ROCHDALE 0, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 3
Oldham Athletic recorded an emphatic derby win at Rochdale to climb into the play-off places in Sky Bet League One.
Two goals from loan-signing Daniel Johnson and a penalty from top scorer Jonathan Forte saw off the challenge from the Spotland side as Latics kept up their fine run, though manager Lee Johnson admitted the margin of victory somewhat flattered his side.
They have lost only once in 19 games if you don’t count the loss on penalties to Preston North End in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Latics, who handed a debut to new loan keeper Paddy Kenny, had a following of more than 3,200 making it appear more like a home fixture.
Liam Kelly fired wide early on for Latics who took the lead midway through the opening period through Johnson who was set up by Danny Philliskirk.
Keeper Conrad Logan saved Johnson’s initial effort, but the ball rebounded to him as he made no mistake at the second attempt.
James Wilson then picked up his fifth yellow card of the season as he will be ruled out of Saturday’s FA Cup, second-round tie against Rochdale through suspension.
Rochdale rallied as Jamie Allen fired narrowly wide and then early in the second half Ian Henderson’s header brought a first save of the afternoon from Kenny. They also had an appeal for a penalty turned down.
Kenny was forced into his first serious save to deny Reuben Noble-Lazarus as Rochdale were gaining a momentum to their play.
Latics needed a second goal and it came with 20 minutes left when Noble-Lazarus pulled back Philliskirk in the penalty area as they were handed a spot kick which Forte converted for his 13th goal of the season.
This was followed by a third goal which put a gloss on a fine performance as Philliskirk nicked the ball before releasing Johnson who shot under the body of goalkeeper Logan.
Latics were even able to give a run out to defender George Elokobi who has been out injured since the end of September.
Rochdale came close to scoring a consolation effort in stoppage time as substitute Calvin Andrew headed wide and then fired a free kick over the crossbar.