KEITH CURLE paid tribute to Oldham Athletic’s mental fortitude after two late goals earned their first points of the League Two season with a dramatic victory at Sutton United.

Junior Luamba struck in the sixth minute of added time after Carl Piergianni had appeared to rescue a point for the Latics with just two minutes left on the clock.

The 500 visiting fans were left in jubilant spirits on the trip back north – a mood vastly different compared to when David Ajiboye opened the scoring for Sutton at Gander Green Lane.

But after four successive defeats to start the League Two campaign, this victory was about far more than the three points for manager Curle.

"We earned that win,” he said. “There was a great attitude in the game and the most pleasing thing for me was when we went 1-0 down, which was their first shot on target, there wasn't a change in the players' attitudes and I look for that.

"I look for people who don't drop their shoulders or show sad faces.

“There wasn't any of that and it shows that the players have got the belief, understanding and willingness of what needs to be done.

“We will have 500 Oldham sent home very happy after watching that match.”

Luamba was the hero when he coolly slotted home after Dylan Bahamboula’s shot was deflected straight to him.

The Latics had come back from 1-0 down when Piergianni levelled on 89 minutes after planting a firm header in off the post after a delightful cross from Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Sutton were playing their first-ever home game in the EFL and further celebrations looked likely when Ajiboye put them ahead on 62 minutes, gobbling up a rebound after Craig Eastmond’s shot smashed against the crossbar.

Before the late drama unfolded, Sutton’s Omar Bugiel had the first real chance when his looping header just went over after a good cross from Jon Barden.

Bahamboula had an opportunity midway through the first half as he wriggled his way past two Sutton defenders before putting too much power on his shot as it flew over Dean Bouzanis’ crossbar.

Sutton boasted the best chance of the first half when Enzio Boldewijn’s deflected shot broke kindly for Ajiboye, but he nodded over from six yards.

The Latics were dealt a cruel blow five minutes into the second half as Dylan Fage limped off to be replaced by Faysal Bettache, meaning Oldham had used all three substitutes with 40 minutes to play.

Oldham looked in control for a spell but were dealt a hammer blow when Sutton took the lead on 62 minutes. Eastmond let fly with a rocket and Ajiboye did the rest.

The visitors pressed and got their reward with a late double strike, and while the performance may not have been first-class, that mattered little for the man in charge.

Curle added: “It wasn’t the greatest spectacle. The conditions and the pitch didn’t lend itself to that and it wasn’t the most entertaining or attacking game and we have to stand up to our opponent.

“I always felt we would get back in the game and our next milestone is take the lead in the game and go on and win the game. We have to have the belief that goals will come.

“Sutton have a certain style of play and get numbers in the right areas at the right time.”

Oldham are back in action on Tuesday when playing host to Salford City in the EFL Trophy, with Barrow the next League Two visitors to Boundary Park next weekend.