Latics suffered their first defeat since the return of John Sheridan as Carlisle United secured maximum points in a relegation ‘six-pointer’.
Early into the encounter, Davis Keillor-Dunn was denied from the penalty spot, but Hallam Hope managed to restore a bit of faith as the striker fired his side into a lead in first-half added time.
After the restart, Omari Patrick instantly got his team on level terms before Oldham experienced heartbreak in stoppage time with Morgan Feeney grabbing the headlines.
Following an hectic schedule for the ‘boys in blue’, the Head Coach opted for two changes to his starting XI as he strived to preserve an impressive unbeaten run. Dylan Bahamboula and Callum Whelan returned to the line-up with the Cumbrians eager to make it three wins in a row for themselves.
Paul Simpson, adored and idolised by the opposition’s fanbase, has galvanised Carlisle’s fortunes on the pitch since his return with passion, commitment and desire values that he has embedded into his players’ mindset and his side which was evident from the offset.
The first opportunity of the game arose as Jack Armer raced down the left-hand side before he delivered a pinpoint cross into the area which was met by Patrick, however, the frontman steered his header wide of the target.
In the 25th minute, Latics were awarded a penalty after the referee adjudged Dynel Simeu of handling inside the area with an eruption of noise sounding around the terraces.
Keillor-Dunn stepped up as Bahamboula and Christopher Missilou received a yellow card after getting involved in a needless altercation with Jon Mellish – which added more pressure to an already intense situation. Howard, a former transfer target during Harry Kewell’s tenure, was equal to the spot-kick in order to keep the score level.
With minutes to spare in first-half stoppage time, Shez witnessed his side break the deadlock through a former Cumbrian. Initially, Mellish directed a header against his own post before it landed nicely to Clarke, and then, his effort was deflected past a sea of bodies on the line by Hope as he made it two goals in two games.
Patrick reinforced himself as a fans favourite amongst the blue and white army after his first spell at the club as well as netting four goals in six matches upon his arrival and he exemplified his quality when he equalised straight after the restart. The lightning-fast attacker sprinted clean through on goal and remained composed as he slotted his effort into the bottom corner.
A two-hour journey to Greater Manchester, the visitors were notably buoyed on by over 1,200 travelling fans and momentum seemed to be in their favour following their goal. Jamie Devitt aimed to make a difference as he dribbled inside and ambitiously curled an effort towards the top corner, but it sailed over the crossbar.
Following that, Jordan Gibson expertly delivered a cross onto the head of Patrick, somehow the former Burton Albion man navigated his header off target from inside the six-yard box with the whole backline relived.
Gibson continued to cause his opposition problems and when Patrick picked him out in the box, he remarkably flicked the ball over two defenders, and then, he dragged his strike just wide of goal.
In the 94th minute, Callum Guy floated his free-kick into a dangerous area of the 18-yard box and Feeney rose above his marker and his glancing header grazed the crossbar before deflecting into the back of the net which resulted in chaos amongst the away fans.
The referee sounded the final whistle which meant that the visitors had secured a mammoth victory in the bid for Sky Bet League Two survival.
Ironically, the last time the Cumbrians picked-up maximum points at Boundary Park arrived on Saturday 6 October 2018 as Shez occupied the away dugout with Hope getting his name on the scoresheet as well.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Piergianni ©, Adams (Stobbs 87’), Callum Whelan (Hunt 80’), Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula (Obadeyi 68’), Missilou.
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Hopcutt, Couto, Vaughan.
Goals: Hope 45+3’
Carlisle United XI – Howard (GK), Armer, Simeu, Riley, Guy ©, Devitt (Devine 72’), Mellish, Feeney, Gibson, Patrick, Dennis (Sho-Silva 72’).
Unused Subs: Norman (GK), Alessandra, Corey Whelan, Roberts, Omotoye.
Goals: Patrick 48’, Feeney 90+4’
Attendance: 7,327 (1,294 away)
Referee – Sam Allison