Goals in both halves from Daniel Johnson and a Jonathan Forte penalty saw Oldham Athletic run out 3-0 winners over Rochdale on derby day.
Keith Hill made just one change to the starting eleven from Tuesday night's 2-2 draw away at MK Dons with Matty Lund replacing Andy Cannon in midfield. New loan signing, Tomasz Cywka started the game on the bench, coming on in the 73rd minute.
The game opened at a frantic pace, with the enthusiasm from the stands filtering its way down onto the pitch, leaving both teams struggling to break through the midfield. The first good opportunity eventually fell the way of Dale as Genseric Kusunga's poorly controlled interception sent Jack Muldoon away down the right. His drive across goal seemed to have him caught in two minds between a cross and a shot, and his final ball ran behind the onrushing Henderson and out of play.
Another break down the wing presented another opportunity for Rochdale, as Lund got on the end of Ian Henderson’s cross. After beating several Oldham defenders on the left hand side, Henderson had whipped a low ball across the six yard box, which looped up off a defender’s outstretched leg towards the head of Lund. Having been ready for the low ball, however, Lund couldn't adjust his body quickly enough and miscued his header over the bar.
It was Oldham however who, against the run of play, opened the scoring through Daniel Johnson. The ball was played over the Dale back line by Philliskirk and found the run of Johnson who took a moment to check for an offside flag, which never came. Goalkeeper Conrad Logan did well to stay big when faced one on one with the Oldham forward, who struck the ball into his chest, but after initially being denied, all Johnson had to do was tap in to an unguarded net as the ball fell kindly for him.
Jonathan Forte had the Latics’ next opportunity of the game following a half cleared corner. The clearance made it only as far as the edge of the area and was mopped up by an Oldham man, who played the ball wide to Forte just inside the box. He looked to drive a low, angled shot across goal, but his well struck effort was saved excellently by Logan.
Up the other end and a poorly cleared corner at the other end of the pitch saw Jamie Allen send an effort just wide of the upright. Noble-Lazarus had whipped a ball in from the left corner, which was headed away at full stretch by a defender. He got no power on his clearance, though, and it fell to Allen on the edge of the box who took two touches - one on his right foot to set the ball, followed by a fierce left footed drive looking for the far corner of the net. He was unfortunate to see his brilliant effort fly narrowly wide.
HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-1 Oldham
Rochdale looked to get at the throat of Oldham from the off in the second half. Almost straight from the kick off, Jack O'Connell sent a long ball into the box from the halfway line. It was Henderson who took flight to get his head to the ball but it looped tamely into the arms of Paddy Kenny in the Oldham goal.
Scott Tanser was looking lively down the left hand side with everything good coming through him for a period. After he broke quickly down the left he played Dawson inside who in turn layed the ball across the edge of the area into the run of Noble-Lazarus. He looked to drill an effort first time, and although it was on target, he didn't make a clean connection and it lacked the power to challenge Kenny.
And again against the run of play, Oldham were awarded a penalty after Jonathan Forte was deemed to have been pulled to the ground inside the area. Forte stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and he drilled it down the middle, ending Conrad Logan's unbeaten record from the spot.
This sparked a triple substitution from Keith Hill. Jamie Allen was replaced by Bastien Hery, Jack Muldoon made way for Calvin Andrew, while Tomasz Cywka made his debut, replacing Stephen Dawson.
As Dale pushed forward looking for a route back into the game, they were hit on the counter attack. Jack O'Connell lost track of the ball under his feet allowing Danny Philliskirk to capitalise. As he was closed down, he picked out Daniel Johnson, who slotted the ball underneath Logan and into the back of the net.
FULL TIME: Rochdale 0-3 Oldham
Report by Rob Anderson