City 0 Oldham 1

FEW will mourn City's exit from the much-derided Checkatrade Trophy.

The Bradford public turned their backs again last night as Oldham's early goal proved enough to settle their second-round tie.

At least the Valley Parade attendance limped into four figures this time – but only just with 1,036 hardy souls making the effort.

It was 105 more than the record-low for Rotherham's visit last month – but then Oldham had brought 150 with them, compared to the 48 travelling Millers.

Clearly the prospect of finally reaching the knock-out stages after the interminable group format failed to stir the interest.

For Stuart McCall, there will have been mixed feelings at seeing his side slip out of a competition well down the pecking order.

Unlike last year, when the Checkatrade represented the only chance of generating some cash in the coffers, City have bigger fish to fry in the FA Cup.

What next month's trip to either Port Vale or Yeovil may lack for glamour, it offers a tasty slice of £67,500 prize money for a third-round victory.

But he would have expected more from those on the fringes to push their claims.

While there was more energy than on display against Rotherham, nobody was tearing the manager's door off for inclusion on the bigger stage.

A final flourish failed to cover the general disappointment that they never really gave it a good go.

The Valley Parade music man was in mischievous mood once more as Bjork's "Oh so quiet" played just ahead of kick-off.

At least one Oldham fan tried to generate some atmosphere single-handed, doggedly launching into several solo chants that drifted across from Midland Road.

His efforts were rewarded with an early Latics goal, aided by some slack home defending.

Tope Obadeyi received the ball wide on the right touchline and was allowed to drift inside, easing his way past left back Luke Hendrie and then drilling a low shot past unsighted keeper Lukas Raeder into the bottom corner.

With Paul Jewell in tow, Oldham boss Richie Wellens went with a strong side and they looked comfortable in possession. City, in contrast, struggled to get going.

The evergreen Paul Green dictated play in midfield and Obadeyi carried a real threat with his speed. The winger was almost in again with a cross-shot that was deflected past the near post.

Shay McCartan, still to convince in City colours, fired a free-kick hard and low past the post and then a volley high and wide over the empty Bradford End.

Alex Gilliead, one of the two starting survivors from Saturday, showed quick feet to create something better on 25 minutes but Johnny Placide held the cross-shot.

Given the pace of City's front four, they really should have given Oldham's defence more to worry about.

City were doing more defending and Adam Thompson had to be alert to scramble away Obadeyi's cutback after a glorious crossfield pass from Eoin Doyle.

Ryan Flynn whistled one wide from 30 yards and Thompson, City's busiest defender, threw himself in the way of Doyle's shot after Omari Patrick carelessly gave the ball away.

McCall tapped into his bench reinforcements for the second half and brought on Dominic Poleon. The effects of an illness had stopped him from playing from the start.

But it was flat stuff after the break, McCartan offering the first shot on the hour with a slice into the Kop that summed up the lack of excitement.

Skipper Nathaniel Knight-Percival released Patrick with a long ball but nobody was alert to the youngster's low cross, which he squeezed past Placide.

It was better from City but they still lacked conviction in the final third and Nicky Law and Paul Taylor were thrown on to add a bit more attacking edge.

The impetus did pick up as Jordan Gibson, who can look back on the competition with some personal pride, started to see more of the ball.

Taylor lashed wide from 20 yards and Gibson, after a couple of teasing runs, sent a dipping drive over the bar.

But Oldham still went closest as Obadeyi's low drive clipped the outside of the post.

CITY: Raeder 6, Hanson 6, Thompson 7, Knight-Percival 7, Hendrie 5, Gilliead 6 (Poleon 46min, 6), Pybus 5 (Law 68min), Devine 5, Gibson 7, McCartan 6, Patrick 5 (Taylor 75min). Subs (not used): Kilgallon, Vincelot, Staunton, Sattelmaier.

OLDHAM: Placide 7, Dummigan 7, Gerrard 7, Bryan 7, Brian Wilson 7, Gardner 7 (Omrani 80min), Green 7, Obadeyi 8, Flynn 6 (Fane 69min), Nepomuceno 7 (McLaughlin 77min), Doyle 6. Subs (not used): Davies, Menig, Clarke, Ben Wilson.

REFEREE: David Webb.