Cole ends Bantams’ wait at Oldham
PHIL Parkinson credited mental strength for Bradford’s first win at Oldham in 18 years – though the Bantams boss admits it could have been more comfortable.
Devante Cole collected Billy Knott’s precise through ball to score the winner from an acute angle after Reece Burke had popped up to put the Bantams in front midway through the first-half.
The visitors were helped by Jonathan Forte’s sending off when he feigned a head butt in front of referee Mark Heywood.
But Bradford had to weather a late Latics storm after Joe Mills pulled one back for Darren Kelly’s men in a nervy finish.
“I thought we played terifically well,” Parkinson said.“We controlled the game for long periods and we should probably have scored four or five.
“We should have had the game dead and buried before Oldham scored a late goal, but they had to throw caution to the wind at that point having been put down to ten men.
“We haven’t won here since 1997 and the reason for that is to win here requires a certain mentality, but we were positive in our play and we closed people down. Some of our football was fantastic and we never let any complacency into our play.”
Josh Morris’ early freekick was clawed around the post by Oldham goalkeeper Joel Coleman, but the Bantams fared better in the 21st minute when Mark Marshall steered the ball to Burke who found the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
Forte made Oldham’s afternoon more difficult when he saw red for violent conduct 33 minutes in and Bradford sensed a second goal when Knott’s 25-yard strike shaved the post soon after.
James Hanson saw two headers saved from close range by Coleman just before half-time.
City’s Ben Williams was also in action when he saved Mark Yeates’ goalbound free-kick on the hour. However, Knott’s incisive through ball saw Cole provide a clinical finish and double Bradford’s lead a few minutes later.
Coleman got fingertips to a low Morris strike as the visitors pushed for a third goal on 76 minutes, but Mills did set up a tense finale when he headed home from Yeates’ cross nine minutes from time.
Oldham boss Darren Kelly said: “We have lost three points.You have to be winning your home games and it is difficult to swallow.
“When you go down to ten men it is always difficult and you have to adjust to play the majority of the game with ten players.
“We have to start games better and be on the front foot from the first whistle.
“We need to reflect on this in terms of what we do and what we want to achieve. There were times when we looked a threat, but the only thing that matters is the result.”
STAR MAN REECE BURKE Bradfo