A third unstoppable free kick in three games undid all Oldham Athletic’s good work as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to League Two side Grimsby Town.
Dominic Vose’s free kick rebounded off the crossbar and over the line giving Connor Ripley no chance to win the game for the Mariners.
Kayden Jackson had given Grimsby the half time lead but Latics managed to equalise 10 minutes into the second half through left back Jamie Reckord.
Latics almost got off to a perfect start as Lee Erwin fed Billy Mckay 20 seconds into the game but the Northern Irish striker just hesitated and the goalkeeper saved his shot.
It was a positive start to the game by Latics as they dictated possession and stroked the ball around with confidence.
Erwin was proving to be a handful in attack and he almost grabbed the opening goal of the game on 11 minutes.
Left back Reckord crossed into the centre for the Leeds United loanee but his header fell just wide of James McKeown’s goal.
Slightly against the run of play, Grimsby took the lead on 14 minutes.
Mariners right back Ben Davies crossed into the centre and Jackson got in-between Peter Clarke and Cameron Burgess to nod Grimsby into the lead.
It was almost 2-0 minutes later as a carbon copy cross from Davies found Jackson again but it fell inches wide of Ripley’s goal.
Latics responded from the set back of going a goal down by almost forcing a leveller.
Erwin found Mckay in the centre who knocked it back to Lee Croft to strike but the goalkeeper tipped his goal bound effort over the crossbar.
Athletic were getting joy down the left hand side and on the half hour mark Reckord’s aimless ball found the onrushing Mckay but the ball was just caught under his feet as he raced through on the goalkeeper.
Latics were pushing for an equaliser before the break with Erwin going close from an Ollie Banks corner, but they also had to be aware of the counter attack.
The home side almost doubled their advantage five minutes before half time as Sean McAllister forced a smart save from Ripley.
Steve Robinson’s men started the second half well with Erwin straight back into the action.
The striker met a long ball from Clarke, took the ball past his defender but they just recovered to knock the ball away from the striker.
Latics were pressing and managed to get an equaliser on 56 minutes through an unlikely source.
Banks’ inch-perfect free kick found the head of the onrushing Reckord who powered his header past the goalkeeper to equalise.
A stoppage in play followed as goalkeeper Ripley went down with an injury but was fine to continue.
Darius Osei was introduced on 70 minutes for his debt as he replaced Ryan Flynn.
Latics were just being forced into some last ditch defending as Clarke prevented Jackson from close range.
With only 10 minutes of the game remaining, a third unstoppable free kick in three games undid Athletic’s hard work.
Substitute Vose’s free kick from 25 yards found the top corner, beating Ripley who almost got a hand to the ball.
Latics huffed and puffed for an equaliser but could not manage to find one and Grimsby came away with the victory.
Grimsby Town: McKeown, Davies, Boyce, Pearson, Jones, McAllister, Summerfield, Berrett, Bolarinwa, Jackson, Vernon
Subs: Bogle, Venney, Warrington, Clifton, Vose, Chambers, Wright, Browne.
Oldham Athletic: Ripley, Wilson (Law 46’), Burgess, Clarke, Reckord, Flynn (Osei 71’), Green, Banks, Croft (Woodland 78’), Erwin (Cassidy 86’), Mckay
Subs not used: Kettings, Edmundson, Stott, Mantack, Winchester.
Goals: Grimsby Town (Jackson 14’, Vose 80’) 2-1 Oldham Athletic (Reckord 56’)
Attendance: 1,038 (110 visiting supporters)