Oldham 0 Winsford United 2
UNITED piled on the promotion pressure with a workmanlike rather than flourishing victory on Saturday.
They survived first-half pressure from their lively hosts, mostly thanks to an outstanding display by Matt Conkie, and came back in the second half to dominate the match and take away all the points.
It looked so different at the start of the game with the speed of Oldham front runners James Curley and James Ogoo causing all sorts of problems and it took an outstanding save by Conkie in the seventh minute to prevent Curley scoring after bursting through the defence. Three minutes later the same player caused a few skipped heartbeats with the travelling support when his 25-yard shot skimmed the bar.
The Blues attacks were few and far between at this stage and they were lucky not to go behind on 28 minutes when Richard Graham's header struck the bar and then seemed to strike a Winsford defender's arm. However, the ball was cleared without the sound of the ref's whistle.
The second period began like the first with Conkie pulling off brilliant saves in the 47th and 54th minutes but then Winsford began to settle, the introduction of Rob Hopley adding fire-power to the attack.
However, they had to wait until the 81st minute to turn their chances into a goal. Chris Melia and Mark Quinn were causing problems with their runs into the box and it was one of these runs by Melia that ended with his legs being taken from under him.
The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Melia stepped up himself to hit the ball low to the left. Unlike earlier matches where the Blues have defended in the closing minutes they continued to pound the Oldham goal and on 86 minutes Neil Harrison's inswinging corner was met by the head of Jamie Williams and the ball found the back of the net.
Winsford: Conkie, Booth, Marsh, Chambers, Wellstead; Melia, Quinn, Hutchinson (Hopley 55), Harrison; Hanley (McCormack 82) Hughes (Williams 80).
Star Man: Matt Conkie.
Next Best: Mark Quinn.
Team Rating: 3.
Match Rating: 3.