Blades blunted by ten-man Latics
OLDHAM boss David Dunn is still searching for his first win in management, but he had no complaints over the way his side battled for a draw despite having to play out the final half-hour with only ten men.
Danny Philliskirk’s early header from a corner was answered by a superb curling finish from Blades man Matt Done in a first half a bright home outfit had the better of.
United responded after the break and after Oldham centre-back Jonathan Burn was dismissed in the 62nd minute for hauling back Billy Sharp, picking up a second booking, Nigel Adkins’ side wasted two great chances to make it three wins in a row.
First Sharp somehow sliced wide from a low centre when it appeared easier to score, then Stefan Scougall hit a post with the whole goal at his mercy.
Still, Dunn felt that a point each was merited, given the overall effort of his men.
“We were great value for money in the first half, when we were outstanding,” said the Oldham manager, who has now drawn five and lost one of his six games in charge.
“All over the pitch, you couldn’t say a bad thing about any one of the players from one to 11.
“We said at half-time that they would come out and step their game up and they did that.
“They had the momentum a little in the second half, but we were resilient and I was proud of our work-rate.
“We take a load of credit from that game, against a really strong Sheffield United side.”
Dunn had few complaints over the decision of referee Kevin Wright to send Burn for an early bath.
“If I am honest, it is a really good lesson for Jonathan Burn,” he added.
“He is a young centre-half who was up against players who are more experienced than him.” With the club’s new North Stand open to supporters for the first time, Oldham started the contest strongly and Dominic Poleon twice tested Mark Howard in the visitors’ goal with efforts on target before the interval.
Done’s bolt from the blue, striking home with his left foot from outside the penalty area, was a rare foray for the Blades who only got into their stride after the break.
Neil Collins saw a shot saved on the line by Oldham goalkeeper David Cornell and Done pulled wide when clean in on goal before the red card changed the game.
While Oldham reorganised to see the game out well in the latter stages, Adkins was left bemoaning his side's wastefulness in front of goal with Sharp and Scougall failing to make golden chances count.
“It is a game we had to win,” he said.
“We gave away a poor goal because of an individual mistake when we didn't mark a player.
“In the second half, we had more than enough chances and I thought we would go and win it with all the space that was opening up for us in the game.
“After their player was sent off, maybe they sat deeper. They deserve credit as they worked really hard.
“But Billy Sharp has had one go across the goal and Stefan Scougall has hit the post.They are chances you have got to take if you are going to win games.
“We came here looking for three points as we need a run and want to get some momentum.”
STAR MAN CARL WINCHESTER