BRADFORD CITY manager Phil Parkinson admitted he was thrilled by the Bantams’ response against Oldham, seven days on from letting two points slip through their fingers against Fleetwood.
A Billy Clarke double on the restart accounted for the Latics to keep Bradford firmly in play-off contention after being held back the previous weekend in a 2-2 draw with Fleetwood.
Parkinson also felt that Bradford’s break in Portugal in the week also did them the power of good, with the win providing City with the perfect fillip.
Parkinson’s side are up to tenth in the League One table, two points behind the side currently occupying the final playu-off spot in Rochdale, with a game in hand.
Parkinson said: “We were all hurting after last week - players and supporters - but we responded together as a football club and you could feel that all around the ground.”
Alluding to their break in Portugal, he added: “We needed a change in scenery.
“We have had so many games, churning out performances and losing a bit of detail in what we were doing. I just felt it was the right thing to do - to get away and hopefully we can continue to see the benefit of that.
“Oldham are a good side and we gave them respect, but I think we had the better chances.
“We lost defender Andrew Davies with a hamstring injury after only 17 minutes, but I thought Gary MacKenzie, who came on in his place, was magnificent.”
There was little to choose between two evenly matched sides until Clarke broke the deadlock after 71 minutes.
Defender Rory McArdle flicked substitute Billy Knott’s right-wing corner across the face of goal and Gary MacKenzie and James Hanson combined to head the ball on for Clarke to add the finishing touch with a back heel from close range.
Clarke then put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time, with his tenth goal of the season, a low shot into the far corner from 15 yards after Jon Stead laid the ball into his path.
Hanson missed the best chance of a scrappy first half, heading the ball over the crossbar in the 14th minute after Stead’s cross found him unmarked.
Bradford began to get on top after half-time, but Oldham almost took the lead with their best effort of the match midway through the second half.
A 20 yard shot from Mat Sadler was turned around the post by keeper Ben Williams and, one minute later, Clarke put the Bantams ahead before securing the three points with a second in stoppage time.
The win provides