Oldham Athletic 1 Bradford City 1
The Bantams produced a solid display to take a hard fought point back across to West Yorkshire having more than matched their in-form hosts. Nahki Wells continued his eye-catching goalscoring record with his 13th league goal of the season in the 21st minute but City’s lead didn’t last long as former Peterborough youngster Jonson Clarke-Harris fired Oldham level with an impressive strike 2 minutes later.
Garry Thompson came inches away from giving City a 2nd minute lead when he latched invitingly onto Nahki Wells’ cutback to fire a low shot wide of the target from just inside the 18 yard box, perhaps should’ve scored.
Oldham were looking more dangerous on the counter attack despite being the home side and it was City who were creating more chances in the early stages. Wells latched onto James Hanson’s knock down only to see his half volley come back off the crossbar and then Gary Jones saw a deflected shot tipped acrobatically over the bar by Mark Oxley.
Jonson Clarke-Harris was looking a dangerous player going forward with the ball at his feet and after being played in behind the last line of defence he was expertly denied in a one on one situation by Jon McLaughlin who saved low at this feet.
A minute later, City took the lead. Thompson beat the offside trap out wide and produced a low cross into the area that was hammered into the roof of the net emphatically from close range by Wells who sent the near 3,000 travelling supporters into sheer ecstasy.
The joy was short-lived however, as the hosts soon equalised. James Wesolowski’s pass picked out Clarke-Harris out wide and he made no mistake lashing a fierce angled shot past McLaughlin from just inside the area.
City thought they had a nailed on penalty just before the break; Kyel Reid skipped past Matteo Lanzoni and then past James Tarkowski but a trailing leg seemed to bring Reid to the ground but referee Mr D Webb waved play on much to the winger’s frustration.
Oldham started the second half positively and Tarkowski almost headed his side ahead but his powerful attempt from James Dayton’s corner went wide of the target.
Korey Smith then tried his luck with a shot after Sidney Schmeltz had pulled the ball back to him but his dipping shot from just outside the area went a yard or so over the bar.
The hosts were pushing for the winning goal late on and after Wesolowski’s drive deflected into the path of Clarke-Harris he tried a replica of his earlier goal but this time he fired his shot comfortably over the bar.
Substitute Michael Petrasso caused all sorts of problems with his electric pace but when he did manage to cut inside from the right hand side and try a shot his rising, angled shot went over the bar.
City had soaked a lot of pressure in the closing stages but still looked like they may nick the winner on the counter attack and after Reid had surged forward down the left hand side his cross-shot was nervously clawed away by Mark Oxley but nobody was there to capitalise on the loose ball as Oldham managed to clear their lines.
A point wasn’t enough to put the Bantams back into the play-off places but on the face of it a point was a respectable one considering the impressive recent form of their resurgent hosts.