Frustrating doesn't even begin to explain this game. Parky's tactics played a big part and an overly cautious team selection cost us. Here's how we did:
Mark Howard 5: oh dear. Had a mare with his distribution. I'm sure the wind didn't help but kicking out and missing the entire pitch on at least three occasions was poor. Partly at fault for the Oldham goal by flapping a punch out into Spearing, this was a game to forget for him.
Dorian Dervite 4.5: At right back he returned to the player of last season. Most of his punts out went straight to Oldham. Once we had gone to three at the back in the second half to take advantage of that sending off, Dervite went missing on two Oldham counterattacks. Their goal from a cross from our left wing, was helped by a Spearing/Howard mix up, but ask yourself, where was Dervite to cover the last Oldham player? Another needless charge and missed tackle, gifted Oldham an open goal that they somehow missed. Did have one shot on goal that he was unlucky to not score with but generally meh.
David Wheater 7: Another solid, professional performance for this game. The fact that I'm not raving about him shows what high standards Wheats is setting at the moment. With Madine still out injured, prematch fan talk was of Wheater playing up front, such is his form. Did Parky miss a trick there?
Mark Beevers 7.5: Just shaded Wheater today, mainly due to being more of a threat going forward. Terrorised the Oldham centre backs at set pieces, filling in for the absent Madine. Beevers is on his best form for the promotion run in.
Dean Moxey 5.5: I can cut and paste his performance ratings. Did surprisingly okay in the first half as a left back, getting forward to effect but tracking back when needed. Those long accurate throw-ins of his are something else as well. However, every time I watch him, it all falls apart in the second half. Missed tackles, poor marking losing his man and ineffective going forward. Is it fitness issue, a mental thing, who knows? Rightly subbed off for Henry.
Filipe Morais 6.5: not at his best but still our most effective player for those dangerous crosses, corners or free kicks. Once again, a player that wasn't helped by a strong swirling wind, although one cross was blown onto the corner of post and cross bar. It just wasn't his day.
Jay Spearing 7.5: Superb today. Nothing got past him. Well timed tackling, distribution, the team motivator, all in evidence. Match fit, up for the promotion battle and vital for those last three games. Spearing's performance didn't deserve to be marred by the Howard mix up that led to their goal.
Derik Osede 7.5: a better match in midfield alongside Spearing than Pratley. Had a great game today, with some dangerous passes through the middle that deserved an end result. Seem to remember one shot in the second was deflected onto the crossbar.
Josh Vela 7.5: easily our MOTM in the first half. Vela is born to play the attacking midfielder role. The expected gut bursting performance was given but Josh is just so much more effective when further forward. Spearing, Derik and Vela totally dominated central midfield from start to finish. The fact we didn't win isn't down to them.
Darren Pratley 5: Wasted and generally ineffective out on the wing. Not really his fault when he's put out there of course. A victim of team tactics in a role that just doesn't suit him, I feel a bit guilty giving him this rating. Henry or maybe Long should've started instead. However, I did think he made a meal of the tackle that got the Oldham player sent off if I'm honest. Not a fan of that behaviour. Oh and had one shot that missed the goal and, rather embarrassingly, the stand behind it. Came off with 20 minutes to go. Hope it was a tactical decision by Parky as Prats had what looked like a very painful collision with a goalpost after one attack.
Adam Le Fondre 6: with the long balls flying in, Morais not at his best and nothing coming from the left, Alfie didn't have a lot to work on. Play to his strengths and he'll score Parky!
Max Clayton 6: Brought on for Pratley to go upfront when we changed to a 3-5-2 after Oldham were reduced to 10 men. Did okay but didn't link up with ALF as well as hoped.
James Henry 7: came on way too late for Moxey. Another 10 or 15 minutes or, God forbid, starting, could've made all the difference. Still, we looked far more threatening with him on the pitch.
Chris Long: unfair to mark as he was Parky's last throw of the dice with a few minutes to go. Even so his pace unsettled Oldham and he was unlucky not to score with the shot that hit the crossbar.
Phil Parkinson 5: a cautious 4-5-1 against Oldham didn't come close to working and we got what we deserved. Long balls to ALF on his own up front isn't the answer. Pratley isn't a winger. Dervite and Moxey aren't reliable fullbacks. We should've played an aggressive formation to win. We didn't and lost because of it. The squad has options available for when Madine is out. Beyond me as to why they're ignored.