Zak Dearnley made it two goals in two games as his late strike earned Latics a point against Carlisle United at Boundary Park.
Unfortunately, at short notice, Assistant Head Coach Alan Maybury stepped in to take charge in the dugout after the news of Harry Kewell’s absence.
There were five changes to the side for the clash as Ian Lawlor, Bobby Grant, Zak Dearnley and Alfie McCalmont returned to the starting XI with Kyle Jameson being handed his full debut.
Chris Beech’s started the game on the front foot with numerous chances being created and the first opportunity arrived in the second minute as right-back George Tanner floated a cross in from the left onto the head of Josh Kayode and his looping header was excellently tipped over the crossbar by Lawlor.
Just minutes after, they continued to attack and nearly got their rewards when Jon Mellish pushed forward and laid the ball off to Gime Toure on the edge of the penalty area, but his curling effort cannoned off the crossbar.
Carlisle must’ve thought they’d taken the lead when Toure powerfully headed towards the bottom corner and it looked destined for the back of the net, but Jordan Barnett managed to clear the effort off the line. Following that, Mellish also caused trouble with a header from close range, but he couldn’t keep his attempt down.
Once again, Tanner raced down the right-flank and delivered a cross into the box and Latics academy graduate, Lewis Alessandra, managed to get onto the end of it, but he clicked his effort just past the far post.
The hosts began to create their own chances which started as Barnett delivered a free-kick onto the head of Grant, but he couldn’t steer his header on target and the danger was cleared.
In the 34th minute, Toure was gifted the best chance of the first-half as Jameson slipped which allowed the onrushing attacker one-on-one with Lawlor, but his strike smashed the post and went out for a goal-kick.
The last chance before the interval fell to Dearnley when Ben Garrity had the vision to slot the striker clean through on goal and he raced goalwards with the ball, but his effort went the wrong side of the post.
The Cumbrians took the lead in the 54th minute as a corner from the left found Aaron Hayden at the front post and the central defender managed to power his header past Lawlor to break the deadlock.
Oldham should’ve been level when Barnett’s free-kick found Garrity in the six-yard box, but the midfielder somehow could only head wide of target which was a big let-off for Carlisle.
However, Latics found an equaliser with 79 minutes on the clock through the in-form Dearnley as substitute Danny Rowe played the ball to him on the edge of the 18-yard-box and the striker kept his composure to open up his body and curl his strike past Paul Farman into the far corner.
Both sides went in search of a late winner, but neither side could craft a clear-cut chance which meant that the game finished 1-1, the same score as the last time the teams met at Boundary Park in the league.
Oldham Athletic XI – Lawlor (GK), Piergianni ©, Garrity, Grant (Rowe 62’), Jameson (Clarke 85’), Ntambwe (Bahamboula 46’), Barnett, McAleny, Dearnley, McCalmont, Hamer.
Subs – Bilboe (GK), Clarke, Jombati, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn.
Goals: Dearnley 79’
Carlisle United XI – Farman (GK), Tanner, Anderton ©, Hayden, Riley (Malley 85’), Guy (Furman 74’), Alessandra, Mellish, McDonald, Kayode, Toure (Reilly 71’).
Subs – Norman (GK), Hunt, Charters, Armer, Furman, Malley.
Goals: Hayden 54’
Referee – Matthew Donohue