This game against the runaway league leaders was always going to be a tall order for Latics and so it proved on what turned out to be another crushing afternoon.
Two goals in the first half consigned Oldham to defeat at Forest Green and despite a much-improved showing after the break, there was to be no way back for John Sheridan’s side, a missed penalty from Christopher Missilou late in the game crystallising their woes.
Draws for Stevenage and Barrow leave Latics four points adrift of safety with three games of the season to play, their principal rivals also having a game in hand.
Forest Green have been the benchmark for the whole of League Two this season and they underlined their credentials during a first half that was one-way traffic.
If there was a goal to sum up Latics’ season, it was the opener inside eight minutes. A slack pass out of defence from Harrison McGahey went straight to Regan Hendry, whose 20-yard effort took a significant deflection as it looped over the back-peddling Danny Rogers.
There was a vibrancy to the hosts’ early attacking play, Rogers denying Hendry from range shortly afterwards, and Latics, without the presence of Piergianni in the back line, never appeared settled when under pressure.
Sheridan had opted for a line-up that appeared to be attack-minded and Latics had their moments. The visitors somehow failed to score with three chances in quick succession, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Jamie Hopcutt and Missilou being denied by a combination of goalkeeper Luke McGee and his defenders amid a goalmouth scramble.
Yet any respite for Latics was temporary, Nicky Cadden sending a free-kick over before Rogers saved from Jack Aitchison.
The home side added to their lead four minutes before the break, Jamille Mattstooping to score with a glancing header to convert a left-wing cross from Cadden.
Matt almost scored his second in added time, striding past Sutton and bearing down on goal but Rogers stood strong.
Sutton was part of a double change at the break, Hopcutt also making way as Kyle Jameson and Nicky Adams were introduced and, with thewords of Sheridan no doubt ringing in their ears, there was a renewed intent about Latics straight away.
A corner from Adams was cleared as far as Missilou, whose volley from the edge of the area was held by McGee.
Adams helped bring extra urgency to Latics’ play but the visitors were unable to capitalise on a number of crosses and dead balls delivered into the area. For all their increased possession, the visitors were sorely missing a cutting edge to their attack.
Even when Latics were presented with a golden opportunity to get back into the game, Jameson being hauled down inside the area with ten minutes remaining, they failed to take the chance, Missilou blazing the resulting penalty over the crossbar to complete a miserable afternoon.
Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Stobbs, Bahamboula (Vaughan 75), Hopcutt (Adams 46), Missilou, Sutton (Jameson 46).
Subs not used: Leitwiler, Diarra, Hunt, Couto.
Forest Green Rovers: McGee, Wilson, Cargill, Adams, Aitchison (Bernard 64), Cadden (Sweeney 85), Matt, Moore-Taylor, Hendry, Godwin-Malife, March.
Subs not used: Thomas, Allen, Young, Diallo, McAteer.
Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 3,137 (504 away)