Latics make it back-to-back wins for the first time since November as Keith Curle’s side net five on Friday night at Boundary Park.
After a dominant win on Monday away at Crawley Town, Curle named an unchanged team for the visit of Colchester United in the Sky Bet League Two fixture.
Ahead of kick-off, we paid tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh as both sides observed a two-minute silence in his memory.
Dylan Bahamboula manufactured the first chance of the game for himself in the 12th minute as he dribbled past Tom Lapslie and he powerfully struck goalwards, but Dean Gerken managed to get down and keep him out.
Following that, Callum Whelan and Davis Kellior-Dunn produced a corner routine which found Carl Piergianni inside the area, however, the captain couldn’t flick his header on target.
Hayden Mullins and his backroom staff thought they’d been handed a gift when Whelan played a back pass to Laurie Walker which looked destined for the back of the net, but the goalkeeper was able to recover as clearance deflected off Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu.
Latics took the lead in the 37th minute as Keillor-Dunn constructed delightful footwork inside the box before Tom Eastman brought the attacker down with the referee pointing to the spot. The club’s top goalscorer, Conor McAleny, stepped up and slotted his penalty in the bottom left corner just beating the goalkeeper.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the U’s and Dylan Fage delivered a low cross to McAleny in the area, but the forward curled his effort just wide of the post.
Just before half-time, Oldham doubled their advantage with a comical, but effective, free-kick routine which stunned the visitors. Several Latics players danced in front of the goalkeeper to distract him before Alfie McCalmont curled a free-kick onto the post and into the back of the net.
At the start of the second interval, the flamboyant Bahamboula showcase his vision and ability to complete the pass as he played McAleny in behind their defence, but his low strike was saved by Gerken.
Curle’s side nearly made it three but was somehow denied on three occasions in the same attack. First, McCalmont’s effort from a tight angle inside the box was saved before Gerken denied McAleny from the rebound and then Bahamboula witnessed his strike get cleared off the line.
However, in the 56th minute, Latics did score another courtesy of the skipper. A corner from the left found Piergianni inside the box, his header didn’t reach the goal, but he managed to flick past Gerken from close range.
Colchester United nearly pulled a goal back as their captain, Harry Pell, drilled a low effort which hit the post before Frank Nouble smashed the rebound over the crossbar.
Although, just moments later the visitors managed to get a goal back as Nouble raced down the left before running inside to slot under the onrushing Walker as it rolled into the goal to give his side hope.
In the 81st minute, the U’s found themselves another goal as the experienced Eastman smashed an effort from range on goal which went through Walker to make it a tense last ten minutes for Curle.
Ryan Clampin was closed to finding an equaliser for his side as he managed to battle his way past two defenders, so he got one-on-one with Walker, but the shot-stopper managed to block his effort.
The three points were secured in the last minute through Keillor-Dunn as he received the ball inside the opposition’s half before getting to the edge of the area and smashing his effort to the corner of the net.
Keillor-Dunn wasn’t finished there as he made it a five-star performance for Latics as Whelan slotting him through before a turned and placed his effort past the goalkeeper as Oldham beat Colchester at home for the first-time since 2006 when the late Richard Butcher scored a last-minute winner.
Oldham Athletic XI – Walker (GK), Clarke, Borthwick-Jackson, Piergianni ©, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Fage (Diarra 88’), Jameson (Adams 51’), McAleny (Garrity 70’), Bahamboula (Hilssner 88’), McCalmont.
Subs – Chapman (GK), Ntambwe, Badan.
Goals: McAleny 37’ pen, McCalmont 42’, Piergianni 56’, Keillor-Dunn 90’ & 90+5’
Colchester United XI – Gerken (GK), Welch-Hayes, Lapslie (Stevenson 79’), Smith, Senior (Brown 56’), Pell ©, Harriott (Sowunmi 56’), Eastman, Clampin, Sarpong-Wiredu (Chilvers 65’), Nouble (Folivi 65’).
Subs – George (GK), Cowan-Hall.
Goals: Nouble 64’, Eastham 81’
Referee – Martin Coy