LAURENT Banide believes that his Oldham side have taken the first small step on the road to resurgence as they finally got off the mark for the season in a hugely entertaining 0-0 draw against in-form Exeter.

The point lifted Latics off the bottom of the Sky Bet League Two table, but it could, and maybe should, have been all three as a number of very presentable chances went begging.

The Grecians also tested the hosts' backline on a number of occasions as they extended their unbeaten start to the campaign.

"I'm happy with the performance. It's one point, but it's a very important one,” said Banide.

"The whole team worked well throughout the game, and that was with and without the ball.

"We could have scored one or two goals, but overall we just need to continue with performances like that.

"We did create good chances, there were good opportunities for us to score in what was a very hard game for us.

"The team had to be careful during every minute of the match, but a result like this is an important one for morale and spirit.

"We'll continue to try our best of course, but we do have a result to build on and hopefully we'll start moving up the table now."

Latics had gone toe-to-toe with the high-flying Grecians in the opening 10 minutes, before the visitors should have been first to strike.

Debutant Jayden Richardson charged unchallenged down the right before dragging the ball back perfectly for Lee Martin.

However, the Exeter midfielder drilled a shot wide from 10 yards.

Minutes later Ryan Bowman hooked an effort narrowly over the top as the visitors continued to press.

The hosts finally came alive midway through the opening period.

The recalled Johan Branger-Engone crashed in a fine effort from 25 yards, which took a deflection on its way to hitting the side-netting.

A minute later Mohamad Sylla turned past defender Pierce Sweeney before seeing a low strike saved by Lewis Ward.

Latics were now in the ascendancy, and next to go close was Gevaro Nepomuceno, who darted into the box before seeing Ward produce a superb point-blank save.

The lively Nepomuceno then found space on the edge of the box, but this time he dragged a well-struck shot inches wide.

Minutes before the interval Branger-Engone ought to have done better when he headed wide as he met Ashley Smith-Brown's precise cross.

There was a scare for Latics early in the second period when Lee Martin wastefully fired a shot wide after he had been left unmarked in the box.

However, Banide's men rallied again, and Branger-Engone showed growing confidence when his cracking 25-yard volley was only narrowly off target.

The game looked as though it could still go either way as the final 20 minutes approached, with the Grecians threatening again when Nicky Law curled a 20-yard free-kick a whisker wide.

Dean Moxey then produced a superb goal-line block to somehow keep out sub Zak Mills' thunderous strike late in a performance that was made all-the-more impressive considering Oldham’s list of absentees.

"We were missing Christopher Missilou and Mohamed Maouche through injury, and that could have made things difficult,” Banide continued.

"But overall we showed good solidarity throughout the 90 minutes.

"David Wheater came in and was solid, and definitely adds security to the team. He was fantastic tonight.

"It's been very important for the team to have him back in action

"He was a bit tired at the end of the game, but it was a very good performance from him overall. He impressed me a lot."

Oldham (4-4-1-1): Woods 7; Hamer 7, Iacovitti 6, Wheater 8, Smith-Brown 6; Fage 6, Branger-Engone 7 (Sefil, 90, 6), Eagles 6 (Wilson, 69, 6), Nepomuceno 8 (Mills, 77, 6); Sylla 8; Segbe-Azankpo 6.
Subs not used: Zabret, Stott, Vera, Adams.

Exeter (3-5-2): Ward; Sweeney, Sparkes, Moxey; Richardson (Taylor, 64), Law, Collins, A Martin, L Martin (Ajose, 82); Bowman, Jay (Williams, 79).
Subs not used: Maxted, Woodman, Warren, Fisher.

Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 2,805