Goals from Urko Vera and David Wheater give Latics a valuable first away win of the season against Cambridge United.
There were three changes to Tuesday’s point at Boundary Park against Exeter. With Maouche and Missilou returning from injuries, Vera was chosen in attack with Wheater keeping the captaincy.
The U’s started the game on the front foot with the left-winger Luke Hannant producing a number of chances after beating Hamer.
His first was a low cross that wasn’t met by the hosts, with his next hitting the side netting and his third being his best. Receiving the ball in the box on the 10th minute, he shifted it onto his right and hit it straight at Woods who calmly collected.
Oldham tried to respond but a couple of half-chances from Missilou were wide of the target with Cambridge’s O’Neil hitting a shot from distance that skimmed past the post of Woods.
The game turned on its head when Urko Vera put Latics in front on 27 minutes. Eagles delivered a great cross in from the left, with the Spanish striker unmarked his header was on target but punched in the air by Mitov. Vera followed it up by bundling it over the line.
It looked like Banide’s side had took control with Nepomuceno firing a powerful cross in and then Maouche finding the target minutes later.
But at a sun-drenched Abbey Stadium Cambridge came back and nearly equalised. Woods was on hand to deny O’Neil producing a fantastic low save on the half-hour mark.
The hosts next chance five minutes later went in however. With the referee not signalling for the penalty appeal, Cambridge kept coming, finding Richards whose turn and shot nestled into the goal.
United kept coming forward and just before the break, Davies hit the crossbar from an angle after collecting the ball on the far side and a free-kick from Smith was tipped around by Woods to send the teams in at the break level.
Colin Calderwood’s team came back out and kept the pressure on with Darling shooting from range as Latics were kept to only the odd attack.
Vera found the ball and time to flick it onto Eagles on the 53rd minute, with his pass being too strong for Nepomuceno in the box.
The hosts who were unbeaten and sitting pretty near the top before this fixture and a changes from both sides Oldham went in front on 66 minutes.
Maouche drifted a free-kick in from the right, finding the head of Wheater who easily nodded it goalwards, rising the highest in the area.
The lead away from home meant Cambridge kept Banide’s side camped into its own half for the rest of the game.
Azankpo nearly completed a perfect counter attack with five minutes remaining as good play between Branger and Maouche found the African striker in space in the box, but his shot was dragged wide after pressure from the U’s captain.
But after some resolute defending including excellent saves from Woods and bookings for Fage, Sylla, Maouche and Hamer the side saw out an important result and the first three points of the season.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Taft, Taylor (Captain), Hannant, O’Neil (57’ Roles), Maris (68’ Lambe), Darling, Davies, Richards, Smith (68’ Knibbs), Lewis.
Oldham Athletic: Woods, Iacovitti, Smith-Brown, Vera (54’ Sylla), Maouche, Nepomuceno (64’ Branger-Engone), Missilou, Fage, Wheater (Captain), Eagles (54’ Azankpo), Hamer.
Attendance: 4,004 (220 Latics)
Referee: Scott Oldham