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League One

Johnson relieved to edge thriller

4 August 2013

Oldham boss Lee Johnson expressed his desire that the rest of the season does not follow the first game his side won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against Stevenage.

Johnson's troops led 3-1 heading into the final 20 minutes as first James Tarkowski cancelled out Darius Charles' opener for Stevenage and then Jose Baxter and Cristian Montano found the net.

Boro had other ideas, though, and Greg Tansey and Filipe Morais pulled them level with seven minutes remaining, however Baxter had other ideas moments later.

He got lucky with his first spot-kick, converting the rebound after missing, but didn't pass up when presented with a second opportunity after Charles handled in the area.

However, Latics boss Johnson admitted he does not think he will be able to take similar dramas should they arise often throughout the new season.

"That was real heart attack stuff wasn't it? It was incredible really but overall I felt we deserved to take the victory," said Johnson. "I would much rather win 4-0 than 4-3, though.

"We have got a new side here but everyone can see we have got goals in us. I was disappointed with a couple of the goals we conceded.

"Though at the end of the day, we have come away with the three points from a really tough place. We have had a good summer and all the lads have gelled really well.

"We have been exciting in our friendly fixtures and I think the fans have taken to that. There is togetherness there and a spirit.

"It can be a bit scary when you are hanging on like that at the end, but I'm not complaining. All the players have worked so hard and they have got the rewards."

Meanwhile, Stevenage boss Graham Westley has vowed to discount the defeat and act like Boro's season begins on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup against Ipswich.

"It's just been a really miserable day all round for us," said Westley. "We've put the effort in but that's not always enough at League One level.

"We were very much on top in the first half but you've got to try and kill teams off when you're in that situation.

"We got the goal at a great time, then in the second half we just let them come at us and it can't work like that, it really can't.

"Oldham might not have been fancied to do particularly well in the league this season but we have seen from this match that they are going to be a real threat.

"They have brought some good quality in during the summer and they are going to upset a few teams. We have had a good chat and now it is about reacting positively. The games will come thick and fast now."

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