KEITH Curle celebrated his first win in charge, as Latics ended a run of six games without victory with an all too rare one this season at Boundary Park.

They were made to work hard for it, though, against an Exeter City side intent on reigniting their play-off push after a blip.

And Latics had emergency goalkeeper Laurie Walker to thank for coming to their rescue on more than one occasion.

Both goals came from set plays and against the run of play. But unlike Saturday's goalless draw at Bradford City, Latics took their chances when it mattered.

A towering first half header from Kyle Jameson - his first of the season - set them on their way, and Alfie McCalmont's second goal in three games - a stunning volley - gave Curle's men the cushion they needed.

Jack Sparkes threatened to spark a comeback for the Grecians.

But while McCalmont's goal proved to be the difference, it was Walker who made the difference on the night.

The goalkeeper does not have many Football League appearances to his name, but his relative inexperience was far from evident as he produced a number of stunning saves - the pick of them a superb double save in the second half with the scoreline looking precarious at 2-1 - to thwart a determined and well-drilled Exeter.

Ahead of kick-off, a minute's silence was held for the National Day of Remembrance, commemorating all those who have sadly been lost to Covid-19.

Once the game was under way it was the Grecians who began the brightest.

They went into the game on the back of two straight defeats - a bump in the road in their quest for a top-seven finish.

Matt Taylor's men were keen to get back on track and started strongly, forcing Latics onto the back foot from the kick-off, while their high press made it difficult for Curle's men to pass the ball out from the back as he prefers to do.

It led to breakdowns in play, and Exeter built an attacking momentum in the first 20 minutes.

But once Latics had got to grips with a difficult start they looked more assured on the ball.

Even so, it came as a surprise when they took the lead.

A short corner routine resulted in Nicky Adams whipping in a wicked ball and Jameson rose highest in a crowded penalty area to thump a header past Jokull Andresson, who hadn't seen much of the ball at that point.

Unsurprisingly, Latics had some defending to do before the break, and they got some lucky breaks in the process.

Archie Collins' shot from distance was deflected wide, and then one from captain Jake Taylor, before Walker ultimately snuffed out the danger by collecting the ball from the corner.

There was a collective sigh of relief from the home side at half-time.

But they knew they would have their work cut out in the second half, and so it proved.

Exeter had not learnt their lessons though, and came unstuck from another similar set piece.

This time Adams' delivery was knocked down to McCalmont, and his left foot volley gave Andresson no chance.

The midfielder was on the scoresheet at Scunthorpe last week, and Latics would have been mindful of what happened there - an onslaught from the opposition with Walker working wonders in goal.

There was little he could do to deny an unmarked Sparkes at the far left post that made for a nervy ending.

But unlike last week, when Curle was cruelly denied his first win in stoppage time, Latics, powered by Carl Piergianni at the back and allied with Walker in goal, held firm.