Oldham Athletic boss Dino Maamria sent out a warning to his players after they suffered a late 1-0 loss against Macclesfield Town at Boundary Park.

Jak McCourt came off the bench for the Silkmen to snatch all three points with a brilliant free kick and inflict successive defeats upon Oldham.

With the loss, Latics stay 21st in League Two with 11 points but Maamria was frustrated at his own players and believes they need to take responsibility to improve results.

“There is a lot (of players) that need to have a good look at themselves,” Maamria said.

“I think in the past a lot of players especially have been hiding behind the owner getting a lot of flack.

“The players need to have a look at themselves first because it’s almost like passing the buck really.

“If you hear what you hear from Macclesfield players, they’re hardly getting paid and they show a performance like that and it put us to shame.

“So, stop the excuses now and we start to stand up and show what you’ve got. They get looked after, those players, and they’ve got to step up to the plate."

Macclesfield started the brighter as the Latics were sloppy in possession, with Emmanuel Osadebe nearly latching onto a ball forward for the Silkmen in the danger area before the quarter hour.

Theo Vassell rose highest to meet Connor Kirby’s corner after 20 minutes but couldn’t find the target and Corey O’Keeffe almost made it through on goal after a slick Silkmen final third move before the half hour but collided with Zeus De La Paz who rushed out to snuff out the danger.

Desire Segbe Azankpo was slotted into space in first half stoppage time and turned to shoot but his effort was blocked by Vassell, while Tom Hamer blasted a low shot wide later on as the deadlock remained at the break.

Jonny Smith’s free kick after 50 minutes was only half cleared to Mohammed Maouche but the forward blasted a volley well off target, and later shot harmlessly straight at Owen Evans after Miles Welch-Hayes' expert interception on Segbe Azankpo.

Kirby’s 68th minute cross into the box was nearly met by Welch-Hayes, while Theo Archibald drove a low effort wide for the Silkmen later on as they searched for the opener. 

A free Archibald should have done better after being teed up after 70 minutes on the edge of the box but blasted high into the sky, while Silkmen skipper Fiacre Kelleher took the sting out of Smith’s shot at the other end as it looped over and later made a decent stop to deny substitute Lewis McKinney.

David Wheater nodded Smith’s free-kick goalward with inside the final 10 minutes but Evans was on hand to preserve the deadlock before the Silkmen took the lead with McCourt’s sublime 86th minute free-kick which curled past the wall and a diving De La Paz. 

With just two wins in the league campaign, their last a 3-1 victory over Morecambe, the Oldham boss acknowledged just how challenging he is finding the task at hand.

Maamria added: “This is definitely going to be my hardest job because of what I inherited with my players.

“You try and do the best with what we’ve got. It’s very, very difficult - I can’t lie about it.

“I think there’s a lot of bad habits that I want to get on top of. I just want a team to compete, to care about the badge, to show those fans that they care about the result and do the basics well.”

Oldham (4-2-3-1): Zeus De La Paz 7, Thomas Hamer 6, Jamie Stott 6, David Wheater 6, Alex Iacovitti 6, Mohamad Sylla 5 (Chris Eagles 90 5), Chris McCann 5, Mohammed Maouche 5 (Lewis McKinney 67 6), Christopher Missilou 5, Jonny Smith 6, Desire Segbe Azankpo 5 (Wilson 59 5)

Subs not used: Gary Woods, Ashley Smith-Brown, Kielen Adams, Reece Gaskell

Macclesfield (3-4-1-2): Owen Evans, Miles Welch-Hayes, Fiacre Kelleher, Theo Vassell, Theo Archibald, Connor Kirby (Jak McCourt 80), Jay Harris, Corey O’Keeffe, Emmanuel Osadebe, Joe Ironside, Arthur Gnahoua (Horsfall 90)

Subs not used: Reece Charles-Cook, Ben Stephens, Virgil Gomis, Brice Ntambwe

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 4,428