Latics rounded up 2023 with an important three points at home to Hartlepool.
After attacking from the get-go, Oldham got an early goal, as Mark Kitching’s long ball was hit beautifully by Josh Stones on the bounce, giving Joel Dixon no chance from the edge of the box.
Stones had to withdraw before the break due to injury, but Latics kept Pools quiet for the rest of the half.
Athletic took the game by the scruff of its neck in the second-half, and had a flurry of opportunities to add another goal to their tally, but their second would come in the dying moments of the game.
Fondop poked home from a corner, as Hartlepool failed to clear their lines, leaving them with no way back into the game.
Hartlepool got a goal within the first few minutes of the reverse fixture, but it was Latics who struck early this afternoon, as loanee Stones hit Kitching’s diagonal ball on the half-volley beating the ‘keeper with ease.
The away side had their share of chances in the first-half, most of which came via Featherstone from crosses or corners, but neither troubled Hudson too much.
Apart from one on the stroke of the half-hour mark, which saw Cooke run through, hitting the ball with precision and power, forcing Hudson to make himself as big as possible, knocking the ball wide with his right leg.
In the last fixture, Stones semi-replicated his goal from Solihull, and Norwood looked to replicate his assist of that goal, pulling off a back-heel flick which Stones tried to reach, but it was a touch heavy for him.
Goalscorer Stones was forced off just before the break due to injury, having been assessed by the physio a few minutes prior and attempting to carry on.
Mikey came on, partnering Norwood up top, with the latter attempting to double Latics’ lead when he tried to meet Hope’s ball across the face of goal.
No doubt Micky Mellon would have been telling his Latics side to get out there in the second-half and look for another goal, and that’s certainly what they were trying to do.
Kitching nearly did it by accident, with his set piece nearly catching out Dixon as it flew towards the far corner, but it went just over.
The best chance came as a pair.
Norwood made contact with a cross just a few yards out, but his shot bounced off the Hartlepool defence, he was given a second chance on the follow-up, with his effort being deflected wide of the goal.
Hudson was called into action again, denying substitute Mancini from a tight angle with a good save.
With the away side pushing for an equaliser, that opened up more chances for Latics, and Athletic took full advantage of that.
Hogan won a corner following an uncharacteristic sprint and cross down the left-wing, Kitching swung it in, and following a few failed clearances, Mikey poked it home from a few years out, to Latics delight, but disappointment of his former employers.
Latics move up to 8th, and are only outside the play-offs on goal difference, with a single point separating them and Gateshead in fifth.
Oldham: Hudson, Kitching (Willoughby, 90+1’), Hogan, Hobson, Lundstram, Sheron, Raglan, Hope (Ward, 69’), Sutton, Stones (Fondop, 39’), Norwood.