The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Simon Smed­ley

SUCH are the ex­tremely high stan­dards Bris­tol City have set in League One so far this term, it says a lot when manager Steve Cot­ter­ill spoke of his dis­ap­point­ment af­ter only drawing at im­prov­ing Old­ham.

The Robins con­tinue to fly high at the ta­ble’s sum­mit, still eight points clear of sec­ond-placed Pre­ston, but Cot­ter­ill was clearly not sat­is­fied af­ter his side had been pegged back by a won­der strike from Carl Winch­ester at Bound­ary Park.

Cot­ter­ill’s mood was not helped by a wor­ry­ing in­jury to mid­fielder Mark Lit­tle, who went to the Royal Old­ham Hos­pi­tal with a dis­lo­cated shoul­der, but he felt his side ought to have gone on to take max­i­mum points.

Cot­ter­ill, whose team ex­tended their un­beaten run to nine games, said: “I didn’t think it was a good game, nei­ther side played par­tic­u­larly well.

“Maybe in the sec­ond half we should have gone on to se­cure the win, but when you miss chances like we did, this is what hap­pens.

“Those missed op­por­tu­ni­ties have cost us dearly here, and we’ve got to do a bit bet­ter in front of goal.

“The pitch was poor, though hav­ing said that it was a bob­bly sur­face for both teams. It’s no ex­cuse.

“I was dis­ap­pointed with the Old­ham goal. Frank Field­ing has made a cou­ple of good saves to­wards the end, but he didn’t do as well with the goal.

“It’s just not been a great day all round. I’m wor­ried about Mark Lit­tle be­cause it looked a bad one. They couldn’t get his shoul­der back in.”

The third tier’s run­away lead­ers bossed a goal­less first pe­riod and cre­ated the bulk of the chances.

Luke Free­man was in­spi­ra­tional in the mid­dle of the park and he zipped an ef­fort inches wide early on.

Vet­eran striker Aaron Wil­bra­ham then nod­ded Korey Smith’s pin­point cross a whisker past the post.

Old­ham’s best ef­fort came from mid­fielder Mike Jones, whose piledriver was su­perbly beaten away by Frank Field­ing.

An ex­pertly-worked goal fired the Robins in front with 20 min­utes left. Free­man even­tu­ally cut the ball back for Wil­bra­ham to poach his 18th goal of the sea­son.

How­ever, Old­ham replied four min­utes later when Ir­ish young­ster Winch­ester smashed home from 30 yards.

Old­ham boss Dean Holden said: “I thought we de­served to win. That was a re­ally pleas­ing per­for­mance from my lads against a top team who are go­ing to win this di­vi­sion with ease.

“They will do well in the Cham­pi­onship too.

“Carl’s struck a great goal, though I wasn’t sur­prised by it. He’s got that in his locker and it was a ter­rific strike.

“We can all take a lot of con­fi­dence from this per­for­mance. “We can go to Craw­ley on Mon­day bullish now. That’s a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge, but we’ve shown lately that we'll be more than ready for it.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

LAT­ICS LEV­ELLER: Old­ham’s Carl Winch­ester scores to res­cue a point

WILLED IN: Robins striker Aaron Wil­bra­ham cel­e­brates

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