PETE Wild was thrilled to see his confidence rewarded as his Oldham side halted in-form Tranmere in their tracks.

The Latics could have been forgiven for more than a hearty dose of trepidation as they rolled out the red carpet for a Tranmere side in the hunt for their eighth successive win in League Two but Callum Lang’s brace did for Micky Mellon’s visitors.

Pre-match Oldham boss Wild felt confident that his troops could rally against the form book and savoured seeing that hunch come to pass.

“I thought what you saw was a workmanlike Oldham Athletic performance,” said the Latics manager.

“Let’s be honest – they’re a really good side and we had to do a lot of defending in the second half but we did a lot of excellent defending and we had a lot thrown at us.

“We wanted to nullify them, stop them playing, and when we did that – we scored goals at important times, like on Saturday (in a 2-0 win against Grimsby).

“I’ve been confident. I thought we had a real good chance.

"I know what our players can do, I know what that squad’s capable of, but they had to go and bring their A-game and that was the message.

“We wanted to go and prove a point, prove we are good enough at this level to go and beat the better teams in this league.”

Wigan loanee Lang gave the Latics the lead inside eight minutes to give them the advantage at the interval and later added his and Oldham’s second after the hour to secure the points and inflict Tranmere’s first loss since early February.

Wild kept faith with the same side which beat Grimsby on Saturday and sought to stop a Rovers team who were the division’s form side.

Mohamed Maouche drew a simple save from Scott Davies inside three minutes, while Daniel Iversen later got ahead of lurking Tranmere marksman James Norwood.

The Latics broke the deadlock moments later at the other end when Lang darted into the box from the left and fired a low finish through a crowd past Scott Davies.

Chris O’Grady slipped in Lang and Davies had to be quick off his line to slide out and deny the Wigan loanee on 18 minutes.

Emmanuel Monthe turned in the box on 20 minutes and drilled a powerful effort across goal as Tranmere sought a way back.

Iversen parried Oliver Banks’ free kick to safety approaching the half-hour mark, while Norwood’s set-piece strike was deflected into the path of Kieron Morris, who lashed wide before the break.

Another Banks free kick was nodded onto the roof of Iversen’s net nearly 10 minutes into the second period, while Davies gathered Latics winger Johan Branger’s attempt before the hour at the second attempt.

Iversen kept his side’s lead intact shortly after when he parried substitute Jonathan Smith’s effort to safety, later also holding on to Monthe’s powerful drive.

And Lang grabbed his and Oldham’s second of the game not long after, rolling past Monthe before turning a low effort past a diving Davies into the bottom corner.

Lang cut inside on 65 minutes, seeking his hat-trick, but could not repeat his earlier exploits with a tamer effort straight at Davies.

Micky Mellon’s side could have halved the deficit with fewer than 15 minutes remaining when Connor Jennings delivered a dangerous cross from the line but neither Norwood or Mark Ellis could apply the finishing touch.

Despite sustained Rovers pressure, the Latics held out to end Tranmere’s seven-match league winning run and climb up to 12th in the table, seven points from the play-offs.


Oldham: (4-4-2) Iversen 7, Hamer 7, Clarke 7, Edmundson 8, Iacovitti 6, Branger 7, Missilou 7, Maouche 7, Nepomuceno 7, Lang 8, O’Grady 7 (Sylla 81 5).

Subs not used: De La Paz, Taylor, Coke, Benteke, Sefil, Hunt.

Tranmere (4-2-3-1): Davies 6, Caprice 5, Monthe 5, Ellis 5, Ridehalgh 5, Perkins 6, Harris 6 (Smith 53 5), Morris 6, Banks 5, Jennings 7, Norwood 5.

Subs not used: Pilling, Buxton, Mullin, Gilmour, Pringle, Dagnall.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

Attendance: 5,143.