OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, CREWE ALEXANDRA 2
It was another miserable day for Oldham Athletic as they suffered a fourth straight defeat in Sky Bet League One at home to basement club Crewe Alexandra.
They were unable to capitalise on Crewe being reduced to 10 men early in the second half following George Ray’s dismissal for deny an opponent a goalscoring opportunity as the last line of defence.
After the 7-0 defeat at MK Dons, it was all change as manager Lee Johnson made five changes as Paul Rachubka, George Elokobi, Carl Winchester, Michael Tidser and Jobo Ibehre all won recalls.
They replaced Paddy Kenny, Genseric Kusunga, Timothee Dieng, Daniel Johnson and Dominic Poleon is a new look line up.
Oldham made a decent start as Mike Jones, Winchester and Ibehre all had decent chances early in the game.
Crewe were a threat on the counter attack with Nicky Ajose’s lob forcing Rachubka to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Elokobi, captain for the day, had a header well saved by keeper Ben Garratt who also denied Ibehre with a decent stop late in the half.
Crewe were reduced to 10 men after 55 minutes when Ray pulled back Jonathan Forte as he raced through on goal. He was deemed the last man so the defender had to go.
Jones crashed the resulting free kick just wide while a shot from Joseph Mills crashed against the crossbar as Latics looked to make a breakthrough.
Yet it was Crewe who snatched the lead with 21 minutes left from the penalty spot when Elokobi committed a trip in the penalty area and Ajose fired the spot kick into the bottom corner of the net.
Oldham were back on level terms within six minutes when Elokobi atoned his earlier error by heading home Tidser’s corner.
Ibehre came close to putting Oldham ahead while they also had a shout for a penalty rejected. And to add insult to injury, Crewe broke upfield to score the winner with four minutes remaining as Ajose broke and chipped Rachubka from 30 yards.
Latics pressed for an equaliser and had another appeal for a penalty rejected as Ibehre claimed he was tugged back.
But as much as they huffed and puffed, Oldham were unable to blow their way through the Crewe defence as they built on the win against leaders Bristol City in their previous match.