Oldham’s head coach Dino Maamria felt his side produced some of their best football of the season in an end-to-end 1-1 draw with Carlisle.
Star winger Jonny Smith netted with a deflected drive in the 42nd minute to cancel out visiting centre-back Byron Webster’s header, which had handed Carlisle a 25th-minute advantage against the run of play.
With new striker signing Danny Rowe making a lively debut, the hosts enjoyed the better of the first half and might have won it late on, when substitute Zak Dearnley stretched to poke wide from close range.
Carlisle had chances too, with Hallam Hope and Stefan Scougall forcing saves from Oldham goalkeeper Zeus De la Paz and Harry McKirdy firing over the bar.
“It was a good game of football and by the end of the second half you had both teams going for it,” said Maamria, whose side are now six matches without a win.
“I was disappointed in the first half considering we were brilliant and played probably the best football we have all season.
“But we didn’t take our chances and gifted them a silly goal. The first time they got into our attacking third, they scored from it.
“It took the wind out of us a little bit and at half-time we emphasised the need to stay on the front foot to try to get that second goal and make the game easy for us.
“They are a decent team and did very well against Cardiff.
“We wanted to make sure we defended properly and did the ugly side of the game. I thought we defended really well overall and going forward I think everyone can see what Danny Rowe can offer us.”
Carlisle head coach Chris Beech was relatively content to take a point, considering his side’s midweek efforts in a 4-3 FA Cup defeat to Championship outfit Cardiff.
“We have not been beaten, which I’m pleased about,” he said. “Getting the first goal was obviously positive and it was a great header. It was a second wave to the original set play and Nathan Thomas picked Byron Webster out for a good goal.
“Their equaliser was quite easily avoidable, but in the second half we had really good chances, especially off a couple of goalkeeper spills down to Harry McKirdy’s feet.
“Considering the efforts from Wednesday against Cardiff and the recovery, trying to go full tilt against this Oldham team we are trying to catch, I was very pleased overall.
“I could have changed more players considering the efforts on Wednesday but it’s also vital to keep some continuity too.
“With Oldham having several players over six feet tall it was important to match them at set plays, which we did.
“I just want to be able to stand here and say ‘well done’ for three points, but unfortunately I can’t.”