‘Back to winning ways’: Oldham through to next round of FA Cup

Lee Johnson says his Oldham Athletic team were made to work hard for their victory over Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup.

Mike Jones’ first-half free-kick was the only goal of the game as Orient wasted chances before captain Nathan Clarke had a second-half goal disallowed for pushing.

Johnson praised the character his team showed to return to winning ways after their 13-game unbeaten run ended last weekend with defeat to Bristol City.

“Make no mistake, that was a really, really tough game and I’m just delighted to be in the hat,” he said.

“It wasn’t vintage and it was difficult but that’s what we’re going to get now – we’ve got this home record, what do you expect?

“Teams are going to come here, sit behind the ball, try and press and squeeze us and deny us place. Maybe last year we would have lost that game 2-1 or 3-1 but such is the character of the boys that we’ve come out with a win and we’re in the hat.”

Johnson conceded his side weren’t at their best, but was happy to avenge a 3-1 defeat to Orient earlier in the season.

“I thought Kelly was excellent for the whole game. I thought Mills was good in the second half and I thought Jones had a dodgy 25 minutes but was excellent after that,” he said.

“We were made to work hard for it by good opposition and a good side. They have spent big and the 11 they had out was a strong team. It was a tough game for us and I’m just happy to be through and into the hat.”

The draw for the second round of the competition takes place today and Johnson has already stated his preference for round two.

“We would like the lowest rank team at home realistically. I want it at home and on our surface where we can play our game,” admitted Johnson.

“There are no easy games, whether it be the lowest team or the best team. That showed today because both teams took it seriously and there is a massive prize, whether it be round three, round four or however far you go.”

Main image courtesy of Official OAFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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