SALFORD CITY 2, OLDHAM ATHLETIC 0
A change of head coach, change of formation and change of personnel failed to deliver a win for Oldham Athletic at Salford City.
It was another miserable afternoon as Latics slipped back into the bottom two relegation places in Sky Bet League Two.
And disgruntled fans again held up play by throwing flares on to the pitch at the Peninsula Stadium. You have to admire the loyalty as, despite the team’s woeful form, 1,347 of them turned up.
The departure of head coach Keith Curle following the midweek defeat at Northampton Town saw youth-team coach Selim Benachour took interim charge on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Former Latics’ loanee Matty Lund gave the Ammies the lead shortly before half time.
Such are the fine margins that Jack Stubbs struck the frame of the goal before Brandon Thomas-Asante doubled the lead to secure three points which eases their sides troubles.
The wins lifts Salford to 11th after a disappointing start for Gary Bowyer’s side which was the bookies’ favourites to be champions before the season kicked off.
Benachour, the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, opted to change the 3-5-2 system to 4-2-3-1 as well as bringing in the creative flair of Dylan Bahamboula and Jamie Hopcutt on either flank.
Latics started on the front foot and within the first minute Davis Keillor-Dunn sliced an effort wide from Zak Dearnley’s cross.
Dearnley, a former Manchester United player, continued to ask questions of the Ammies backline and registered his first shot on goal in the 28th minute which was caught by goalkeeper Tom King.
Just before the interval, Salford had their first noteworthy chance when Josh Morris’ 25-yard drive was tipped by goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler on to the upright.
In the 45th minute, the hosts were ahead courtesy of former Lund. Morris’ deflected cross found the midfielder unmarked inside the six-yard area and he coolly steered his header into the far corner for his fifth goal of the season.
After the restart, Jason Lowe, another ex-Latics’ player, went in search of a second for his side when he volleyed wide from the edge of the box and Lund’s low deflected effort flew narrowly wide.
Substitute Stobbs made an instant impact as he cut inside from the left before his fierce shot struck crossbar.
Salford extended their lead in the 78th minute through the lively Thomas-Asante. Turnbull flicked a long throw into the path of the striker who blasted past Leutwiler.
In added time, Ammies striker Conor McAleny, Latics’ top scorer last season, showed he can defend as he cleared Jamie Bowden’s low effort off the goalline to the relief of the Salford defenders wh preserved a clean sheet.
Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler, Fage (Adams 84), McGahey, Piergianni, Hart, Bahamboula, Bowden, Whelan, Hopcutt (Hope 56), Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Stobbs 76). Subs (unused): Southerington, Clarke, Vaughan, Bettache.
Goals: Lund (45), Asante-Thomas (78).
Attendance: 3,242 (1,347 visitors).