DINO Maamria praised his side’s resilience after Zak Dearnley’s quick-fire double earned a point away from home in a 2-2 draw at Leyton Orient.

After trailing through Tom Hamer’s own goal Dearnley scored twice in three first-half minutes to give Maamria’s side a deserved lead at the break.

Seeking only their third win from their last 13 league games, the Latics were denied all three points when striker Danny Johnson levelled for the O’s nine minutes into the second half.

Nonetheless, the draw marked a vast improvement on Oldham’s last away outing – a 5-1 thrashing against Exeter.

“It was a very good away performance,” said Maamria. “Their goalkeeper made an unbelievable save in the last minute from Danny Rowe to deny us the three points.

“A point is the least we deserved today but it’s a huge step forward from the last two away performances. In a game with two good teams, played in difficult conditions and on a bobbly pitch, I think we showed a lot of resilience off the ball and a lot of quality on it.

“We didn’t defend their set pieces as well as we have been doing – that’s the biggest disappointment today.

“We knew they’d come out all guns blazing for the second half and we have to manage that situation better. We gave them a cheap, silly free-kick for their equaliser.”

The O’s started the better of the sides and threatened early on when Johnson shot wide from Craig Clay’s cutback.

Zak Mills made a crucial clearance when Orient striker Conor Wilkinson looked certain to head the hosts in front after 12 minutes, but, from the resulting corner the Latics tamely fell behind.

Ouss Cissé met Jordan Maguire-Drew’s deep delivery and his header back into the six-yard box cannoned off Hamer into the net.

The visitors staged a remarkable, five-minute comeback to turn the game around.

First, Dearnley slotted home on the line after meeting Carl Piergianni’s shot-turned-cross that wasn’t cleared by a lacklustre Orient defence.

Former Manchester United trainee Dearnley then met Jonny Smith’s corner to fire past a helpless Lawrence Vigouroux for his third goal in as many games this month.

The rest of the opening half quickly reverted to what could be expected of a lower League Two clash. Johnson’s off-target header from Maguire was the hosts’ best opening, while Mohamed Sylla and Danny Rowe both blazed over from distance for the visitors.

Oldham’s defensive frailties were exposed once again nine minutes into the second half when Orient’s January signing Johnson scored his first goal for his new club.

The Latics failed three times to clear Josh Wright’s free-kick into the box, allowing the former Dundee man to fire home from close range.

Midfielder Cissé dragged a low effort wide and Dan Happe headed over from Maguire-Drew’s corner on the hour as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Much like the first half, the game quickly became a scrappy affair in the second. Nonetheless, the Latics almost snatched victory in the opening seconds of stoppage time when Rowe’s powerful header forced Vigouroux into an excellent fingertip save.

Maamria continued: “We’re huge on set plays, especially at this time of year when the pitches aren’t as fluid.

“Zak’s been out for seven months when he didn’t kick a ball, so he’s getting fitter. He deserved to be on the scoresheet today.

“We’ve scored two goals away from home and when you do that you think you should win the game. But we’re growing as a team.

“The togetherness of the players and the bounce back they showed was good. We’ve crumbled going a goal down in games away from home this season but we didn’t do that today.”

Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Marsh, Coulson, Happe, Brophy, Wright, Cissé, Clay, Wilkinson (Sotiriou 55), Johnson, Maguire-Drew. Subs not used: Sargeant, Widdowson, Sweeney, Dayton, Kyprianou, Angol

Oldham Athletic: Woods 6, Mills 6, Wheater 6, Piergianni 7, Hamer 4, Smith 6, McCann 5, Sylla 6, Missilou 4 (Maouche 75, 5), Rowe 6, Dearnley 7 (Dieseruvwe 86, N/A). Subs not used: De la Paz, Borthwick-Jackson, N’Guessan, Branger-Engone, Nepomuceno

Referee: James Oldham

Attendance: 5,334