Latics were condemned to a defeat against Barrow on another frustrating afternoon at Boundary Park.
Ex-Latic Ollie Banks give the visitors the lead with a powerful strike from 25-yards before Barrow grabbed two goals in five minutes after half-time with Offrande Zanzala and Joe Grayson getting their name on the scoresheet.
After three wins in a week, Keith Curle constructed three changes for the clash against Barrow with the Head Coach handing starts to Alan Sheehan, Hallam Hope and Junior Luamba.
Mark Cooper’s men started the encounter on the front foot with attacking intent from the offset and they should’ve taken the lead when Josh Gordon received the ball inside the penalty area before turning and curling an effort just past the far post which left Jayson Leutwiler grounded.
Latics applied pressure of their own as Nicky Adams raced down the right-hand side before driving into the box and picking out Luamba in a promising position, however, the youngster failed to make contact with his strike to the frustration of the Boundary Park faithful.
In the 15th minute, the Cumbrian-based outfit found themselves ahead courtesy of their skipper Ollie Banks. The deep-lying playmaker, who has developed a rivalry with Latics fans, impressively fired a powerful strike into the bottom corner from around 25-yards out before reeling away in celebration in front of the Oldham supporters.
The hosts tried to get themselves level as Dylan Fage managed to pick out Jamie Bowden with a cross and the Tottenham Hotspur loanee forcefully headed towards the top corner, however, Paul Farman produced excellent reflexes to deny him.
Just before the break, Sheehan curled a free-kick over the wall which looked bound for the top corner, but the Barrow ‘keeper, once again, superbly denied the player/coach.
The Bluebirds doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute as Zanzala dribbled into the box and skipped past a few defenders inside the box before he kept his composure to slot into the far corner.
Just minutes later, Barrow made it three after Grayson delivered a free-kick from out wide into the area and the defender’s set-piece managed to go past everyone before finding its way into the back of the net.
Later on, Faysal Bettache tried his luck from the edge of the box, but the opposition goalkeeper managed to manufacture a great low save as he pushed it around the past.
Following that, substitute Raphael Diarra dragged a low strike wide of the target as Barrow secured the three points.
Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Piergianni ©, Adams, Whelan (Keillor-Dunn 46’), Hope, Fage, Jameson, Bowden, Bettache, Luamba (Vaughan 73’), Sheehan (Diarra 58’).
Subs: Danielewicz (GK), Dearnley, Da Silva, Couto.
Barrow AFC XI – Farman (GK), Brough, Taylor, Zanzala (Kay 83’), Gordon, Jones, Gotts (White 78’), Grayson, Hutton, Banks ©, Stevens (Arthur 92’).
Subs: Lillis (GK), Moloney (GK).
Goals: Banks 15’, Zanzala 53’, Grayson 58’
Attendance: 4,232 (474 away)
Referee – Carl Boyeson