Latics began their pre-season campaign with a victory over Northern Premier League Premier Division Ashton United on a sunny day at the Hurst Cross Stadium.
Keith Curle named an unfamiliar starting XI for the friendly with eight trialists taking to the field alongside new signings Jordan Clarke, Harrison McGahey and Sam Hart.
Latics started the encounter in a positive manner and took the lead after just four minutes. Trialist F burst down the left-wing before delivering a perfectly weighted cross to the feet of Trialist C at the back post and he smashed his effort past the goalkeeper.
The hosts nearly responded shortly after as their captain, Michael Brewster, drove goalwards before having the vision to slot former Latics scholar Chris Rowney in behind the defence, however, the onrushing midfielder couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
Clarke, featuring for the first time for Oldham, showcased his leadership qualities as he bravely put his body on the line for his side when a low cross entered the box, he produced an excellent slide tackle to deny the striker before blocking the following effort.
Just before the interval, Ashton got themselves level through former Rochdale and Blackpool forward, Jack Redshaw. The 30-year-old flicked a header onto the post before it rolled into the back of the net at the back post.
Curle named a completely fresh team for the second-half and it was one of the new faces that nearly regained the lead. Zak Dearnley received the ball on the edge of the box and powerfully struck low at goal, but the former Latics ‘keeper coach under Laurent Banide’s tenure, Gregg Hartley, managed to produce great save in the Robins goal.
Michael Clegg’s side were close to taking the advantage for the first time when an Ashton midfielder produced a stunning attempt from outside the box which cannoned off Trialist B’s crossbar before being cleared to the relief of the Latics defence.
Vani Da Silva exemplified his impressive footwork to win a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box which Nicky Adams stepped up to take, his free-kick curled over the wall but, unfortunately, landed on the roof of the net.
In the 82nd minute, the boys in blue managed to find the back of the net following Da Silva racing down the right-flank and crossing low to Dearnley and the forward steer his effort into the far bottom corner to the dismay of the Ashton dugout.
Ashton United XI – Hartley (GK), Whalley, Sprat, Raynes, Coates, Brewster ©, Hardcastle, Rowney, Bentham, Redshaw, Macadam.
Subs – Putnam, Tserpes, Azam, Hudson, Baird, McMahon, Hunt, Warren.
Goals: Redshaw 43’
Oldham Athletic XI (First-half) – Trialist A, Clarke ©, Hart, Trialist C, McGahey, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F, Trialist G, Trialist H, Trialist J.
Oldham Athletic XI (Second-half) – Trialist B, Sutton, Piergianni ©, Jameson, Adams, Whelan, Trialist I, Da Silva, Trialist K, Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley.
Goals: Trialist C 3’, Dearnley 82’