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League One

Johnson hails battling Latics

1 December 2013

Oldham manager Lee Johnson praised his side's battling qualities after watching them hit back to claim a 1-1 home draw against Bradford.

Nahki Wells fired the visitors ahead with his 14th goal of the season but Jonson Clarke-Harris quickly blasted a superb equaliser which stretched Oldham's unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.

Johnson said: "It was a good game all round, what you'd call a real man's game, and it's pleasing that our group of players came through that.

"I was disappointed with the goal we conceded, especially as I thought there was a handball in the build-up, but we showed good character to come back.

"It was always going to be a difficult game, but the longer it went on the more we dominated with our own style of football.

"We played some good stuff. We concentrated at the back and our two in midfield (James Wesolowski and Korey Smith) were excellent all game.

"With the work we are doing and with the effort everyone is putting in, we are only going to get better.

"We didn't start the season great but we look solid at the moment and earlier in the season we might have lost that game.

"I'm chuffed for the lads but we must continue this run for as long as we can."

Bradford almost broke through when Wells hit a post from close range and the follow-up shot from Gary Jones was well saved by Oldham goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

But Wells made no mistake after 21 minutes, slamming home from six yards after a run and cross by Garry Thompson.

Bradford's lead lasted only two minutes, however, with Clarke-Harris collecting Wesolowski's throughball and hitting an unstoppable drive from 15 yards.

There were few chances in a hard-fought second half, but Bradford were furious to see Kyel Reid booked for diving when they felt he was brought down inside Oldham's penalty area.

Victory for the Bantams would have moved them back into the play-off places and boss Phil Parkinson was unhappy with the match officials.

He said: "We'll take the point because Oldham are a good side who are playing really well, but we should have had at least one penalty.

"Kyel Reid is convinced he was brought down twice, but he got booked for diving when that's something he doesn't do.

"There was another foul on Nahki Wells that I thought was a certain penalty, so it's very frustrating we didn't get any of them.

"The positive is that we played an Oldham side who are full of confidence and we acquitted ourselves well in a fiercely contested derby.

"We started well and got our goal, but in the next period of the first half I thought we switched off slightly.

"We were looking dangerous and we might have scored a second, so it's frustrating that there was a loss of concentration which led to Oldham's goal.

"We were disappointed not to beat Notts County at home the other night, but overall it's five points from three games and that isn't a bad return."


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