Latics claimed the bragging rights in Greater Manchester as Keith Curle’s side beat Rochdale to pick up the Ernie Cooksey Trophy.
Davis Keillor-Dunn created chaos in the away end in the 59th minute as he brilliantly curled into the far corner from the edge of the box which secured a great victory in the local derby.
Following the midweek disappointment, Latics were given a much-needed boost ahead of their journey to the Crown Oil Arena with Harrison McGahey available for selection against his former employer. The Head Coach named him in the starting XI alongside two other changes with Benny Couto making his league debut and Hallam Hope in the team as well.
The first opportunity of the encounter fell to Couto as the left-back found space on the edge of the area, however, he sliced his strike over the crossbar.
With his name being chanted from the away terrace, Dylan Bahamboula produced a trademark dribble on the left-hand side and glided past several Dale defenders before winning a corner for his team. From the resulting set-piece, Carl Piergianni climbed above his marker, but the skipper steered his header past the far post.
Immediately after, Hope received the ball inside the penalty area before spinning the defender and powerfully striking on goal with Latics academy product Joel Coleman excellently denying the forward, how good it was.
Robbie Stockdale will have been frustrated when Aaron Morley delivered an inviting cross into the box, however, the onrushing Jimmy Keohane, a former Latics trialist under Darren Kelly, somehow couldn’t make any connection whilst being unmarked at the back post.
Early into the second-half, Morley nearly found the opener as the ball was laid into his path on the edge of the area and the technical midfielder drilled his shot along the floor which cannoned off the post before it was cleared.
Once again, Bahamboula illustrated his natural talent as he raced with the ball from the halfway line to the area before making the ‘keeper produce a fine save before Couto’s effort was blocked.
In the 59th minute, the away end absolutely erupted as Latics took the lead in the derby. Keillor-Dunn picked up the ball on the edge of the box before having the composure to curl his effort into the far corner as he frantically reeled away in celebration.
Dale went in search of an equaliser and Alex Newby struck a volley from the edge of the box sweetly, however, Jayson Leutwiler was equal to it as he parried it away.
Rochdale kept the pressure up and ex-Latics defender Eoghan O’Connell received the ball in the box and fired a shot on goal, but Raphael Diarra bravely blocked the attempt.
Following that, O’Connell, former defensive partner with Virgil van Dijk, managed to win a header inside the six-yard which looped over everyone and hit the crossbar with the danger eventually cleared.
The Dale captain then won possession around 25-yards from goal and unleashed a powerful curling effort, but Leutwiler fantastically denied O’Connell as Latics picked up their first win away at Rochdale since November 2014 under Lee Johnson.
Rochdale XI – Coleman (GK), O’Keeffe, O’Connell ©, Morley, Beesley, Newby (Andrews 84’), Dorsett, Keohane, Broadbent (Kelly 60’), Graham, Cashman (Odoh 60’).
Subs: Lynch (GK), Taylor, Dooley, Done.
Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Fage, Clarke, McGahey, Piergianni, Couto (Jameson 86’), Diarra, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn (Bettache 74’), Bahamboula, Hope.
Subs: Danielewicz (GK), Bowden, Vaughan, Da Silva, Dearnley.
Goals: Keillor-Dunn 59’
Attendance: 5,234 (1,518 away)
Referee – Will Finnie