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Latics secure back-to-back victories at play-off chasing Scunthorpe
Tuesday 6th March 2018 @ 11:37 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

EFL League One
Scunthorpe United 0-2 Oldham Athletic

 

Oldham Athletic secured back-to-back victories with a 2-0 win at play-off chasing Scunthorpe United on Saturday, thanks to quick-fire goals in the final 12 minutes from debutant Patrick McEleney and the returning Eoin Doyle.

The result has lifted Richie Wellens’ side to 18th in the table and two points above the relegation zone, ahead of Saturday’s derby at relegation threatened Bury.

Scunthorpe’s automatic promotion chances have taken a hit in recent weeks due to a four game winless run, so it came as no surprise to see them struggle in the opening stages on Saturday.

When chances did arise for the Iron, Hakeeb Adelakun drew a fine save from Johny Placide before Josh Morris was denied by the bar.

The sides were evenly matched until Wellens made a double substitution in the second half. McEleney was given a debut in the 58th minute before Doyle made his long awaited return four minutes later.

It took less than 20 minutes for the former to make an impact. The midfielder was in the right place at the right time as Jack Byrne’s effort took a wicked deflection off McEleney and landed in the back of the net.

Oldham seized the initiative and killed the game off five minutes later through Doyle. After beating the offside trap, the striker capitalised on Aaron Holloway’s through ball and darted forward before finishing into the bottom corner.

The two goal lead was never really threatened and Latics held out for an important three points. Following the game, Wellens spoke to IFollow Latics and heaped praise on the players’ attitude. He said: “There is a real positive feeling in the dressing room right now

“It fills us with belief and we are on a really good run. I think the biggest positive today was that everyone worked as a team.

“I felt it was important we didn’t go behind early today. They start quick and they are powerful.

“Look at the back four, they are all 6”2’ tall and I thought if we were clever in and around them then we could create chances.

“It was important that the starting 11 gave us a good basis to work from and then I look at my bench and there is real positive players on there.

“Patrick and Doyle scored and Aaron Holloway was outstanding when he came on.

“You look at things now and they are a lot healthier than they were around Christmas time.”

Despite signing for the club December, McEleney has been forced to watch from the sidelines having picked up a hamstring injury in training.

Wellens said he was delighted to have the midfielder in contention for the fixture. He said: “He is a scorer of brilliant goals but it doesn’t matter how goals go in.

“I was shouting at Jack in the first half to take the shot.

“With someone of Jack’s ability, anything can happen. It came of Patrick’s back and it asked questions of people. The first goal was fortunate but I felt we deserved the win.”

Doyle, on loan from Preston North End, secured the victory three minutes later with a well-finished strike into the bottom corner. Although not fully fit, the striker drew special praise from Wellens. “Is he ready to start a game? No.

“We had an arranged friendly against Fleetwood in the week but that had to be postponed.

“I wont be taking a gamble to start him in the next game but if you ask him in the situation where the game is stretched and there are opportunities into space then it’s a great option to have.

“Kicking the ball into the net is the hardest thing in football to do but he just knows. When he gets in that situation then you never doubt him.

“I’m really pleased for him because he’s come back and he’s hit the ground running.”