OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, CARLISLE UNITED 2
Oldham Athletic suffered their first setback of the latest John Sheridan era as they lost at home to Carlisle United in a League Two basement battle.
After being unbeaten in Sheridan’s first seven matches – three wins and four draws – Latics suffered a dramatic defeat as Morgan Feeney hit a 94th minute winner for the Cumbrians to the delight of their 1,200 following.
In a match of fine margins, Latics were 1-0 ahead at the interval through a Hallam Hope goal but they would have had a healthier advantage has Davis Keillor-Dunn not missed a first-half penalty.
Omari Patrick got his team on level terms soon after the restart before Latics experienced heartbreak in stoppage time.
It was a loss which leaves Latics second bottom and in the relegation places, two points behind Barrow with a game in hand.
Carlisle’s upturn in fortunes underlined how fortunes can quickly change.
When Latics beat Bradford City on February 19 they leapfrogged Carlisle leaving the Cumbrians in the bottom two.
However, under new manager Paul Simpson, Carlisle have won all three matches to move six points clear of the relegation places.
Sheridan made two changes to his starting line-up from the 1-1 draw at Crawley Town as he strived to preserve an impressive unbeaten run as Dylan Bahamboula and Callum Whelan returned.
The first opportunity of the game was created by Carlisle as Patrick headed wide from Jack Amer’s cross.
In the 25th minute, Latics were awarded a penalty after the referee adjudged Dynel Simeu handled.
Keillor-Dunn stepped up as Bahamboula and Christopher Missilou received yellow cards after getting involved in a needless altercation with Jon Mellish – which added more pressure to an already intense situation.
Mark Howard, a former transfer target during Harry Kewell’s tenure, was equal to the spot-kick in order to keep the score level.
The deadlock was broken in first half stoppage time, ironically through a former Carlisle player.
Mellish directed a header against his own post before it rebounded to Jordan Clarke whose effort was deflected past a sea of bodies on the line by Hope who made it two goals in two games.
Patrick reinforced himself as a fans’ favourite when he equalised straight after the restart. The lightning-fast attacker sprinted clean through on goal and remained composed as he slotted his shot into the bottom corner.
Suddenly the momentum was in their favour as Jamie Devitt shot over, Patrick headed wide from six yards and Jordan Gibson flicked the ball over two defenders before dragging his effort off target.
They were finally rewarded in the 94th minute when Callum Guy’s free kick was headed in by Feeney off the underside of the crossbar.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Latics while Carlisle moved six points clear of Latics following a third straight win since Simpson took charge.
The referee sounded the final whistle which meant that the visitors had secured a mammoth victory in the bid for Sky Bet League Two survival.
Ironically, the last time the Cumbrians picked-up maximum points at Boundary Park was in 2018 when Sheridan occupied the away dugout with Hope was on the scoresheet as well.
Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Piergianni, Adams (Stobbs 87), Callum Whelan (Hunt 80), Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula (Obadeyi 68), Missilou. Subs (unused): Leutwiler, Hopcutt, Couto, Vaughan.
Goals: Hope (45+3) for Oldham Athletic. Patrick (48), Feeney (90+4) for Carlisle United.
Attendance: 7,327 (1,294 visitors).