OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, WALSALL 3
The feel-good factor was short-lived as Oldham Athletic’s home woes returned as Walsall triumphed at Boundary Park.
Three days after Latics recorded a first home win of the season in Sky Bet League Two came a new setback as they slid back to third bottom and only out of the relegation places on goal difference.
Head coach Keith Curle had been looking to build on Saturday’s emphatic home success against Stevenage only for it to come crashing down three days later against the struggling Saddlers.
And with only four points from a possible 21 at Boundary Park, it is clear to see where Latics’ troubles lie.
Walsall established a 2-0 interval lead through goals from Jack Earing and George Miller.
Hallam Hope halved the deficit to give Latics hope but Emmanuel Osadebe sealed victory with the visitors third goal in the 85th minute.
Curle named one change from Stevenage as captain Carl Piergianni was suspended with Alan Sheehan taking his place in the backline as well as his armband.
Latics had the best of the early chances, Zak Dearnley firing over from close range being the most presentable.
Sheehan picked up an injury and was replaced in the 10th minute by Hope. The substitute raced down the left-hand side before picking out Davis Keillor-Dunn, but the in-form forward’s attempt went straight to goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.
In the 33rd minute, the Saddlers took the lead through former FC Halifax Town man Earing. Goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler struggled to deal with a cross and punched into the path of the midfielder who found the bottom corner from 25-yards.
Rushworth was called into action again to deny Dylan Bahamboula at the second time of asking after a scramble inside the six-yard box.
Walsall doubled their advantage just before the interval. The visitors worked the ball inside the penalty area before the ball landed to Miller and the striker scored from close range.
Early into the second-half, Stephen Ward tried his luck from distance, but the former Burnley full-back sliced his effort over Leutwiler’s crossbar.
Latics piled on the pressure nearly got their rewards in the 67th minute when Benny Couto curled a perfect cross on to the head of Hope at the back post, only to be thwarted by Rushworth.
From the resulting corner, Latics halved the deficit as Hope scored his first goal for the club as he peeled off his marker to head powerfully past Rushworth and into the bottom corner.
However, Osadebe sealed victory for Walsall in the 85th minute after a mix-up in the defence allowed him to race one-on-one with the Leutwiler and he kept composed to slot a shot into the far corner.
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler, Stobbs (Vaughan 62), McGahey, Sheehan (Hope 10), Clarke, Couto, Bowden, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula, Dearnley (Bettache 46). Subs (unused): Rogers, Da Silva, Edwards, Turner.
Goals: Hope (68) for Oldham Athletic. Earing (33), Miller (43), Osadebe (85) for Walsall.
Attendance: 3,762 (329 visitors).