PAUL Scholes was denied another win as Oldham manager by Crewe skipper George Ray’s injury-time leveller – but the new Latics boss insisted he would not make excuses despite such a late blow.

Alex skipper Ray hooked in deep into stoppage time to deny the expectant Latics faithful a first Saturday afternoon Boundary Park triumph under the former Manchester United star’s tutelage.

Callum Lang’s lob midway through the first half looked to have handed all three points to Oldham before Ray’s close-range effort, turning home Tom Lowery’s cross, ensured the spoils were shared.

Scholes was deflated after the final whistle, but admitted the visitors deserved something out of the game.

"It was a difficult game for us, and of course disappointing to concede so late,” said Scholes.

"Credit to Crewe, they probably deserved a point.

“In the second half we weren't quite at it. We were making too many mistakes and in the end it's cost us.

"It's frustrating to concede so late. There's just not enough time to get back up the pitch and do too much about it, but I won't be making any excuses.

"As I said, we need to give Crewe some credit. They played some really good stuff and they've been in really good form.

"We did struggle to create too much, and the pitch didn't really help us.

"Again, that's not me making excuses, but it is a tough surface and it's hard to really get your game going.

"We can't be too disappointed, though. We need to learn from games like this. Drawing against Crewe isn't a complete disaster.

"This isn't an easy division, so we just move on to the next test now."

A bumper Boundary Park crowd turned out for what was Scholes' first weekend home game in charge, and it was the hosts who threatened first.

Lang touched a neat lay-off into Zak Dearnley's path, and his first-time strike from 20 yards was well saved by Alex stopper Ben Garratt.

Lang then teed up Jose Baxter on the edge of the Crewe box, but his shot lacked conviction and Garratt saved easily.

Baxter saw a curling free-kick saved by Garratt, before Scholes' men went in front in the 24th minute.

It was a route-one effort, but a brilliantly-taken 10th goal of the season from Lang, who lobbed Garratt from 18 yards after latching on to keeper Daniel Iversen's measured clearance.

The opening goal finally appeared to shake the visitors from their shackles, and they almost grabbed a swift equaliser.

Iversen had to be alert to save from Latics old boy Chris Porter after he had been played in by Jordan Bowery.

The hosts made a decent start to the second half, and in the 53rd minute Garratt was perfectly placed to save from loanee Dearnley's point-blank header.

Sub Mo Sylla went closest to adding a second goal for Latics, before Ray had the final word with his stunning late leveller.

The draw leaves the Latics in 10th, six points adrift of the League Two play-off places.

Oldham lost goalscorer Lang to injury in the second period, and Scholes admitted the striker was now unlikely to be fit for their midweek clash against Morecambe.

"It was a shame to lose Langy, but he picked up a knock and now looks doubtful for the midweek game, I'd say,” added Scholes.

"He's a real handful for defenders and he does the most running out of anyone in our team.

"We'll see how he is on Monday, but it's not looking good."

Oldham (4-4-2): Iversen 7; Hunt 6, Clarke 8, Edmundson 7, Nepomuceno 8; Lang 7 (O'Grady 58, 7), Missilou 5, Maouche 7, Branger-Engone 6; Baxter 6 (Sylla 62, 6), Dearnley 6 (Benteke, 75, 6).

Subs not used: De La Paz, Coke, Stott, Robinson.

Crewe (4-3-3): Garratt; Ng, Ray, Nolan, Pickering (Taylor-Sinclair 67); Ainley (Lowery 53), Wintle, Green; Bowery (Miller 75), Porter, Kirk.

Subs not used: Richards, Dale, Finney, Sterry.

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 5,288