Controversial goal costs victory
Lee Johnson described it as a match-winning performance and nobody at Boundary Park would disagree with that viewpoint, even though Latics were held at home to a 1-1 draw by Sky Bet League 1 leaders Leyton Orient.
Latics' manager was unhappy as his side found itself on the wrong end of another bad refereeing decision as replays showed Shaun Batt was offside when he scored the O’s equaliser.
Until Batt found the net in controversial circumstances, it looked as though Charlie MacDonald's first-goal goal would have inflicted the O's first defeat of their league campaign which has now yielded 26 points from a possible 30.
Johnson said: "It was a fantastic performance, but we have been done by some poor officiating.
"We cannot do much about it, but he (Batt) was offside. My boys were magnificent and gave everything.
"The players were inspired by their own performance, but demoralised by someone else’s performance. I know with performances like that, things will turn and we will be alright.
"It was a match-winning performance, but such is life. We cannot affect it now, but we can use it to kick start our season."
Johnson, after viewing the goal again on DVD, believed Kevin Lisbie's shot was going two or three yards wide before Batt deflected it into the net.
Yet referee Kevin Wright and his assistant maintained that Batt didn't get a touch to Lisbie’s wayward goal attempt with Johnson adding they have been on the wrong end of a number of poor refereeing decisions in the current campaign.
Johnson added: "It feels like I have been mugged after going out on the town and having a great night with all your mates only to be pick pocketed on the way home.
"But, you also look back on fond memories of your night out and I have fond memories of my team's performance."
You only have to look at the match statistics to see what a commanding display Latics produced. They enjoyed 64-per-cent of possession, a measure of their dominance.
Latics also produced 13 goal attempts, nine of which were on target with Jamie Jones by far the busier of the keepers. Orient, by contrast, managed only five with three on target.
Johnson made two changes from the side which kicked off at Crawley Town as there was recalls for the fit-again Genseric Kusunga, who was handed his home debut, and Danny Philliskirk as Jonson Clarke-Harris and Anton Rodgers lost their starting spots.
There was also a tactical switch as Joseph Mills operated wide left of midfield as Jonathan Grounds reverted to left back to allow Kusunga to play alongside James Tarkowski at centre back.
Latics suffered an early blow when Matteo Lanzoni limped off with a hamstring strain in the 13th minute as he was replaced by Carl Winchester.
Latics made a bright start and ought to have taken the lead after 20 minutes when they had two chances in quick succession.
Keeper Jones made an athletic save to turn over a 30-yard free kick from Mills. And from Mills' resulting corner, the O's failed to clear and MacDonald swung a boot at the far post only to see his effort hit the upright.
It was the third time in two games the unlucky MacDonald had been denied by the frame of the goal.
Philliskirk also had a free header, but could only direct it straight at Jones as Latics endured another frustrating afternoon in front of goal.
Latics eventually made a breakthrough in the 35th minute when Korey Smith’s headed through ball released MacDonald who burst clear to make no mistake with an unstoppable shot (pictured).
Orient could have equalised but Moses Odubajo’s angled shot was kept out by the legs of keeper Mark Oxley. And Latics managed to clear the resulting corner after an almighty melee in the six-yard box.
Latics could have doubled the lead early in the second half when Philliskirk’s angled shot was parried by Jones before hitting James Wesolowski full in the face from point-blank range in front of goal.
Jones had to be alert to turn over another long-distance free kick from Mills while Latics had a shout for a penalty claiming the keeper barged into the back of MacDonald as he challenged to catch a corner.
Batt had only been on the field for two minutes when he equalised midway through the second half. Kevin Lisbie's shot was flying wide until Batt managed to divert it past Oxley low to his right.
Referee Mr Wright initially gave the goal but, after strenuous protests from Latics’ players, he consulted his assistant. After conferring for what seemed an eternity, the match official signalled goal by pointing to the centre spot for the restart.
It was cruel on Latics who had hardly been troubled all afternoon by the strikeforce of David Mooney and Lisbie which had already scored a total of 17 goals.
The goal brought the O's to life as Lisbie found himself in the clear on the right of the box only for Oxley to make another block with his legs.
Deep into the three minutes of stoppage time, Kusunga had the chance to cover himself in glory only to blaze high into the Chaddy End.
Latics (4-4-2): Oxley; Lanzoni (Winchester 13), Tarkowski, Kusunga, Grounds; Dayton (Montano 74), Smith, Wesolowski, Mills; MacDonald, Philliskirk (Rooney 64). Subs (not used): Clarke-Harris, Rodgers, Millar, Rachubka.
Orient (4-4-2): Jones; Cuthbert, Baudry, Clarke, Omozusi; Odubajo, James, Bartley (Stockley 85), Cox (Batt 64); Lisbie, Mooney. Subs (not used): Sawyer, Larkins, Lee, Lassimant, Gorman.
The goals: MacDonald (35) for Latics. Batt (66) for Orient.
Bookings: Baudry (32), Odubajo (56) for Orient.
Referee: Mr K Wright.
Attendance: 4,062 (295 visitors).