FRANKIE Bunn was frustrated after watching his Oldham side throw away the lead twice and end up on the losing side but hailed Exeter’s hat-trick hero Jayden Stockley the best centre forward in the division.

Oldham had not lost in six league games going into the game and when Sam Surridge gave the Latics the lead Bunn must have felt the run would continue.

But Stockley struck before the break and Oldham led again through Callum Lang shortly after half time, but two more goals from Exeter's hat-trick hero and the points were heading south.

Bunn said: “It’s a disappointing result, especially on the back of such a terrific run, but if you score two goals you expect to keep a lead. So we’ve lost the lead twice and then three times, so I'm disappointed with some of the defending, albeit three or four chances.

“We’ve conceded three goals so an error picking up people on the corner and we’ve worked on (Jayden) Stockley in the box and the positions he takes up, to be aware of him and unfortunately we were not.

“I thought they just got slightly on top of us in the second half and we’ve had to change things up and try and strengthen in midfield and I thought Chris (O’Grady) was looking a little bit tired so that was a change we had to make there as well. Then we started chasing the game and gaps started to appear and they’ve picked us off.

“We knew Stockley was the danger man. We knew his record suggests that and I would say he’s the best centre forward that I’ve seen so far in all the games we’ve played, not only at Boundary Park but all over.”

Oldham started the brighter and took the lead when Tom Hamer’s cross to the far post looked like it was going over Surridge’s head until the Oldham top scorer strained every sinew of his neck muscles and headed in.

Exeter came back into a game towards the end of the first half. Daniel Iverson saved well with his legs from Jake Taylor as Lee Holmes played him in with a perfectly weighted through ball.

But from the corner Exeter’s top scorer Stockley’s diving header from a corner provided an equaliser they never looked like getting for most of the half.

Oldham again flew out of the traps at the start of the second half and it was only a matter of minutes when a piece of individual Lang brilliance in the penalty area put Latics back on top.

He jinked and weaved his way around the area, creating space for himself to fire low and right footed into the bottom corner.

The Grecians almost hit back straight away. Holmes striking the bar after a flowing move by the visitors.

As the rains came, so did a second equaliser for Exeter, and a second goal for the highly-regarded Stockley. He turned on a sixpence and fired into the roof of the net from eight yards after a cutback by Holmes.

It was the same combination six minutes later, Holmes with a floated left-footed cross for Stockley to complete his hat-trick with another diving header at the far post.

Latics battled hard to recover from the setback and were turned down what looked like a cast-iron penalty when Jordan Lyden was felled in the area.

On the penalty incident, Bunn added: “I don’t know any more. I thought it was a penalty, but he hasn’t given it.

“They’re a good side, they have not been out of the top seven since August and they’ve had a little bit of a dip but they’ve been hitting form again.

"Stockley is a really, really good player, as I said one of the best I’ve seen this season so far and they were tough opposition.

"We’ve scored two goals and we’ve given two leads away and that’s the disappointment for me.”

Oldham Athletic: (4-4-2): Iverson 6; Hunt 7, Clarke 6, Edmundson 6, Hamer 6 (Taylor 76, 5); Missilou 7, Maouche 6 (Lyden 67, 5), Nepomuceno 7, Lang 7; O’Grady 7 (Miller 58, 5), Surridge 8.

Subs not used: McFarlane (GK), Coke, Graham, Branger-Engone.

Exeter City (4-4-1-1): Pym 5: Sweeney 6, O’Shea 6, Moxey 6, Woodman 5; Law 6, Taylor 7, Collins 6, Holmes 8 (Jay 84, 5); Martin 5 (Ogbene 67); Stockley 9.

Subs not used: Hamon (GK), Tillson, Forte, Oates, Abrahams.

Referee: Martin Coy 4/10.

Attendance: 4,079.