Tough game to watch but one to celebrate says Neilson

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

Robbie Neilson admitted he isn't looking forward to rewatching his side's 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.

Nicky Maynard's 95th minute volley salvaged all three points against the brave Latics, who defended stoutly but left with nothing.

The game, other than Maynard's strike, lacked quality and a spark and fell short of the mark in terms of a spectacle, but Neilson was more than happy with the result, even if he wasn't looking forward to watching the match back again.

"I'd be very surprised if they made a DVD of this game!" he joked. "They're difficult games, these. When you get a half chance, you have to take it. We had a couple in the first half, with Bowditch and a couple of others. If you get a goal early in the game, it's a totally different outlook.

"Credit to Oldham, who will be devastated. They had a really good game plan, they sat in and made it really difficult for us to break down. We didn't move the ball quick enough in the first half, and we did in the second but we didn't really get to a level we wanted to.

"If I'd come in here at 0-0, I'd have been disappointed. We'd have still been undefeated, but scoring in the last minute gives everyone a massive lift.

"If we'd scored that goal in the first minute, and then 84 minutes of that, we'd have said it wasn't great. But score a last minute and everyone leaves on a high. It was great for the team, everyone celebrated with Nicky Maynard, and got everyone on their feet."

It was only Maynard's second goal of the season, but came at a vital time and had huge connotations when it comes to Dons' position in League 1 as they climbed above AFC Wimbledon into 14th.

But for most of the game, it appeared a draw was on the cards. Neilson made four changes to his starting line-up, handing debuts to Stuart O'Keefe, Robbie Muirhead and Maecky Ngombo, with the latter pair struggling to get to grips with the game.

Neilson though felt, while substitutes Harvey Barnes, Chuks Aneke and Nicky Maynard appeared to change the game, it was in fact Oldham's tiring legs that made the real difference.

He said: "You have to make a decision when to put players in, and when to take them out. Tonight was an opportunity to give the new boys some game time. Later in the season, these minutes could be key, rather than making their debuts under a bit more pressure.

"At the end of the season, if we can get near the play-offs, no-one will be bothered about what happened on a Tuesday night against Oldham."