LAURENT Banide hailed the leadership of captain David Wheater after his second goal for Oldham secured the struggling outfit a point with a 2-2 draw at Plymouth Argyle.

The Latics had lost four of their first six games before heading to Home Park but were ahead through Johan Branger’s first-half effort before Scott Wootton cancelled it out with a close-range header.

Former Bolton ace Wheater then popped up with his second goal in three games to secure a point minutes after Byron Moore had found the back of the net for the Pilgrims.

“David Wheater has started well here and we’re pleased with how he’s done since coming in,” Banide said.

“He’s a real leader for us from the back and we know he can provide goals as well.

“He’s already shown that this season and hopefully there’s more to come from him.”

Manager Banide made two changes to the side which lost 1-0 to Colchester United last time out with Branger back for his first start since the goalless draw at high-flying Exeter City and Filipe Morais handed his debut after returning to the club on deadline day.

The Latics started brightly in Devon with Branger finding space down the left.

Striker Scott Wilson, who bagged 11 goals for Macclesfield Town last term, saw a chance to break his Oldham duck go begging when his header bouncing over Alex Palmer’s bar.

Summer signings Wilson and Morais then almost combined for a fine opener when Wilson picked up the ball near the halfway line and drove wide before firing in a pin-point ball, with Morais’ goal-bound effort somehow cleared off the line by the hosts.

The visitors didn’t have to wait long for their goal though and Branger opened the scoring in the 27th minute with his first goal since the final day of last season.

It was a well worked move as Branger drifted in from the left to get on the end of Wilson’s back heel before firing into the far bottom corner.

But the lead lasted just four minutes as the Pilgrims pulled level almost immediately when Wootton opened his Argyle account.

Josh Grant nodded Jose Baxter’s corner back across goal as Wootton rose highest to become the hosts’ eighth different scorer of the campaign.  

Banide’s boys had to soak up pressure after the Pilgrims equalised and Baxter came agonisingly close to putting the hosts further ahead as his free-kick narrowly flew over the bar.

Latics then went close themselves after the interval with scorer Branger firing into the side netting when he should have done better.

Oldham then went behind however when Callum McFadzean put the ball on a plate for Byron to poke home.

But the lead didn’t last long as captain Wheater powered home a header with 10 minutes to go.

Late on Gary Woods produced a super save to keep out Danny Mayor’s drive before Oldham almost stole the spoils when Mohamad Sylla nodded wide.

Banide, despite his side having been ahead, was happy to take a point back from Home Park as he added: “We’re pleased with a point, but we could have won the game.

“It’s a good point at a tough place to come for us.

“We went ahead and then conceded straight away and that’s frustrating.

“When you go ahead you want to score the second goal to kill the game off.

“But we did well to keep our heads up after going behind. We showed great character. I reckon a point is a fair result.

“It’s been a tough start to the season and hopefully this can be the beginning of something.

“We’ve played well away from home and hopefully we can use that to build on our home form.”

Plymouth: Alex Palmer, Scott Wootton, Niall Canavan, Josh Grant, Joe Riley, Joe Edwards (Adam Randell 78), Danny Mayor, Jose Baxter (George Cooper 64), Callum McFadzean, Ryan Taylor (Zak Rudden 54), Byron Moore.

Unused subs: Michael Cooper, Gary Sawyer, Will Aimson, Joel Grant.

Oldham: Gary Woods 5, Alex Lacovitti 4, Dylan Fage 5, David Wheater 7, Tom Hamer 6, Johan Branger 7, Filipe Morais 6 (Dominic McHale 88, 5), Mohammed Manouche 5 (Zak Mills 90+3, 5), Christopher Missilou 5, Mohammad Sylla 5, Scott Wilson 5 (Desire Segbe Azankpo 58, 5).

Unused subs: Jamie Stott, Matt Smith, Gregor Zabret, Urko Vera.

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 9,061