BRADFORD CITY 2, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0
Oldham Athletic came out second best in this Roses clash as they were sunk by a double from Bradford City’s Billy Clarke at the Coral Windows Stadium.
The striker scored two second-half goals as Latics were unable to make it three wins in a row.
But it was Bradford, whose cup exploits had captured the nation’s hearts, who set about trying to mount a challenge for a promotion play-off place.
And after Latics’ recent improved fortunes, it was a disappointing afternoon as they failed to build on recent success to frustrate their 1,170 fans who made the journey across the M62.
Latics’ striker Conor Wilkinson, 48 hours after appearing for the Republic of Ireland under-21’s, had an early chance but shot wide.
Clarke was being a nuisance from as early as the eighth minute when his 25-yard lob was parried to safety by keeper Joel Coleman.
It was a remarkably open game as both sides carved out chances. Luke Woodland had a long-range drive while for Bradford James Hanson headed over when well placed. Latics’ rookie keeper Coleman, who had kept clean sheets in his first two games, was working hard to protect that proud record making a good save to deny Gary Liddle just before half time.
Wilkinson had a great chance to give Latics the lead early in the second half, but blazed over from 10 yards.
Bradford started to grow into the game, but Latics remained a threat and left-back Mat Sadler’s shot from outside the box forced a fine fingertip save from Ben Williams.
But it was the Bantams who took the lead with 19 minutes left when Latics failed to clear Billy Knott’s corner and Clarke stabbed the ball home at the far post.
Caretaker manager threw on youngsters Devante Jacobs and Jordan Bove to provide a youthful energy, but they failed to change the course of the game.
And it was Bradford who sealed victory in the third minute of stoppage time as Jon Stead provided the pass for Clarke who steered a shot past Coleman as Latics finished empty handed.