MANAGER Andy Ritchie surveyed Town’s comeback draw against Oldham and said: “We showed what we’re capable of – it’s just a shame we started doing it after 45 minutes and not five.”
The former Oldham player and manager insists Town did enough to beat his former club, who went ahead through Craig Davies’s 27th-minute strike but were pegged back by Ronnie Wallwork’s well-taken 81st-minute header.
“We weren’t great in the first half,” he said. “We were stretched out and there was too much of a gap between the defence, midfield and attack.
“We needed to push up and play it out more from the back – be a bit braver on the ball really – and in the second half, we did that.
“I can’t fault the lads for the way they played after the break, because they all looked like they wanted the ball.
“We were more composed. In the first half, every ball up to the frontmen was a fighting ball. In the second half, we got it to feet and moved them around, and I thought Malvin Kamara was excellent.
“We created a number of really good chances, which we have to start taking, and I think we should have had a penalty for a foul by Sean Gregan on Nathan Clarke.
“Once we got on top, we kept on top. We definitely deserved the draw, and maybe we could have won it.”
On-loan Wallwork’s goal was his first since he netted for parent club West Brom in a 3-1 League Cup win over Cheltenham at The Hawthorns on September 19 of last year.
But Ritchie said: “I think there are more goals in Ronnie. He had a good shot from a corner before he scored, and he took the header really well.”
Of Oldham’s opener, Ritchie said: “It was disappointing.
“Matt Glennon shouted and Richard Keogh should have left it, but instead he headed it.
“Once again it was down to poor communication, and it’s an aspect of our play we have to sort out.”
Asked if he thought on-loan Bristol City centre-back Keogh was lacking confidence, Ritchie responded: “Possibly, but he’s also a brave player.
“He’s not one to hide, he keeps going looking for the ball and trying to do what we ask him to.”
Ritchie left all five of his substitutes on the bench for the first time since becoming Town boss.
“We thought about changing things in the second half, but when you’re doing well, you sometimes like to keep things as they are,” he said.
“David Mirfin was the closest to coming on, because Nathan Clarke had a tight hamstring, but in the end we decided to stick with him.”
Oldham manager John Sheridan, a close friend of Ritchie, said: “If we’d had more of a cutting edge, we’d have got all three points, no danger.
“We looked like a good team in the first half and controlled the match.
“(Goalkeeper) Marlon Beresford didn’t have anything to do, and if we’d made the right choices at the right time, the game would have been over at half-time.
“We took our foot off the pedal in the second half. We didn’t turn them enough and we didn’t win enough second balls.”