Latics maintain their push

Last updated : 07 April 2007 By The Chairman
Athletic maintained their push for promotion with a draw 1-1 with Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town. The Latics took the lead when Chris Porter (pictured), returning from injury, banged in his 21st. goal of the season after 23 minutes. The second half did not compete with the first half when the Latics fully deserved their lead, and it became a slog of two average looking sides. It was looking like Porter's goal was going to be enough but a ghost was lurking when Luke Beckett stooped to head in an equaliser in the 78th. minute and give the Yorkshiremen a share of the spoils. A draw was a fair result and with the other results being favourable it still gives the Latics a realistic chance of being in the play-offs and even a slim outside chance of claiming the second automatic promotion spot.

Boss John Sheridan told the official website, "I think it should have been three points. We were the better team overall. Huddersfield didn't create much, and at 1-0 I was very confident we'd go on and win the game, especially kicking down the slope in the second half. It was a bit of shame we didn't kick on, and I think one or two of the lads got tired. Having said that, I'm not too upset with a point. I would have loved to get all three after seeing today's results, but at the end of the day it was important we got something and we're still six points clear."

"It's good that we're creating chances. We always will with the players we've got in this team. We had enough opportunities to get the game sewn up. Full credit to Huddersfield, though. They've got players who will always be a threat, and I'm not very happy with the goal they scored. It's only a normal cross into the box, and Beckett's got to the second ball and put it in. We've got some tired legs in the dressing room now, but I've told the lads to get their heads up as we've got a big game on Monday."

The Terriers caretaker boss Gerry Murphy told Town-on-Line, "I think the second half performance was very good. Both sides could have won it at various stages of the game and I think, overall, a draw was a fair result. We started with a diamond shape and we could not get into the game so we decided that we would have to match them up and go 4-4-2, the same as them. We felt that at half time we were giving the ball away too easily, so I told them to get hold of the ball, relax a little bit and start playing and I think we did that very well. We upped the tempo and came out and went at them. We got the impetus then and they could not get back in the game. Basically, we just looked after the ball a little better in the second half."

James Hand did well. He kept the balance in the side which is why we put him out there on the left. It would have been easy to put John McAliskey up front but we felt that with the threat that they had out wide we needed to have someone out there. I am very pleased with James Berrett, because a lot of people in that position would have gone for glory at the back stick but he showed maturity beyond his age when he headed it back across goal for Luke (pictured) who came in. It was very intelligent."

"The character, the attitude and the commitment in the Club is first class. Everybody wants to go out on that pitch and play and that is what you have to try and get into the dressing room, that they all stick together and all work together. If you can do that, and get them to do that with a smile on their face, get them to cajole one another. That's what we've been trying to do. I would have expected Jon Worthington to put that chance away, but Chris Porter had a header over. It's a fine line between winning and drawing and we just need a bit of luck, if that's the right word, the players are certainly working hard enough. The injury situation is not good but we will have a roll call tomorrow. Fletch and Adnan both came off injured and Michael Collins has a slight knee problem, but that's why the second year scholars are training with us at the moment."