THE Oldham fans turned up in their numbers and were rewarded with a rare victory away to Rochdale in a game that gives the side a foundation going forward in the eyes of manager Keith Curle.

Davis Keillor-Dunn’s second-half strike proved to be the matchwinner for the Latics, curling in a superb effort into the far corner from the edge of the area.  

It secured Oldham a much-needed three points as they drew level with Scunthorpe on seven points at the foot of the League Two table.  

Led by debutant Harrison McGahey, whose registration was finalised ahead of the match after months of renegotiations, Curle’s side also managed a second shutout in as many league matches.  

McGahey, who played for Rochdale from 2016 to 2019, looked assured throughout and helped set the standard for a crucial win.   

And Curle believes that the new man can help shape the way the team sets up in the coming weeks. 

He explained: “We know where we are, we know where we’ve been and it’s important I think today – Harrison (McGahey) coming back in and Benny Couto making his debut – having something like a shape to work from that we’re comfortable with helped us.  

“This is a football club day because the players certainly needed it, the fans desperately needed it and desperately wanted it. I think you can tell by their reaction during the game, through the game and at the end of the game.  

“They saw their team put in a performance that had all the ingredients that they’re looking for – commitment, desire, application, willingness and a little bit of skill as well. And I’ve got to say discipline. What I’ve always said to the players is if you show these supporters that, they will stand there and they will sing.” 

Despite only having 35 per cent possession in the first half, Oldham certainly had the better of the opening period and registered five shots – albeit four of them off target – to the home side’s none.   

Hallam Hope, returning to the side after missing the midweek 7-0 loss to Brentford due to injury, came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute. 

Rochdale’s Sam Graham headed away a corner from the left but the visitors sent it back into Hope, who saw a well-struck effort saved by Joel Coleman.  

The hosts began the second half brightly and Latics goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler was relieved to see Aaron Morley’s low left-footed shot come back off the upright four minutes after the restart.  

But Oldham came again and nearly went ahead in the 56th minute when Dylan Bahamboula raced into the area from the halfway line and forced Coleman into a save before Portuguese debutant Benny Couto’s effort was blocked.  

It was just three minutes later that the decisive moment came as Keillor-Dunn bagged the winner to send the away fans – vocal throughout as they continued their opposition against owner Abdallah Lemsagam's running of the club – into raptures. 

Captain Eoghan O’Connell came agonisingly close to bringing Rochdale level late on but his looping header hit the crossbar and he was then denied superbly by Leutwiler from long range as Oldham held on, much to Curle’s delight. 

He said: “We knew we were going to get opportunities. I think Davis (Keillor-Dunn) had a couple in the first half from set-plays but then he’s tried to be perfect with his touch to set himself up with the finish. Then the goal, I think he’s had a shot, it's rebounded back to him, he's set himself and put it in. No time to think about it. Great finish. Well worthy of winning the game.”