OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, SALFORD CITY 0
Carl Piergianni gave Oldham Athletic further grounds for optimism after what had been a disappointing start to the campaign.
The central defender and Latics’ captain was the matchwinner in the Papa John’s Trophy win against his former club Salford City at Boundary Park.
It was Latics’ third win a week following their Carabao Cup penalty shootout win against Accrington Stanley and first league win at Sutton United.
And it lifted spirits noticeably after they had lost their first four league matches to be rooted at the bottom of Sky Bet League two.
Following the first league victory at Sutton United, head coach Keith Curle made six changes, handing second-year scholar Bernardo Couto, a Portuguese left-back, his professional debut after impressing in the youth team.
In the opening stages, Dylan Fage wasted a great chance. Nicky Adams displayed great vision as he slotted the Frenchman one-on-one with goalkeeper Zach Jeacock, but he blasted his effort over the crossbar.
Callum Whelan also had a chance, a speculative drive from 35 yards which was well over.
Salford chief Gary Bowyer saw his side finally create an opening as Brandon Asante produced a bicycle-kick inside the box which looked goalbound, but Couto managed cleared off the line.
Just before the interval, the host took the lead as skipper Piergianni led by example as he scored against his former club. Faysal Bettache delivered a corner on to the head of Piergianni and he steered his attempt past on-loan Birmingham City player Jeacock and into the back of the net.
Early in the second half, Bettache spotted Jeacock off his line which resulted in him trying his luck from inside his own half, but the QPR loanee dragged his effort wide of the target.
Salford’s Matt Sargent looked to get his side level with a shot from distance which Jayson Leutwiler had to be alert to get down and deny the midfielder.
The Ammies almost equalised with five minutes left as Kelly N’Mai did well inside the box create space to pass to substitute Hayden Campbell who struck the far post from a tight angle with Leutwiler managing to pick up the ball on the line as Latics impressively made it three wins in a week.
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler, Adams (Hope 69), Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Da Silva 46), Jameson, Bettache (Luamba 76), Bowden, Fage, Piergianni, Couto. Subs (not used): Danielewicz, Vaughan, Diarra, Sheehan.
Goal: Piergianni, 43, for Oldham Athletic.
Attendance: 1,915 (252 visitors).