Wimbledon. . . . . . .1
THE TWO fixtures between these clubs last season produced a tasty 15 goals. By comparison yesterday's serving was meagre fare indeed. Oldham began brightly enough, taking an early lead when Nick Henry's cross ricocheted back across the face of a crowded goal and Paul Bernard stepped in to slide the ball over the line.
This appetiser having been presented, the main course failed to arrive. The power and pace of Wimbledon's game created more mayhem than chances. John Fashanu was shepherded throughout by the impressive Richard Jobson, who took a resounding crack on the head for his trouble.
Oldham played fluently on the break but were unable to make their attractive football tell. With their defensive record, a single goal was never likely to prove sufficient and soon after the interval they were pegged back.
Vinnie Jones distinguished his first appearance of the season, firing home Dean Holdsworth's well-worked cross from the edge of the six-yard box.
The equaliser seemed to represent the limit of Wimbledon's ambition, but Oldham were unable to make them pay for their limited thinking - and limited football.
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): P Gerrard; C Fleming, R Jobson, S Redmond, N Pointon; N Henry, G Halle, M Milligan, P Bernard; A Ritchie, I Olney (D Beckford, 72 min). Subs not used: M Brennan, J Hallworth (gk). Manager: J Royle.
Wimbledon (4-4-2): H Segers; R Joseph, S Fitzgerald, J Scales, A Kimble; W Barton (G Dobbs, 59 min), V Jones, R Earle, L Sanchez; J Fashanu, D Holdsworth. Subs not used: A Clarke, T Digweed (gk). Manager: J Kinnear.
Referee: P Durkin (Portland).
Goals: Bernard (1-0, 6 min); Jones (1-1, 49 min).