OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2, LEYTON ORIENT 0
Oldham Athletic ended a dismal run of six straight losses to defeat Leyton Orient and inch out of the League Two relegation places.
It was a huge victory for head coach John Sheridan’s side as Latics leapfrogged Stevenage who joined Scunthorpe United in the bottom two.
A first-half own goal from George Ray and injury-time strike from Callum Whelan sealed the points as former manager Richie Wellens had an unhappy return.
Wellens succeeded Kenny Jackett early last month with the O’s hurtling down the table and in danger of losing their EFL status.
This was Wellens’ first defeat in his fifth match with the O’s now well clear of danger, despite this setback.
Sheridan made two changes to his starting line-up from the cruel home defeat to Mansfield Town. Sam Hart and Christopher Missilou returned as Benny Couto and Dylan Bahamboula dropped to the bench.
Latics had an early chance when Jack Stobbs’ effort deflected off Ashton-born Otis Khan, but Chilean international goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux saved.
This was followed by Davis Keillor-Dunn heading wide from close range after Nicky Adams’ cross was delivered with precision.
Adams then had an effort saved by Vigouroux before he set up Latics’ opening goal in the 33rd minute.
Once again, Adams caused his former employer havoc on the left as he delivered a cross into a dangerous area as Ray turned the ball into his own net.
After the restart, the visitors strived to draw level. Ruel Sotiriou, with six goals in seven games, found himself one-on-one with Danny Rogers, but the goalkeeper produced a vital save.
Adams’ corner found Carl Piergianni inside the six-yard box, but his thundered a header over the crossbar.
Latics claimed a penalty as Hart sprinted into the box before he was tripped but referee Chris Sarginson waved away the appeal.
In the fifth minute of added time, the three points were secured as Vigouroux went up for a corner in a do-or-die pursuit of an equaliser.
Latics counter-attacked which was led by Harry Vaughan who put Whelan through on an empty goal and the midfielder slotted home his first professional goal to seal victory.
Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, Piergianni, Adams (Hunt 82), Whelan, Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Stobbs (Vaughan 55), Missilou, Sutton. Subs (unused): Leutwiler, Diarra, Bahamboula, Hopcutt, Couto.
Goals: Ray (33og), Whelan (95).
Attendance: 4,619 (209 visitors).