OLDHAM boss Dino Maamria was left to rue a lacklustre first-half performance as Danny Rowe's clinical late strike earned his side a 1-1 draw at Greater Manchester rivals Salford.

It was looking like it was going to be another frustrating day for Latics and their 1,300-strong travelling army, but recent capture Rowe did the business, notching his first Latics goal in his second appearance.

Latics remain without a win in seven games having now drawn their last four in League Two, but they showed character in their late fightback and could have had so much more if not for a slow start.

"That game was there for the taking towards the end,” Maamria commented. "We finished the game really strongly and I thought we could have gone to secure a victory.

"It was a really poor first half from us, it was a performance which went against everything that we had done in our preparations. We went behind early in the game and that gave Salford the momentum.

"We were much better in the second half, though, and all of our substitutes were fantastic on the day.

"Unfortunately we didn't get that second goal we probably deserved, but I think everyone once again saw the potential there is here at this club.

"I've backed myself to get it right here, and I will, it's going to take time though.

"We are still very much a work in progress but also we are where we are in the table for a reason. We have to stay together and our fortunes will turn."

There was a cracking atmosphere inside the Peninsula Stadium for Latics' first-ever visit to Salford, and it was the hosts who started purposefully.

Ex-Latics striker Adam Rooney crashed a 25-yard half-volley inches wide early on, then Brandon Thomas-Asante wriggled easily past two defensive challenges before dragging an effort just off target.

The early signs weren't good for Maamria, and the Ammies deservedly went ahead in the 15th minute.

Referee Josh Smith pointed to the spot after Tom Hamer dragged back Rooney, and though Zeus de la Paz saved the front-man's penalty strike, the loose ball was eventually bundled home from close range by Thomas-Asante.

Hamer came close to redeeming himself soon after when his thumping header from Jonny Smith's cross flew narrowly wide, but Latics had been distinctly second-best in the opening quarter of the game.

There was a positive response as half-time approached.

Benin international Desire Segbe-Azankpo suddenly came alive and within the space of a couple of minutes he saw a shot saved well by Kyle Letheren and two further efforts blocked.

Latics emerged for the second period with renewed vigour.

Smith was causing problems down Salford's right, and his strike from a tight angle was competently beaten away by Letheren.

The Ammies soon began to claw their way back into the game, though, and they threatened a second goal when Thomas-Asante charged menacingly at the heart of the defence before seeing a shot deflected wide.

The same player then got away from the Latics back-line before firing an effort across goal from the tightest of angles.

It was almost 2-0 in the 76th minute when sub Craig Conway forced de la Paz into a brave stop after he'd latched on to Bruno Andrade's smart back-heel.

However, Latics grabbed themselves a point thanks to Rowe's superb finish late on.

Latching on to sub Zak Dearnley's precise through-ball, Rowe shrugged off Nathan Pond's challenge before drilling past Letheren left-footed from 15 yards.

"I'm glad we signed him,” Maamria said of Rowe. “He's the kind of striker we've needed all season. He was very good all day, and his goal was a fantastic finish.

"I'm delighted for Danny. I hope that was the first of many goals for Oldham Athletic."

Salford (4-4-2): Letheren; Wiseman, Pond, Burgess, Touray; Andrade, Baldwin, O'Connor, Jervis (Conway, 59); Rooney 7 (Elliott, 59), Thomas-Asante

Subs not used: Neal, Threlkeld, Hogan, Armstrong.

Oldham (4-4-2): De la Paz 6; Mills 7, Wheater 7, Hamer 5, Iacovitti 6; N'Guessan 6 (Nepomuceno, 73, 6), Sylla 6, Maouche 5 (Dearnley, 61, 6), Smith 8; Rowe 7, Segbe-Azankpo 5 (Missilou, 69, 6)

Subs not used: Allen, Wilson, Egert, Borthwick-Jackson

Referee: Josh Smith (Peterborough)

Attendance: 3,646