Oldham boss Dino Maamria saluted a “brilliant” night for his team after they secured a well-deserved 2-0 Sky Bet League Two home win against 10-man Walsall.
Maamria admitted that he was embarrassed after the 1-0 home defeat by Macclesfield at the weekend, but the response against Walsall was timely, handing his side three points which lifted them to 20th place in the table.
Maamria said: “That’s football eh? On Saturday some people thought it was the end of the world, but tonight it’s been a brilliant night for us.
“I’m delighted for the fans because they’ve stuck with us.
“They know the process we’re going through, and they backed us here from start to finish.
“It was a convincing win in the end, with a clean sheet, and we’ve fielded another couple of excellent youngsters who worked so hard.
“We were nice and bright in the first 25 minutes or so, but then Walsall came back into it.
“The message from me at half-time was to just get on the front foot again.
“The red card was deserved shall we say. We were going through one-on-one so the referee had no option.
“All of the players have really stuck together in what has proved to be a difficult period since the start of the season.”
Walsall were reduced to 10 men after 52 minutes when former Oldham on-loan defender Mat Sadler inexplicably handled Alex Iacovitti’s hopeful punt forward and was shown the red card.
Three minutes later Oldham broke through as Scott Wilson lashed the ball into the roof of the net following a smart lay-off from Jonny Smith.
Latics went two up in the 69th minute when Smith this time teed up Desire Segbe-Azankpo, and he drilled the ball low into the corner.
Walsall boss Darrell Clarke unsurprisingly highlighted the Sadler red card as a major turning point, one which ultimately led to his side’s fourth-straight defeat.
Clarke said: “Mat (Sadler) was very apologetic in the changing room. He’s an experienced player, he knows he’s let the boys down.
“It’s an obvious one. It’s an angry changing room, all the staff are very angry, one or two of the players are angry.
“There’s some weak-minded players at the minute that need to get themselves into gear. Mentally weak, weak-minded.
“We ride the first 10, 15 minutes, ride a few set-pieces, never looked in any danger.
“We controlled a lot of the first half but we don’t take shots. Why don’t you take shots? (That’s) players not taking responsibility.
“It’s frustrating for the supporters, it’s frustrating for me and my staff.”