THERE was late heartache for Latics as Barrow bucked their poor away trend.

Oldham have not been the liveliest at home this season, but going into the game with back-to-back wins they had appeared to turn a corner.

The break from Boundary Park had not done them any good, however. Harry Kewell's side were slow out of the traps, and although Conor McAleny had a number of chances, bringing good saves from Joel Dixon along the way, Scott Quigley dealt a late blow.

In the build-up to the game Kewell had conceded that the Cumbrians would be a surprise package having sacked manager Michael Jolley after just seven games in charge following a run of four straight defeats, the latest against Morecambe.

Barrow, who had started the season with former Oldham boss David Dunn in charge, went into last night's game as the worst travellers in League Two, with only two wins from 13 games and only 12 goals scored.

Kewell was concerned about writing them off in the circumstances, and he had every reason to be with the way Barrow started the game in comparison to his own, sluggish, side.

Barrow's interim manager Rob Kelly changed some of the personnel and the visitors were bright and bubbly.

Ex-Oldham man Jason Taylor, who had been overlooked by Jolley, was arguably the most troublesome for the home side, while Kgosi Nthle - who was an enforced late change to the line-up right before kick-off, replacing Josh Kay in the XI - also posed problems down the left.

Under pressure, it left Latics resorting to long balls until they could get more of a foothold into the game.

Once they did, McAleny brought a good save from Dixon with his first sniff of the ball, and then later worked an excellent opening for himself. Advancing down the left touchline, the top scorer cut inside and unleashed a shot that went wide of Dixon's goal.

But otherwise there were few signs of a repeat of the seven-goal thriller played out at Holker Street in November, where McAleny scored a last-gasp winner after a late Carl Piergianni own goal had levelled things up at 3-3.

Bouyed by those back-to-back home wins they were surprisingly out of sorts on home soil.

But it was a different story after the break and Latics started brighter with a couple of chances falling to Serhat Tasdemir on his home debut.

The forward was replaced on the hour, though, along with Dylan Bahamboula and Marcel Hilssner, with Kewell hoping the fresh legs of Marcus Barnes, George Blackweed and Callum Whelan could help make the breakthrough and build on Saturday's resolute display in the 2-2 draw at Tranmere.

They were met with a resolute response from Barrow though, who thought they had scored in the 66th minute when Quigley rattled the crossbar.

After wrong-footing Harry Clarke to strike left-footed, the ball was hit with such venom that it cannoned off the crossbar, bounced down and then back up to the woodwork again before bouncing out.

The ball looked to have crossed the line but the officials deemed it had not and Latics had a lifeline.

There was another potential turning point six minutes from time when Dixon handled outside of the box, but without a clear goalscoring opportunity he was punished with a yellow card and the free kick, on the corner of the box, was wasted.

Quigley did not waste his late chance though. Sprinting to meet Jamie Devitt's brilliant crossfield ball, the striker coolly slotted through Lawlor's legs and lifted Barrow out of the bottom two, leaving Latics back to square one.