In a Boxing Day ‘six-pointer’, Latics were frustratingly beaten by Scunthorpe United following a rampant second-half display from the visitors which completely turned the game on its head.
Early into the first-half, Benny Couto expertly smashed past Rory Watson and into the far top corner after vital work from his teammate, Harry Vaughan.
Keith Hill introduced Ryan Loft from the bench at the break which got his side back into the game as the striker’s deflected effort found the back of the net in the 51st minute.
And then, Myles Hippolyte put the Iron ahead in the match before Loft confirmed the victory with a well-struck low strike just over ten minutes from full-time.
Interim Head Coach, Selim Benachour named five changes for the visit of the Lincolnshire-based outfit with Dylan Bahamboula, Harry Vaughan, Jack Stobbs, Hallam Hope and Raphael Diarra back in the line-up for the last home fixture of 2021.
Additionally, first-year scholar, Aaron Atkinson, earned a place on the bench after impressive performances for the Youth Team prior to their festive break.
To add to this, we wore our tangerine kit as part of Shelter's ‘No Home Kit’ campaign in a powerful act of support and solidarity for people without a home, click here to donate.
Scunthorpe had a relatively promising start to the encounter in Great Manchester. First, Hayden Hackney’s in-swinging free-kick found Manny Onariase at the back post, however, the defender flicked his effort over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.
Harry Bunn, son of Frankie, received possession on the edge of the penalty area before the former Latics loanee dragged his low effort past the near post to the relief of Jayson Leutwiler.
In the 11th minute, the hosts took the lead with an excellent effort from Couto. Vaughan cleverly picked out the full-back on the left-hand side of the box, and the 18-year-old fiercely fired his strike into the far top corner before producing an Eric Cantona-esque celebration for his first professional goal.
Moments later, Vaughan produced some admirable footwork inside the area and showcased the vision to find Hallam Hope, but the attacker sliced his attempt past the far post.
After the restart, Hill’s side raced out of the blocks and got themselves level through a half-time substitute. Loft managed to acrobatically volley from the edge of the box which took a wicked deflection off Carl Piergianni and found its way into the back of the net.
Once again, Loft caused the backline endless trouble and he implemented intelligent hold-up play before slotting Tom Pugh clean through on goal, however, the midfielder couldn’t keep his composure as he dragged his chance past the far post.
Following that, Bunn fashioned a reserve pass that found the feet of Loft, but the former Leicester City man cannoned his effort off the crossbar with pressure continuously growing from the visitors.
In the 74th minute, Scunthorpe netted a second to take a well-deserved advantage in the match. Loft demonstrated his class to slot Hippolyte one-on-one with Leutwiler and the winger kept his cool to blast past the ‘keeper with the away end erupting.
Just three minutes later, disaster struck for Oldham as Loft added his name to the scoresheet and, more or less, single-handedly secured the three points for the travellers. Hackney, a Middlesbrough loanee, found Loft with his perfectly executed pass before the Target-Man raced into the 18-yard box and confidently placed his effort into the right-hand bottom corner to confirm their first win on the road for 22 games.
Depsite late pressure from the Benachour's outfit, Latics couldn't find a response to their second-half outing and, currently, find themselves situated at the foot of the division.
Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Cisse, Piergianni ©, Adams, Whelan, Hope, Stobbs (Keillor-Dunn 46’), Diarra (Luamba 83’), Bahamboula, Couto, Vaughan (Hart 55’).
Unused Subs: Rogers (GK), McGahey, Hopcutt, Atkinson.
Goals: Couto 11’
Scunthorpe United XI – Watson (GK), O’Malley, Taft ©, Onariase, Green (Kenyon 79’), Hippolyte, Rowe, Bunn, Jarvis (Loft 46’, Pugh, Hackney.
Unused Subs: Billson (GK), Millen, Hallam, Davis, Lewis.
Goals: O.G. Piergianni 51’, Loft 77’, Hippolyte 74’
Attendance: 4,693 (413 away)
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge