Oldham Athletic are through to the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy following a 4-1 win over Newcastle United under 21s.
Two goals from Jack Byrne and Eoin Doyle secured the comfortable win for Richie Wellens side, whilst the Magpies grabbed a late consolation through Rolando Aarons.
Manager Wellens made seven changes to Saturday’s FA Cup defeat against Carlisle United and was boosted with the return of Byrne to the midfield.
And he was at the heart of everything Athletic created in the first half.
But it was the visitors who had the first early chance as Callum Roberts could not convert at the back post following a cross into the box.
Latics came into the game and dominated the whole half.
On four minutes, Byrne’s inswinging free kick found captain for the night Anthony Gerrard but his header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
Roberts curled a free kick over the crossbar from 25 yards before Latics took the lead on 13 minutes through Byrne.
It all started from a long ball from goalkeeper Johny Placide who found Eoin Doyle.
The striker held the ball up well and brought others into play before Byrne received it in the penalty area.
He took one touch to get it out of his feet, moved the ball onto his right foot and fired into the bottom corner to give Athletic the lead.
Latics continued to take the game to Newcastle who were struggling to deal with the pace of Wellens’ men.
Midway through the half, Athletic should have been two goals ahead, however, Nathan Harker pulled off a great save to deny Doyle.
Gevaro Nepomuceno’s cross found Brian Wilson at the back post, he laid it back to Doyle to strike from six yards but Harker managed to stick an arm out and save.
Byrne was at the heart of everything Oldham Athletic did in the first half as he got on the ball and set up a number of attacks.
He curled over the crossbar on the half hour mark and fired wide minutes later as he went in search of his, and Latics’, second.
Gerrard and Byrne were both booked in the final five minutes of the first half, whilst Victor Fernandez went closest for the visitors as he forced a save from Johny Placide from 25 yards.
The goalkeeper had been relatively quiet in the first half, however, he did produce a sublime piece of skill as he executed a Cruyff turn in his own penalty area and left Lewis McNall on his backside in the process.
Latics continued to dominate in the second half and created a number of early chances.
Doyle could not get a shot away after a through ball from Byrne, but Latics would have a golden opportunity to extend their lead on 51 minutes.
A sumptuous ball over the top from Abdelhakim Omrani found Doyle who volleyed across the box for Holloway but he slid the ball wide of the goal.
Omrani was again the provider two minutes later as he attempted to pick out Holloway’s darting run but his pass was just ahead of the striker.
Athletic doubled their advantage on the hour mark through the poaching instinct of Doyle.
The striker reacted first to a Bryan strike from 25 yards and he gambled on the goalkeeper parrying the ball. He parried into his path and he made no mistake from 12 yards.
Two soon became three as Byrne netted his second of the game. It was great work between the front two, Holloway and Doyle, as they played the ball to Byrne who twisted and turned in the box and wrong footed the goalkeeper from six yards.
Latics were in cruise control and almost made it four 60 seconds later but Doyle fired wide from inside the penalty area.
Athletic did have to be wary of the counter attack as Aarons found himself one-on-one with Placide but the goalkeeper stood up for long enough to save.
With 20 minutes of the game remaining, Latics did make it four and Doyle grabbed his second of the game.
An inch-perfect through ball found the onrushing Doyle who received the ball and cooly dinked over the goalkeeper to put the game beyond doubt.
The visitors did manage to pull a goal back on 78 minutes as Aarons headed in at the front post past Placide to reduce the arrears.
A huge cheer of the night came as Courtney Duffus entered the field of play following a long illness which has kept him out for three months.
The result saw Wellens’ men advance through to the second round of the competition.
Oldham Athletic: Placide, Wilson, Gerrard, Bryan, Nepomuceno, Flynn (Maouche 71’), Gardner (Obadeyi 65’), Omrani, Byrne, Holloway, Doyle (Duffus 71’).
Subs not used: Wilson, Hamer, Menig, Davies.
Newcastle United: Harker, Sterry, Cameron, Barlaser, Good, Gillesphey, Roberts, Ward, McNall (Bailey 64’), Fernandez (Kitchen 71’), Aarons.
Subs not used: Woolston, Azaikonou, Smith, Bartlett, Heaney.
Goals: Oldham Athletic (Byrne 13’, 63’, Doyle 61’, 69’) 4-1 Newcastle United (Aarons 78’)
Attendance: 1,107 (50 visiting suppporters)