Keith Curle picked up his first win in charge of Latics in a professional performance against Exeter City.
The side contained one change following a well-earnt point at Bradford City at the weekend with Andrea Badan returning to the starting XI replacing Harry Clarke who picked up a knock. To add to this, Serhat Tasdemir was back on the bench alongside second-year scholar Junior Luamba.
The first opportunity of the game fell to the visitors in the fourth minute as captain Jake Taylor delivered a cross into the box from the right and great movement from the highly-rated Matt Jay allowed the striker to flick a header goalwards, but it went just over Laurie Walker’s crossbar.
Exeter continued to test Latics’ resolute backline when Ryan Bowman received possession on the left-hand side of the penalty area before curling an effort on target, however, the goalkeeper managed to keep him out.
The Grecians’ won a free-kick on the left-wing and Jack Sparkes produced an outstanding delivery towards Nigel Atangana inside the box, but the unmarked midfielder headed off target to the relief of the Latics dugout.
Just moments later, the lively Bowman should’ve put his side ahead as a low cross found him yards away from goal, but he sliced his strike and Walker caught the ball.
In the 35th minute, Oldham took the lead through Kyle Jameson as he scored his first goal for the club. Marcel Hilssner played a short corner to Nicky Adams and he delivered into the area with Jameson rising above everyone and headed into the bottom corner.
Curle’s emergency shot-stopper was called into action early into the second-half as Archie Collins smashed a low attempt on goal from inside the box, but Walker managed to push the effort on his crossbar before it was cleared.
Latics doubled their advantage in remarkable style in the 55th minute as the ball was cleared to Alfie McCalmont on the edge of the area and the Leeds United loanee’s volley cannoned off the crossbar before going over the line as Curle looked to close in on his first win in charge of the club.
However, Matt Taylor’s side managed to get back into the game in the 66th minute as a cross from Sparkes unmarked at the back post and he slotted into the back of the net from close range to give his side hope in the match.
Following that, Exeter were nearly level but they were denied by an unbelievable double save from Walker in the Latics goal. The goalkeeper pushed Bowman’s shot from inside the six-yard box onto the top before getting back up to save another strike, the Grecians even hit the other post before the boys in blue managed to clear.
The visitors piled on the pressure late on, but it was Latics who had the best chance and it fell to substitute Luamba. Jameson displayed incredible vision as he played the ball over the top to the onrushing youngster, but his low effort was saved by Jokull Andresson.
This win is the first time since December 2009 when Deane Smalley and Paul Heffernan got on the scoresheet that Latics have beaten Exeter at Boundary Park.
Oldham Athletic XI – Walker (GK), Piergianni ©, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn (Tasdemir 46’), Fage (Diarra 90’), Jameson, McAleny, Badan, Hilssner (Borthwick-Jackson 70’), Adams (Luamba 84’), McCalmont.
Subs – Bilboe (GK), Grant, Ntambwe.
Goals: Jameson 35’, McCalmont 55’
Exeter City XI – Andresson (GK), Caprice (Key 55’), Sparkes, Atangana (Page 59’), McArdle (Willmott 59’), Taylor © (Fisher 90’), Collins, Bowman (Seymour 59’), Jay, Sweeney, Hartridge.
Subs – Lee (GK), Parkes.
Referee – Scott Purkiss