Latics slipped to their second league defeat of 2023 in the North East, with Gateshead running out 2-1 winners.
An own goal from captain Liam Hogan and Marcus Dinanga on either side of Will Sutton’s fine equaliser ensured three points for the hosts.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts with former Newcastle United forward Adam Campbell finding himself one on one with Magnus Norman after a smart move by the Tynesiders but the Latics stopper was equal to his effort.
Latics didn’t learn their lesson and Gateshead were able to play their way into attack again less than a minute later. On this occasion Oldham weren’t as fortunate with Hogan deflecting Campbell’s driven cross into his own net to open the scoring.
The ginger haired forward continued to give David Unsworth’s side problems in the early stages and was nearly rewarded with a goal in the 14th minute. He weaved his way through challenges from Latics’ hapless defenders before firing a well hit shot narrowly wide of Norman’s far post.
The home side continued to have the better of proceedings and Dan Ward found himself with a bit of space wide of the goal and his drilled effort evaded both the oncoming Gateshead attackers whilst narrowly going wide of the far post.
A matter of moments later, Latics were nearly the architect of their own downfall after a loose pass saw Gateshead break with Campbell stinging the gloves of Norman from the resulting shot.
The Tyesiders continued to press for the goal to double their advantage and had it not been for a top stop from Norman, they would have had it. Skipper Greg Olley’s pinpoint cross was met by the head of Marcus Dinanga but a smart stop forced a corner.
From the resulting kick, Louis Storey had a glorious opportunity as he found himself inexplicably unmarked, but his header sailed safely over the crossbar.
Oldham’s first half chance of the game came in the 37th minute, Alex Reid did well to take the ball down from an awkward cross, but his eventual effort did nothing to threaten Filip Marschall in the Gateshead goal.
Mike Williamson’s men started the second half in a similar vein and smart link up play between Kamil Conteh and Ward allowed the latter some space to shoot from range but his 50th minute strike went comfortably over the top.
Somewhat against the run of play, Latics struck level in the 54th minute. The ball fell to Sutton on the edge of the box and Marschall could only watch on as the local lad’s powerful strike flew into the bottom corner.
Reid came agonisingly close to netting his third in as many outings when he burst through on goal and successfully rounded the Heed stopper, but he couldn’t direct the ball goalwards from a tight angle with his left footed effort hitting the side netting.
Despite a brief period following the equalising goal, the hosts continued to have the upper hand as proceedings went on and it felt like there was an air of inevitability about the hosts retaking the lead in the 80th minute.
Dinanga was the beneficiary of a goal mouth scramble that led to him having the simplest of finishes from close range to open his account for Gateshead.
Both sides have chances late on with substitute Mike Fondop hitting the bar with his well hit effort from range and Joe Nutall sending one narrowly wide from outside of the area.
Up the other end, Gatehsead had a few openings as a result of Oldham pushing for an equaliser but they were unable to increase the deficit.
The result means Latics’ gap between themselves and the bottom four has been cut to just three points.
Gateshead XI: Marschall, Tinkler, Storey, Richardson, Pye, Whelan (Williamson, 84), Conteh, Olley, Ward (Harris, 79)., Diangana, Campbell
Subs not used: Montgomery, Clark, Thompson
Latics XI: Norman, Hogan ©, Sheron, Shelton, Rooney (Tollitt, 85), Reid (Green, 81), Kitching, Sutton, Chapman (Fondop, 69), Yarney, Nuttall
Subs not used: Hudson, Couto
Attendance: 1118 (220 Latics fans)