CARLISLE UNITED 3, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1
Oldham Athletic’s dress rehearsal for the new season ended in a disappointing defeat at Sky Bet League Two side Carlisle United.
It was hardly ideal preparation for Saturday’s opening game in League One at Walsall after Angelo Balanta, Derek Asamoah and Steve Rigg inflicted a loss at Brunton Park.
And it might have been an even heavier loss had Danny Grainger not missed a first-half penalty for the Cumbrian club.
All Latics had to show for their efforts was a consolation goal from Rhys Murphy.
It was a case of unlucky 13 for Carlisle as that was the minute they were awarded a penalty following a foul by trialist Fraser Kerr on Asamoah, but Grainger fired wide.
Latics could have snatched the lead when Jake Cassidy’s header skimmed the crossbar, but it was Carlisle who made the breakthrough after half an hour.
A corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty area and Balanta found the net with the aid of a deflection as the ball whistled past keeper David Cornell.
Latics twice almost equalised shortly before half time, but keeper Mark Gillespie saved well to deny Lee Croft and then again to thwart Jonathan Forte.
Latics had their own penalty appeal early in the second half when Carl Winchester went down in the box.
It was not given and Carlisle promptly doubled their lead when Asamoah headed home following a counter attack.
Manager Darren Kelly brought on Dominic Poleon and Murphy midway through the second period and within two minutes the pair combined as Murphy found the net to half the deficit.
Poleon and Joseph Mills both had decent attempts at goal as Latics looked likely to draw level.
But Carlisle sealed victory with six minutes left when Rigg stole in at the far post to head past Cornell.
Latics had two great chances to reduce the arrears late in the game, but Poleon and Murphy failed to capitalise on what were great openings as they were indicative of their fortunes on an afternoon to forget.