“We work on free kicks. We talk about the ‘letter box’ which is just over the heads of the wall. That was perfect because it unsighted the keeper, and it worked well for us.”
It was a hard-earned victory as Johnson admitted that the O’s had done their homework to stifle their attacking play.
“Where we thought we could exploit them, you could see that they’d worked on it during the week and denied us that space. It was a tough game for us throughout,” he said.
Latics just about edged the cup tie as they avenged their 3-1 home loss to the O’s in August.
Striker Jabo Ibehre was ruled out through illness as Dominic Poloen won a recall while Carl Winchester was recalled in place of James Dayton.
The O’s, whose manager Mauro Milanese conceded his side’s confidence has been shot to bits, ought to have taken the lead when Shaun Batt set up Dean Cross who was denied by a super save from Paul Rachubka.
The decisive moment in the game came after 38 minutes when Jones scored with a terrific free kick.The O’s hit back and Nathan Clarke’s header was cleared off the line by Genseric Kusunga.Clarke bundled in the resulting corner, but his goal was ruled out for a shove.With the O’s pressing for an equaliser, Latics could have sealed victory in stoppage time when an angled shot from Danny Philliskirk struck the upright.