Latics were unable to put an end to a winless run as Sutton United exemplified a resolute nature in their first game at Boundary Park.
A brace from Ricky Korboa and Harry Beautyman’s spot-kick sealed the victory for the U's on a mild evening in Greater Manchester.
Will Sutton, an impressive youngster, provided Latics will a glimmer of hope with ten minutes to spare, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fifth defeat on the bounce.
With another disappointing defeat at the weekend, Shez named three changes to his team selection as the Amber and Chocolates arrived up north. Benny Couto, Jack Stobbs and Dylan Bahamboula were in the side as a result of Carl Piergianni (suspension), Sam Hart (suspension), Christopher Missilou (absent) and Harrison McGahey (injury) being unavailable.
The ‘boys in blue’ began the encounter with attacking intent and it was highlighted when Nicky Adams typically delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Hallam Hope, the attacker towered above his marker, but directed his header over familiar face, Dean Bouzanis’ crossbar.
Although, frustration arrived in the 20th minute as the U’s took the lead courtesy of a bizarre scenario. As the ball rolled around the six-yard box, Couto frantically tried to avert the danger, however, his clearance cannoned off Korboa and into the back of Danny Rogers’ net.
Couto, a highly-rated talent, looked to atone for his error and exemplified his quality as Omar Bugiel produced an excellent looped pass to send David Ajiboye clean through on goal, however, the young left-back sprinted back in order to block the effort.
Matt Gray’s side could’ve extended their advantage in first-half added time as Bugiel cleverly steered his header towards Ben Goodliffe inside the six-yard box, he ambitiously tried an overhead-kick which skimmed the top of the crossbar.
After the restart, Sutton raced out of the block and snatched another goal which dampened spirits in the terraces. Korboa, lively through the game, found himself one-on-one with Rogers, the forward remained composed before he slotted his strike into the left-hand bottom corner.
With Shez barking orders from the touchline, Latics endeavoured to make something of the match and Hope nearly had embraced the rewards when his effort from the edge of the area had the ‘keeper panicked as the ball cannoned off the crossbar.
The visitors secured all three points when David Ajiboye, who netted against Latics in the reverse fixture, dribbled into the area and won a penalty-kick after being brought down by Tope Obadeyi. A former Latics trialist in 2016, Beautyman stepped up and tucked his spot-kick into the bottom corner.
W.Sutton has been a bright spark in tough few weeks for Oldham and he gave his teammates a bit of belief in the 81st minute. The central-defender climbed highest from Stobbs’ cross, and then, coolly guided his header past Bouzanis.
In search of a remarkable promotion to the third-tier, Sutton remained organised across the field as they managed to hold on to a titanic victory in the second-ever encounter between the two teams.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Couto, Clarke ©, Adams (Obadeyi 67’), W.Sutton, Hope, Whelan, Stobbs, Hunt (Vaughan 67’), Bahamboula, Keillor-Dunn.
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Diarra, Hopcutt, Da Silva, Turner.
Goals: W.Sutton 81’
Sutton United XI – Bouzanis (GK), Wyatt, Rowe, Goodliffe, Ajiboye, Davis © (Beautyman 60’), Bugiel (Dundas 81’), Lovatt, Korboa, Boldewijn, Bennett (Kouassi 88’).
Unused Subs: Nelson (GK), House (GK), Kouassi.
Goals: Korboa 20’, 49’, Beautyman 77’
Attendance: 4,624 (62 away)
Referee – Marc Edwards