “I’m not wrapping anything up, or candy-coating anything, it was a poor game. But it looked like it was going to finish 0-0 until we shot ourselves in our foot.
“There wasn’t enough quality in it. The substitutions gave us a little bit more quality, but not enough.
“There’s very few times I’ve said our performance wasn’t good enough, but you’ve also got to credit Oldham. We kept giving the ball away and we weren’t good enough to break them down. “There’s plenty of food for thought, but the good thing for us is there are games coming thick and fast now.”
DELIGHT: Oldham players celebrate after Carl Winchester scores the winning goal
WINNER: Carl Winchester slots home the late goal for Oldham