DINO Maamria fired both barrels at referee Peter Wright as Jonny Smith’s late strike was cancelled out by an injury-time penalty after a David Wheater red card in Oldham’s draw at Macclesfield.

All the key action of the game was packed into a dramatic finale, with Smith opening the scoring five minutes from time before Wheater was sent off for handling in the box.

Joe Ironside stepped up and sent Gary Woods the wrong way and handed the hosts a point their performance for 85 minutes did not deserve.

“I am absolutely disgusted with the referee’s performance,” Maamria raged. “I feel like we were robbed two points.

“In the second half we were tremendous. We boxed them in, they never came into our half and rightly so we got the goal.

“We were on the front foot and we showed all the things that we have not been doing for the last couple of games, it was really pleasing to see.

“To be robbed for the two points is really hard to take. He (Wright) can apologise to me after the game but apologies mean nothing to me.”

The first half an hour was a difficult watch but the best chance fell to the home side.

Jay Harris set Ironside free on the wing and he found Arthur Gnahoua in acres of space, but with Woods to beat he stumbled in possession and the recalled goalkeeper used the opportunity to race out and smother his weak effort.

But Oldham grew into the game. Firstly Harris did well to clear debutant Carl Piergianni’s knockdown and then from the resulting corner Mo Sylla volleyed narrowly over the bar.

The game sparked to life as at the other end Gnahoua’s strike from the edge of the area was goalbound until Woods tipped it onto the outside of the post and out for a corner.

Just before half-time in another golden opportunity for the Silkmen. Gnahoua slipped a pass to Corey O’Keeffe and Woods did well to force him to poke wide.

Latics started the second half well. Fraser Horsfall played a sloppy pass in the Macclesfield midfield, Smith latched onto it and his shot across Reice Charles-Cook struck the far post.

Then Smith’s corner found Tom Hamer six yards out but he volleyed a difficult chance over the bar.

David Jones then made a vital interception for Oldham at the other end as Harris looked to have latched onto a long diagonal ball. 

With minutes remaining a Smith long-range effort seemed to rally the men in orange and they piled forward, the Bristol City loanee once again to the fore with a deflected effort going wide.

From the resulting corner Smith picked it up on the edge of the area, drove forward and smashed a low shot under the flailing Charles-Cook on 85 minutes.

It was a goal his performance deserved and one that looked to have claimed a win for Maamria’s men, but then matters took a turn for the worse with Wheater’s red.

Initially the referee did not give the penalty or card but after a couple of minutes and seemingly communicating with the fourth official the spot-kick was awarded, Ironside firing home.

Maamria continued: “I picked a team to make sure we would win our battles, win our duels and play on the front foot. I thought we did that, especially in the second half.

“In the second half we totally dominated them and I thought Carl Piergianni on debut was a man mountain. I thought he was outstanding.

“I thought Jonny Smith was back to his best again and we were really good going forward. We need more numbers in the box as we put a lot of crosses in, but overall the second half was a very positive performance.”

Macclesfield Town (3-5-2): Charles-Cook; Welch-Hayes (Cameron 66), Kelleher, Horsfall; O’Keeffe, Kirby (Blyth 80), Harris, McCourt, Fitzpatrick; Gnahoua, Ironside

Subs not used: Clarke, Stephens, Archibald, Rose

Oldham Athletic: (4-3-3): Woods 7; Hamer 6, Wheater 6, Piergianni 6, Nepomuceno 5; Sylla 6, Jones 6 (Maouche 82, 5), Missilou 5 (N’Guessan 72, 5); Azankpo 6, Dieseruvwe 5 (Wilson 47, 5), Smith 8

Subs not used: De la Paz, Mills, Fage, Egert

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 2,205