CRAWLEY 3, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0
Head coach Dino Maamria would be pulling out his hair – if he had any – after he witnessed Oldham Athletic’s loss at Crawley.
How could an unchanged team from the dazzling 5-0 home win against Newport County slip to a heavy defeat in West Sussex.
It was another case of the away day blues at Latics suffered a ninth league loss on their travels as Crawley extended their unbeaten home record to nine matches over four and a half months.
Yet in the opening stages it looked as though Latics would continue where they left off against Newport.
How Latics were left to rue the missed chances as they could have been out of sight before Crawley went ahead.
What made it even more frustrating it that Latics enjoyed almost two thirds possession, no mean feat for an away side.
Bristol City loanee Jonny Smith could have added to his 11 goals while Zak Dearnley twice and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson had goal attempts.
Latics’ best chance was the second that fell to Dearnley who was denied by a brilliant double save from Glenn Morris.
Crawley certainly rode their luck which enabled them to stay in the game and they gradually began to ease their way into it.
Bez Lubala missed when it was easier to score before the Red Devils went ahead in the 36th minute.
Replacing the injured Ollie Palmer, former Hendon striker Ricardo German scored on his first league start, neatly cutting back inside and scoring with a well-placed shot.
Things went from bad to worse when David Wheater was substituted due to injury shortly after Latics conceded. Tom Hamer was switched alongside Carl Piergianni with Christian N’Guessan brought on at right back.
Crawley finished the opening period strongly and German and Lubala had chances to double the lead.
In the second half it was the Red Devils who dominated as Latics failed to continue how they started the afternoon in terms of creating chances and being solid at the back.
The Red Devils produced wave after wave of attacks with Ashley Nadesan denied by goalkeeper Zeus de la Paz.
Pressure from John Yemm’s side was rewarded as they scored their second in the 69th minute, Nadesan calmly chipping de la Paz into the goal after a speedy counterattack for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Five minutes later and the third came from the penalty spot. Lubala, who was tripped by Mohamad Sylla, sent de la Paz the wrong way.
Latics failed to score for the first time in nine games and their last away win was at Morecambe on Boxing Day.
Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): de la Paz; Hamer, Wheater (N’Guessan 39), Borthwick-Jackson (Branger-Engone 78); Smith, Sylla, McCann, Smith, Nepomuceno; Dearnley (Maouche 64), Rowe. Subs (not used): Allen, Missilou, Fage, Azankpo.
Attendance: 2,037 (186 visitors).