Latics suffered a four defeat on the bounce as an in-form Exeter City outfit secured maximum points at Boundary Park.
After an actionless first-half, Kyle Taylor fired the Devon-based side into the lead in front of the travelling contingent as the Grecians strived to maintain their impressive run of form.
The hosts remained determined to salvage something from the encounter and were handed the perfect opportunity as they won a penalty kick, however, Sam Hart was denied by Cameron Dawson.
Nigel Atangana received a red card for the Grecians late on, but they still managed to extend their advantage courtesy of Jevani Brown in added time.
Following a midweek loss in the West Midlands, Shez opted for three changes to his side for the visit of Exeter City. Jordan Clarke, Tope Obadeyi and Callum Whelan returned the starting XI and endeavoured to make an impact in the Sky Bet League Two fixture.
It was a fairly lacklustre opening 15 minutes with neither side possessing creative flair in promising areas of the pitch as the sun beamed down in Greater Manchester. The only noteworthy moment arrived when Jack Sparkes delivered an inviting set-piece into the penalty box, Kieran Phillips flicked towards goal, but Danny Rogers collected the Huddersfield Town loanee’s attempt with ease.
An encouraging counter-attack provided a glimmer of hope for the ‘boys in blue’, Dylan Fage utilised his abundance of speed and agility to pounce of high backline and the attack-minded full-back raced clean through on goal, however, he dragged his low effort past the far post from a tight angle.
Davis Keillor-Dunn, looking to rekindle his form from throughout February, cleverly crafted an opening for himself on the edge of the area in the 29th minute of the match. He instinctively spun his marker with a piece of skill before he adjusted his body posture to strike on goal in which he saw their shot-stopper tip over his crossbar.
Just before the interval, Archie Collins supplied a pinpoint corner, and as a result, Pierce Sweeney powerfully steered his header past the far corner with many relieved facial expressions occupying the 18-yard box.
Born in Chorley, Matt Taylor’s half-time team talk worked a treat as the Grecians broke the deadlock immediately after the restart. Jack Caprice floated his cross onto the head of Taylor, and the former AFC Bournemouth prospect expertly flicked past the Latics ‘keeper.
A club with a unique identity and embracing the fan-owned model, Exeter should’ve doubled the visitors’ tally after Sam Stubbs somehow directed his unmarked header from the inside six-yard box over the crossbar – Oldham were massively let off the hook.
The home terraces erupted when the referee pointed to the spot as Caprice was adjusted to produce a high foot on Missilou with 70 minutes on the clock. Hart, a determined and fearless individual, stepped up from 12-yards, but frustratingly witnessed his spot-kick get saved by Dawson which meant that Latics have missed both penalties that they’ve won this campaign.
Although the travellers would’ve been frustrated themselves as they failed to finish the game with 11 men, Atangana clumsily fouled Missilou on the halfway line which give the referee no choice but to send him off.
Matt Jay, an idolised maestro in the final third for the Grecians, made an impact from the bench as he dribbled into the area with intent before he pulled it back to J.Brown, and the attacking-midfielder kept his composure to curl into the top corner to extend his side’s lead in added time.
As the final whistle neared, frustration arose on and off the pitch for Latics as Exeter illustrated immense character to secure all three points with their search for promotion gathering momentum.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Clarke ©, Hart, Adams, Whelan, Hope (Stobbs 90’), Keillor-Dunn, Fage (Missilou 65’), Hunt, Obadeyi, Sutton.
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Diarra, Bahamboula, Couto, Vaughan.
Exeter City XI – Dawson (GK), Caprice, Sparkes, Stubbs, Collins, Dieng (Atangana 46’), Phillips (Zanzala 68’), Taylor (Jay 78’), J.Brown, Sweeney ©, Hartridge.
Unused Subs: S.Brown (GK), Key, Coley, Diabate.
Goals: Taylor 52’, J.Brown 96’
Red Card: Atangana 92'
Attendance: 5,111 (452 away)
Referee – Sebastien Stockbridge