Latics earned a colossal three points on home turf as they overcame an in-form opposition with a professional display.
A dominant first-half performance was rewarded with a goal as Nicky Adams’ floated cross got turned into his own net by George Ray.
Although the second interval played out more evenly, Oldham sealed the win in added time when Harry Vaughan demonstrated composure and vision to send Callum Whelan on his way, and with the goal at his mercy, he tapped the ball over the line.
A highly-anticipated affair, Shez made two changes to his starting XI as Richie Wellens brought the O’s to Boundary Park for a rearranged Sky Bet League Two encounter. Sam Hart and Christopher Missilou returned to the side which meant that Benny Couto and Dylan Bahamboula dropped to the bench.
An early moment of note arrived as the host applied pressure down the right-flank before Jack Stobbs received possession on the edge of the area, he unleashed a scuffed effort that deflected off Otis Khan – born in Ashton-under-Lyne – and it temporarily panicked Lawrence Vigouroux, but the Chilean international managed to hold onto the ball.
Adams, an experienced professional that leads by example, constantly contrived to make things happen in the final third which was exemplified when he delivered onto the head of Davis Keillor-Dunn with the attacker somehow missing the target from close range.
Then, the 35-year-old coolly dribbled past a defender on the edge of the area before he fiercely struck goalwards, however, the shot-stopper stood tall and was counted for as he gathered his attempt.
With the Latics faithful firmly backing the players, Shez’s outfit deservedly broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute. Once again, Adams caused his former employer havoc on the left-hand side, and this time, he fizzed a cross into a dangerous area which resulted in Ray turning into his own net.
After the restart, the visitors strived to even the scoreline and they were nearly level just eight minutes into the second-half. Ruel Sotiriou, who’s netted six goals in seven games, found himself one-on-one with Danny Rogers, but the shot-stopper produced a vital flick to steer the low effort away from the far corner.
Adams’ precise corner delivery found Carl Piergianni inside the six-yard box, however, the towering skipper directs his thunderous header over Vigouroux’s crossbar.
The hosts believed that they should’ve been awarded a penalty-kick as Sam Hart sprinted into the box before he was tripped, the players, dugout and supporters appealed, but the referee waved away the protests.
In added time, the three points were secured as Vigouroux went up for a corner, the hosts counter-attacked which was led by Vaughan, he placed Whelan through on an empty goal and the midfielder slotted over the line for his first professional goal.
Appreciatively, the final whistle sounded which meant that Latics held onto maximum points for the first-time in over a month of action.
Oldham Athletic XI – Rogers (GK), Clarke, Hart, Piergianni ©, Adams (Hunt 82’), Whelan, Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Stobbs (Vaughan 55’), Missilou, Sutton.
Unused Subs: Leutwiler (GK), Diarra, Bahamboula, Hopcutt, Couto.
Goals: Ray O.G. 33’, Whelan 95’
Leyton Orient XI – Vigouroux (GK), Wood, Smyth, Smith (Brown 70’), Nouble (Drinan 56’), Khan, Beckles ©, Sotiriou, Kyprianou, Coleman (Pratley 60’), Ray.
Unused Subs: Sargeant (GK), Young, Ogie, Nkrumah.
Attendance: 4,619 (209 away)
Referee – Christopher Sarginson