OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1, SUTTON UNITED 3
Head coach John Sheridan’s message was Oldham Athletic must keep believing they can escape relegation from the EFL after they suffered a fifth straight Sky Bet League Two.
New-boys Sutton United triumphed on their first-ever visit to Boundary Park as they remain in the mix for a play-off place.
Latics, who began Sheridan’s sixth and latest spell in charge with seven matches without defeat, have not lost five in a row.
Suddenly, Latics no longer have games in hand and their fate no longer remains in their own hands as they are three points adrift of safety.
Sheridan admitted their current plight is not good, explaining: “Five straight defeats is relegation form.
“Three weeks ago we were on a high, but we are not relegated yet. We still have to believe we can get out of the situation.”
A brace from Ricky Korboa and Harry Beautyman’s spot-kick sealed the victory for the U’s while Latics’ late consolation goal came from youngster Will Sutton.
Sheridan named three changes from the side beaten at home by Exeter City on Saturday. Benny Couto, Jack Stobbs and Dylan Bahamboula replaced Carl Piergianni and Sam Hart (both suspended) and Christopher Missilou while the injured Harrison McGahey was still unavailable.
Latics started brightly with Hallam Hope heading over from Nicky Adams cross.
The U’s took a bizarre 20th minute lead as Couto’s clearance cannoned off Korboa and into the back of Danny Rogers’ goal.
Couto looked to atone for his error after David Ajiboye was put clean through on goal as the young left-back sprinted back to make an important block.
Matt Gray’s side could have extended its advantage in first half added time as Omar Bugiel cleverly steered his header towards Ben Goodliffe whose ambitious overhead-kick grazed the crossbar.
After the restart, Sutton quickly added another goal which dampened spirits. Korboa, lively throughout, found himself one-on-one with Rogers and remained composed before he slotting home.
Latics kept battling as Hope’s effort from the edge of the box struck the crossbar.
The visitors secured all three points when Ajiboye, who netted against Latics in the reverse fixture, dribbled into the area and won a penalty after being brought down by Tope Obadeyi.
Former Latics’ trialist Beautyman stepped up find the bottom corner from the spot.
Youngster Sutton, a bright spark in tough few weeks for Latics, gave his teammates a bit of belief in the 81st minute when he headed home Jack Stobbs’ cross, but it proved too little, too late.
Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Couto, Clarke, Adams (Obadeyi 67), Sutton, Hope, Whelan, Stobbs, Hunt (Vaughan 67), Bahamboula, Keillor-Dunn. Subs (unused): Leutwiler, Diarra, Hopcutt, Da Silva, Turner.
Goals: Sutton (81) for Oldham Athletic. Korboa (20, 49), Beautyman (77pen) for Sutton United.
Attendance: 4,624 (62 visitors).