Selim Benachour began his interim tenure of Latics with a frustrating defeat in a local affair on a freezing cold afternoon at the Peninsula Stadium.
After a fairly balanced first-half, Matty Lund gave the hosts the lead just before the half-time break with a header from close range against his former club.
Jack Stobbs illustrated determination and perseverance as he dribbled inside from the left-wing, but his powerful strike smashed the crossbar before Brandon Thomas-Asante fired the Ammies second to secure three points.
After a hectic week at the club, Benachour was named as the interim Head Coach following the departure of Keith Curle. Our Youth Team Manager was faced with the challenge of travelling to Salford for a fierce fixture in front of a sold-out away end.
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder opted to change the rigid 3-5-2 system to a 4-2-3-1 as well as bringing the creative flair of Dylan Bahamboula and Jamie Hopcutt back into to the side on either flank.
Latics started the encounter on the front foot and displayed attacking intent within the first minute. Zak Dearnley produced great work down the right-hand side whilst battling with Ashley Eastham before he picked out Davis Keillor-Dunn, but the creative midfielder sliced his effort wide of the target.
Dearnley, a former Manchester United player, continued to ask questions of the Ammies backline and registered his first shot on goal in the 28th minute. The forward swiftly turned his marker on the edge of the box, and then, fired an attempt on target, however, Tom King stood strong to catch the ball.
Just before the interval, Gary Bowyer’s outfit had their first noteworthy attempt of the match. Josh Morris received possession around 25-yards from goal and fiercely struck goalwards which resulted in Jayson Leutwiler tipping his effort onto the post.
In the 45th minute, the hosts were ahead courtesy of former Latic, Lund. Morris’ deflected cross from a wide set-piece found the box-to-box midfielder unmarked inside the six-yard area and he coolly steered his header into the far corner.
After the restart, Bahamboula tried to impact the game with his trademark trickery as he glided past Ibou Touray and raced into the area, however, Jordan Turnbull executed a tackle perfectly to prevent him from shooting on goal.
Following that, Jason Lowe went in search of a second for his side when he volleyed from the edge of the box, but it went wide of the target. Then, Lund’s low deflected effort slowly missed the near post.
After being introduced from the bench, Stobbs had an instant involvement in the match which nearly got his team level. The substitute cut inside from the left-wing before his thunderous curled effort cannoned off King’s crossbar.
However, Salford extended their lead in the 78th minute through the lively Thomas-Asante. Turnbull flicked a long throw into the path of the attacker and blasted past the ‘keeper before jubilantly reeling away in joy.
In added time, the well-known Conor McAleny managed to clear Jamie Bowden’s low effort off the line to the relief of the Salford defenders, and it ensured that the Ammies would pick-up their second-ever victory against Oldham on home turf.
Salford City XI – King (GK), Love, Touray, Lowe, Eastham ©, Lund, Elliott (McAleny 70’), Morris, Turnbull, Shephard, Thomas-Asante.
Unused Subs: Jeacock (GK), Wright, Oteh, Smith, Dackers, Vassell.
Goals: Lund 45’, Asante-Thomas 78’
Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Fage (Adams 84’), McGahey, Piergianni ©, Hart, Bahamboula, Bowden, Whelan, Hopcutt (Hope 56’), Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Stobbs 76’).
Unused Subs: Southerington (GK), Clarke, Vaughan, Bettache.
Attendance: 3,242 (1,347 away)
Referee – Paul Howard