OLDHAM caretaker manager Pete Wild felt his players should have apologised to the travelling support after a 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield gave him his first defeat at the helm.

Urko Vera scored a penalty on debut – won after just 12 seconds – to give Oldham the lead, but Harry Smith equalised in first-half stoppage time and Scott Wilson won it for the hosts after the break.

Mohammed Maouche was then sent off in stoppage time as the Latics tasted defeat for the first time since Boxing Day to leave Wild furious.

“The bubble burst with a bang today, an absolute bang,” said the caretaker boss. “But that’s football and that’s life.

“I take it personally because I walk over there at the end and I’m clapping them and thanking them for their support, and the players should be going over and apologising for that.

“I learned that people need to come out and stop hiding. There’s two types of bravery in football – putting your head where it hurts, and putting tackles in – and we were second best at that.

“I front the team up but at the end of the day I can’t go and play on the pitch for them. I wish I could, I would have put more tackles in than some of them.”

The game started in extraordinary fashion as Maouche dribbled through the middle and found Vera, who in turn released Callum Lang, the midfielder’s shot blocked by Miles Welch-Hayes’ arm.

Ollie Yates pointed to the spot and Vera lashed the penalty down the middle – Kieran O’Hara getting a foot to the ball only for it to bounce in off the bar.

Macclesfield wanted a penalty themselves on 14 minutes when Smith beat Dan Iverson to the ball and went to ground as the keeper tried to recover, but Yates waved the appeals away.

Johan Branger sprung the offside trap and beat Nathan Cameron on 22 minutes to find Lang, but his shot was blocked.

O’Hara then missed Gevaro Nepomuceno’s deep corner on 25 minutes, but Vera could not get the ball out of his feet to take advantage.

Macclesfield were level on the stroke of half time, however, when the Latics defence failed to deal with a low ball and Smith pounced to turn and fire low into the far corner from 18 yards.

And the Silkmen were in front on 54 minutes when Wilson raced on to Callum Maycock’s long ball and coolly lofted over the onrushing Iverson.

Oldham were almost further behind two minutes later when Michael Rose beat Chris Missilou on the edge of the area but fired just over.

Cameron’s inch-perfect tackle denied Lang in the Macclesfield area on 57 minutes, but again clear-cut Latics chances were rare.

At the other end, Rose found Tyrone Marsh after a well-worked corner but Iverson parried wide, before another neat passing move ended with Maycock firing over.

Nepomuceno went closest to levelling late on but his curling, left-footed free-kick from just outside the area clattered the bar and bounced clear.

Oldham were reduced to ten in stoppage time when last-man Maouche tripped Marsh to crown a disappointing afternoon for the visitors, who need to pick themselves up before facing Doncaster next week.

Wild continued: “Players were trying to do things they’re not supposed to. Maybe because we’ve played so well over the last few weeks, players got carried away with themselves but it’s a slap back down to earth.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call. It’s a wake-up call for the players in there and it shows we have a lot of work to do.

“If you get outmuscled and you get outscrapped you get what deserve – and we got that.”

Macclesfield Town: (4-1-3-2): O’Hara, Hodgkiss, Cameron, Kelleher, Welch-Hayes, Rose, Evans (Cole 69), Maycock, Marsh, Wilson, Smith.

Subs not used: Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Vincenti, Arthur, Idem, Andoh.

Oldham Athletic: (4-2-3-1): Iverson 5, Hamer 5, Clarke 7, Edmundson 6, Nepomaceno 7, Sylla 6 (Baxter 66 6), Missilou 5, Maouche 7, Branger-Engone 6 (Hunt 66 6), Lang 7, Vera 6.

Subs not used: Dummigan, Taylor, De La Paz, Gessi, Robinson.

Referee: Ollie Yates.

Attendance: 3,697.