Oldham Athletic suffered their first loss on the road as controversial goals from John-Joe O’Toole and Kevin Van Veen handed Northampton Town the three points.
The hosts had Sam Foley sent off and although Rob Hunt pulled a goal back for Latics they could not find the equaliser in a frustrating afternoon.
Latics came out the blocks in the opening ten minutes of the game and they could have had a penalty after a handball shout against Jordan Turnbull, but nothing was given by referee Craig Breakspear.
Mohamed Maouche then had a shot blocked inside the six-yard box before Aaron Pierre intercepted a dangerous Chris O’Grady cross as Oldham were on top.
Gevaro Nepomuceno dragged a shot wide before Northampton had their first chance as O’Toole also fired wide.
However, as the half entered its final ten minutes Rob Hunt gave away a dubious freekick which the home side capitalised on.
Latics cleared the initial danger, but the ball was kept alive by The Cobblers and O’Toole headed in past Daniel Iversen.
Sam Foley then saw red moments later for a late challenge on Christopher Missilou, in truth it didn’t look a red card offence, but referee Breakspear showed the Northampton midfielder his marching orders.
However, the referee topped that decision by awarding a penalty to which baffled everyone in the PTS Academy Stadium.
A freekick came in and the referee pointed to the spot after an incident involving Peter Clarke which Van Veen stepped up to and scored low to Iversen’s left.
Frankie Bunn made two changes at half time as he brought on Ishmael Miller and Jose Baxter, but it was Northampton who nearly scored a third.
Matt Crooks was played through on the counter attack and he chipped an effort wide of the Oldham goal.
Miller had a shot blocked in the box, before a Nepomuceno cross was aimed towards Clarke who seemed to get a push in the back, but once again no penalty was given for Latics.
Hunt scrambled a goal back for Latics after a complete melee in front of the Northampton goal mouth scramble.
Hunt then almost turned provider as he picked out Baxter on the edge of the box, but the playmaker couldn’t get a sweet connection on the volley.
Baxter then found substitute Jonathan Benteke from a corner and he saw his header cleared off the line.
Clarke had to clear a Crooks effort off the line and for all Latics tried they could not find the equaliser they were searching for.
Attendance: 4767 (351 Away)
Cornell, Buchanan ©, Hoskins, Foley, Van Veen (Powell 84’), Pierre, McWilliams, Turnbull, Bridge (Odoffin 45’), O’Toole, Crooks
Iversen, Hamer, Clarke ©, Edmundson, Hunt, Maouche, Gardner (Baxter 45’), Missilou, Nepomuceno (Benteke 69’), O’Grady (Miller 45’), Lang