Micky Mellon insists that Oldham Athletic will keep going to the finish, despite the final play-off place slipping further from their grasp with a 1-0 defeat at rivals Altrincham.

It was a must-win game to keep Latics' play-off hopes alive, but they came unstuck just before the break, with Alty danger man Chris Conn-Clarke scoring what proved to be the winner after Alex Newby beat the offside trap and Will Sutton missed a chance to clear.

Latics battled in the second half and came close to an equaliser. Harrison McGahey, who scored the winner here in the FA Cup earlier this season, had a chance stopped on the line and put another effort just wide seconds later in front of a packed away end.

Other chances fell to Sutton, Andrew Dallas and Dan Gardner, while James Norwood had a glancing header saved.

But Latics could not salvage a point against an Altrincham side that closed the gap on third place.

Aldershot's draw at home to Dorking was the only saving grace, although a run of one win in 10 has put the play-off run-in well and truly out of Latics' hands.

Now sitting five points off the last and realistically - if not mathematically - only play-off place available, Mellon said: "We'll be expected to keep going and keep trying to pick up results, that's for sure and that's what we'll continue to try to do.

"I know it's very difficult for us right now, that gap's got too big with not enough games left. But you've just got to keep going and keep trying to pick up the results and make sure that we finish the season strongly."

The 1-0 loss at Moss Lane was the first time Latics had suffered back-to-back defeats this season, and in total since December 2022.

But Mellon felt they could and should have had at least a point.

"It was a strange game in the first half, they kind of stood off us a bit and we stood off them. We spoke at half-time and we said 'get right up the pitch and start getting in among them and making it more difficult for them and we did that," the Latics boss said.

"We told them to go and get in among them and express yourselves and go and play and show what we've got. We did a lot more of that. We certainly had a lot more possession in dangerous areas with some really good controlled football. It was always going to be about that wee bit of quality. We got into some good areas and then fed the ball across the face of goal and blasted one in the middle of the goal and it hits the keeper's chest and hit the post. It just wasn't to be. We didn't have that bit of fortune that you need or that bit of quality that you need at the end of those moves to get a result."