Danny Rowe’s early strike was cancelled out by Ashley Nadesan’s goal before George Francomb and Tom Nichols put Crawley Town in control of the game. Latics couldn’t find an equaliser after Conor McAleny’s consolation.
New face Alfie McCalmont was handed his Latics debut for the game after arriving at Boundary Park on loan from Leeds United just yesterday.
Harry Kewell’s side had the Red Devils worrying early on as Andrea Badan chipped an inch-perfect long ball through to Rowe. The frontman controlled the ball around the goalkeeper and floated a cross into the area, but Conor McAleny couldn’t quite get onto the end of the cross with an open goal at his mercy.
Moments later, McAleny continued to cause the visitors problems and nearly got his rewards when he let loose with a powerful low strike the penalty area and it looked destinated from the back of the net, but Glenn Morris got down excellently to keep the former Everton youngster out.
Latics took the lead in the 30th minute as Callum Whelan floated a cross into the box from the right-wing, Rowe ghosted into the area unmarked and headed past the goalkeeper from close range.
However, straight from kick-off, John Yem’s side pulled themselves level as Nadesan got onto the end of a low cross and managed to smash his attempt into the bottom corner which left Ian Lawlor with no chance.
Only eight minutes later Crawley took the lead through their captain. Franncomb received the ball on the edge of the area before opening his body out and unleashing a powerful strike goalwards which cannoned off the post and into the back of the net.
The hosts nearly got themselves level just before the interval as Bobby Grant delivered a corner into the box which was met by the towering Carl Piergianni and his header smashed off the crossbar before a red shirt clear the danger.
At half-time, Australian attacker George Blackwood was introduced and he showed plenty of encouraging glimpses early on although he was on the receiving end of a late challenge from Nathan Ferguson which saw him get booked.
The Reds extended their advantage midway through the second-half as they were given far too much time in a dangerous area before Francomb’s pinpoint cross from the right-hand side found Nichols at the back post, the former Bristol Rovers striker headed it back across goal and into the back of the net.
Latics pulled a goal back in the 80th minute as a low cross from the left from Badan arrived at the feet of McAleny and the attacker adjusted his position to slot past Morris and into the corner which gave his side a bit of hope.
In added time, Oldham came so close to finding an equaliser when the ball scrambled around the penalty area and it fell to Blackwood, who opted to lay off Whelan rather than shoot, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his composure and blasted over Morris’ crossbar.
This result sees Crawley win away from home for the first time since August 2019.
Oldham Athletic XI – Lawlor (GK), Hamer, Jombati, Piergianni ©, Badan, McCalmonet, Whelan, Grant (Fage 67’), Keillor-Dunn (Blackwood 46’), McAleny, Rowe (Barnett 84’).
Subs – Chapman (GK), Borthwick-Jackson, Da Silva, Hough.
Goals: Rowe 30’, McAleny 80’
Crawley Town XI – Morris (GK), Doherty, Francomb, Nadesan, Frost, Ferguson (Powell 66’), Allarakhia, Nichols (German 78’), Tunnicliffe, Bulman (Hessenthaler 52’), Craig.
Subs – McGill (GK), McNerney, Davies, Galagh.
Goals: Nadesan 31’, Francomb 39’, Nichols 69’
Referee – Darren Drysdale