DINO Maamria was devastated by his side’s inability to make it two wins in a week as Oldham were forced to settle for a point at Port Vale.

The visitors travelled to Vale Park high on confidence and ready to build on a morale-boosting midweek victory over Walsall.

The players responded with a battling performance against the dominant hosts who will wonder how they failed to score during a first half full of chances, but Maamria was left to lament spurned opportunities in the second.

"I am gutted we didn't get three points because I thought we played them off the park,” he said.

“In the second half we knew they would throw the big boys on, but I emphasised that we had to get the ball down and play around them and we did that fantastically.

"The disappointing thing is we didn't have the conviction and belief in the final third to capitalise on the chances we created. But as a defensive unit we were brilliant and as a team we worked really hard and we were very good with the ball as well.

"We will learn from it and it's a good point overall."

A long afternoon for the Latics defence began as early as the sixth minute when Nottingham Forest loanee Jake Taylor prodded wide from six yards with only the keeper to beat.

David Amoo's direct play caused problems for the Oldham back four who survived a narrow escape when Nathan Smith forced a fine save from the legs of Zeus de la Paz.

De la Paz was at it again before half time when the Dutch keeper dived to his right to tip away Amoo's header before getting down well to beat away Christian Montano's goal-bound shot at the near post.

Somehow goalless at the break, it was five minutes into the second half before Oldham troubled the home keeper when Tom Hamer's log range shot was saved comfortably by Scott Brown.

The effort gave the visitors a lift and on 55 minutes Desire Segbe Azankpo was unlucky to see an effort flash past the post as Vale came under a period of sustained pressure for the first time in the game.

A breakthrough was not forthcoming however, and gradually the hosts came back into the game with Will Atkinson having a decent shout for a penalty turned down when he went down under a challenge from Alex Iacovitti.

A double substitution saw strikers Tom Pope and Mark Cullen join the fray with 15 minutes left but it was Oldham who came closest to scoring in the final minutes when a sliding Segbe Azankpo clipped Jonny Smith's driven cross over the bar.

Moments later the Latics missed another chance to snatch victory when a fine attacking move ended with Christopher Missilou shooting wide from the edge of the box with Vale's supporters grateful for the final whistle.

And Maamria believes that this could be just the start of a renewed run of form: "I am not someone who wants to change the team a lot as I believe a settled unit learns better together.

“You get that understanding and there has already been too many changes at this club so I want as settled a side as possible.

“It is a small squad and they worked their socks off today as a unit - we were together, and we were positive, and the training ground is a much better place now.

“In the dressing room there is a spirit growing which means there are hopefully better things to come. "

Oldham Athletic: de le Paz 8; Hamer 7, Wheater 7, Stott 7, Iacovitti 7; Morais 6 (Eagles 86 n/a), McCann 6, Missilou 6, Smith 6; Wilson 6 (McKinney 82 5), Segbe-Azankpo 6. Subs not used: Emerson, Sylla, Grundy, Gaskell, McHale

Port Vale: Brown 6; Gibbons 6, Legge 6, Smith 6, Montano 6; Burgess 6 (Cullen 77 5), Joyce 6, Taylor 6 (Atkinson 59 6); Amoo 7, Bennett 6 (Pope 77 5), Browne 6. Subs not used: Evans, Brisley, Archer, Maddison

Referee: Robert Lewis

Attendance: 4,301