CRAWLEY TOWN 2, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0
Oldham Athletic’s wretched form against the bottom-four clubs in Sky Bet League One continued with defeat at Crawley Town.
Latics have still not beaten a team in the relegation places in the current campaign, a mystery bearing in mind some top-drawer displays against the leading teams.
It was another tale of woe as first-half goals from Izale McLeod and Richard Wood condemned Latics to a loss at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Latics were forced into a midfield change as Luke Woodland while top scorer Jonathan Forte was another absentee.
Liam Kelly made a surprise return in midfield where left-back Joseph Mills was handed a role in place of Dominic Poleon.
Danny Philliskirk was again an absentee as it has been discovered he was badly concussed in the recent defeat at Bradford City.
Rhys Turner had two early chances for Latics, but each time was let down by a poor touch as he failed to profit.
Latics were to pay for those misses as Crawley went ahead after quarter of an hour when Latics failed to clear a cross and McLeod looped a header over keeper Joel Coleman.
Kelly shot over and Conor Wilkinson had an effort blocked as Latics went in search of an equaliser.
But it was Crawley who had the cutting edge as they doubled their lead after half an hour from a free kick which Mat Sadler earned a yellow card.
And to add further pain, Wood made it 2-0 from the free kick after being released by Lee Fowler.
Latics had another chance to get on to the scoresheet when a 25-yard free kick from former Crawley player Mike Jones was tipped over the bar by veteran keeper Brian Jensen.
They had another great opening early in the second half when Kelly released Carl Winchester who crossed to Turner whose goalbound effort was acrobatically turned over by Jensen.
Crawley might have added a third goal but for Kelly making a goalline clearance to keep out a Lewis Young header.
Poleon was brought on after an hour for Winchester to provide more attacking bite and he immediately set up Wilkinson whose lob was narrowly over.
Latics also had a shout for a penalty rejected after Kelly was bundled to the ground while Jones had another goal attempt saved by Jensen.
Youngster Jordan Bove and Jacob Mellis were brought on as Latics looked for new ideas and Kelly saw another drive flash just wide.
Latics were forced to take chances and were almost caught on the counter when keeper Joel Coleman was forced to deny Young with his feet.
Jones had one last chance, but his 25-yard drive failed to hit the target as Crawley secured a win which lifts them out of the relegation places.