Oldham Athletic suffered a 1-0 defeat to Colchester United at Boundary Park as Frank Nouble netted just before half-time.
Latics nearly took an early lead in the 7th minute as Chris Eagles started a counter-attack, he got to the visitors’ box and laid the ball to Mohammed Maouche and his strike hit the post.
Shortly after, Christopher Missilou drove at the Colchester United defence before passing to Dylan Fage and he beat his man before laying it off to Maouche but his shot was blocked by Scott Wilson and the danger was cleared.
The U’s first chance of the game fell to striker Luke Norris, but he scuffed his effort into the hands of Gary Woods in the Latics goal.
The hosts should have taken the lead in the 24th minute after a clever ball from Maouche allowed Fage behind the defence and he put a low cross into the box but Wilson couldn’t make any contact with the ball only yards away from the goal.
Moments later, Maouche slotted Wilson through on goal but Dean Gerken rushed out and bravely denied the striker.
John McGreal’s side nearly broke the deadlock as they countered and Frank Nouble slotted Courtney Senior in behind the Oldham defence, but Woods rushed out and tackled the winger. The loose ball fell to Norris and he lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper, but it landed on the roof of the goal.
Colchester managed to take the lead just before half-time as Norris played a ball over the top of the Latics defence to Nouble and he raced in on goal and placed his shot in the bottom corner.
Early in the second half, the U’s nearly doubled their lead but Ben Stevenson’s shot deflected just wide of the Latics goal.
Laurent Banide’s side came close to equalising as Tom Hamer’s long throw found the head of Missilou but his header went just over the visitors’ goal.
Fage drove at the Colchester defence before unleashing a powerful strike on goal but his attempt was saved by Gerken.
Colchester should have extended their lead as Senior ran at the Latics defence before slotting Theo Robinson in on goal and his shot hit the bar before Norris’ strike was saved by Woods.
Eagles whipped a great delivery into the box and Maouche got onto the end of it but could only head wide of the target.
Oldham Athletic 0-1 Colchester United
Attendance 3091 (145 Away)
Oldham Athletic XI – Woods, Hamer, Wheater, Iacovitti, Smith-Brown (Branger-Engone 56’), Sylla, Maouche, Missilou (Vera 74’), Fage, Eagles, Wilson (Azankpo 62’).
Subs – Zabret, Mills, Sefil, Stott, Branger-Engone, Azankpo, Vera.
Colchester United XI – Gerken, Jackson, Prosser, Senior (Cowan-Hall 85’), Norris (Brown 80’), Eastman, Clampin, Stevenson, Gambin (Robinson 73’), Comley, Nouble.
Subs – Ross, Brown, Robinson, Chilvers, Kensdale, Cowan-Hall, James.