Harry Kewell's Oldham Athletic secure a spot in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 win at Valley Parade against Bradford City.
The hosts were ran ragged and rarely managed to trouble the Oldham defence, with Latics dominating the game. Latics receive £25,000 and the Bantams £8,500 prize money respectively.
Bradford started the dominant of the two sides and were rewarded in the eleventh minute. After a Billy Clarke free-kick, the referee adjudged that Clayton Donaldson was taken down in the box by an onrushing Ian Lawlor. Watching the match back, it is difficult to see any sort of connection from the goalkeeper, but the referee still pointed to the spot. Donaldson stepped up and dinked his effort past into the back of the net.
Only seven minutes later, Conor McAleny marked his first start since being ruled out through injury in style. After being fed the ball by Alfie McCalmont, the striker unleashed a powerful curling effort from 30 yards out which Richard O'Donnell had no chance of stopping.
If you could only use one word to describe the rest of the first half, it would be 'how.' If you had xG for this level of football, it would truly paint the picture of the first half. Time and time again Oldham went forward wither to be undone by their own mistakes or incredible goalkeeping from O'Donnell.
After a beautiful Danny Rowe pass, Dylan Fage unleashed a powerful ball into the box but an onrunning Brice Ntambwe could only send the ball over the crossbar. Later in the first half, after Alfie McCalmont dispossessed Anthony O'Connor in the middle of the box, the ball found its way to Ben Garrity one-on-one but his effort went wide of the far post.
It was a spirited performance from every member of Harry Kewell's side in the first half and there was not a single player who you could say didn't have a good opening 45. It was probably the best half of football the Latics have produced all season
It's now four goals in his past three games for Danny Rowe, the striker who has really found his mark in recent weeks. His wonder-strike against Exeter proved his abilities from range, so it was not unexpected when he provided Oldham's second. After his trademark chop, he unleashed a strike from thirty yards out which cannoned into the top-left corner.
Bradford came more into the game in the second half, but Oldham were still by far the dominant of the two sides. Concentrating much of their play through Dylan Fage and Davis Keillor-Dunn on the right-wing, Latics looked like scoring every time that they went forwards.
The wing pairing are two who may not have necessarily been fan favourites so far this season, but it was a good performance from both - especially Dylan Fage. The French youngster was without his usual partner of Dylan Bahamboula but was still dangerous. With a long time still left on his contract, he could be a great prospect for the future.
In the 75th minute, he collided with Richard O'Donnell and went down clutching his ankle. Harry Kewell will hope that his injury is not a serious one, with his side already missing a number of players.
The game was nervily closed out by Oldham with Bradford piling on the pressure, but the Bantams could not draw the scores level
Oldham on fire
It has been a long since an Oldham side has been as good in attack as Harry Kewell's Latics have been in recent games.
It becomes an even more exciting prospect when you note that today's performance was as good as it was while Dylan Bahamboula and Zak Dearnley were still both sidelined.
McCalmont performing well
On-loan Leeds youngster Alfie McCalmont's Oldham minutes have been numbered due to the time he has spent on international duty with Northern Ireland's under-21s, but it was another positive performance today.
He skipped through the Bradford defence, feeding balls for the attacking line. He was a crucial part of Harry Kewell's side in their efforts on Saturday afternoon and will look forward to being able to pick up more match time with the Latics.