Athletic brought out the same script that they always seem to use when playing a bottom four team – and it brought the same result – which resulted in a 2-0 home win for the relegation threatened red devils who managed to claw their way out of the bottom four with the result. Athletic manager Dean Holden was missing several players through injury although he blamed bad luck as the reason why his team did not get a result.
His charges put in a lack lustre performance in front of 203 (the extra three were the Eintracht Frankfurt branch of Oldham fans) travelling Athletic faithful who had to suffer 90 minutes of a really poor performance where too many passes went astray. The Crawley defence had an easy afternoon and were never in any real danger with the powder-puff antics of the Latics attack. The home keeper did pull off three excellent saves to preserve his shut out and leave the Latics frustrated. It was hard to commend any of the performances of the players although things sparked up a little when Dominic Poleon came on as a substitute.
Holden said, “Jonathan Forte has a swelling on his knee and there is no point scanning it yet. We have to let it settle first. Anthony Gerrard travelled with us, but he wasn’t able to get out there with his tight calf. Hopefully it isn’t too much of a bad strain. We cut them open a few times, but not past the edge of their box, which was the most disappointing thing. It disappoints me, to be honest. We controlled the game without testing their goalkeeper too many times. He made a good save from a Mike Jones free-kick in the first half and another from Rhys Turner in the second half. Around their box it all fell flat. We just didn’t have enough dynamic movement to work their goalkeeper.”