It was a nightmare afternoon for Oldham Athletic as they were heavily beaten 4-1 against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
Goals from Toumani Diagouraga, Graham Carey, Ryan Edwards and Jake Jervis condemned Latics to defeat, despite a second half goal from Anthony Gerrard.
The result has seen Oldham drop to 16th place in the League One table, with Richie Wellens suffering his biggest loss since taking over as boss.
Key players Eoin Doyle and Kean Bryan were missing for Oldham, while Tope Obadeyi and Rob Hunt dropped to the bench and in came Cameron Dummigan, Ryan Flynn, Ryan McLaughlin and Craig Davies.
It was a disastrous start to the game for Latics as they were two goals behind in the first six minutes of the game.
Plymouth Argyle broke from a corner and the ball fell to Ryan Taylor on the edge of the box, he found Diagouraga through on goal and he took it around Johny Placide to put the home side ahead (1-0).
Following this, a long pass over Oldham’s back line was placed precisely into the Carey’s path with just enough enticement on the ball to lure Placide from his goal-line. Having won the race, Carey got out the lob-wedge to lift the ball into the net with technique that made the execution look far easier than it actually was (2-0).
Latics were shell-shocked but responded well as they forced a number of corners, however, chances were limited.
Craig Davies forced a save from Kelle Roos on 11 minutes but it was the home side who almost extended their lead on 16 minutes as Carey managed to get beyond Anthony Gerrard, fired across the face of goal but Ryan McLaughlin managed to hack the ball off the line when a goal looked likely.
Oldham re-organised at the interval, abandoning their three-at-the-back experiment and introducing Aaron Holloway, previously a thorn in the Pilgrims’ side when at Wycombe, to their attack.
Their first opportunity of the half saw Nepomuceno find Holloway on the edge at the back post but his header was blocked in front of goal.
On the 56th minute, Byrne’s corner found the onrushing Gerrard who thundered his header past Kelle Roos to reduce the arrears (2-1).
Plymouth made it 3-1 two minutes later. Carey was instrumental for Plymouth during the match, and he was involved again as his free-kick into the box found Edwards, who headed past Placide to score (3-1).
Oldham’s misery was then compounded on 71 minutes when another long ball forward worked for Plymouth, with Jervis the man to benefit this time as he fired into the net (4-1).
It was a disappointing afternoon for Latics, who now need to regroup and try to return to winning ways when they host Fleetwood Town on Boxing Day.
Attendance: 10,017 (289 away).
Line Ups –
Plymouth Argyle – Roos (GK), Threlkeld, Edwards, Bradley, Sawyers (C), Songo’o, Fox (89′), Diagouraga, Lamerias (71′), Taylor, Carey (77′).
Subs – Cooper (GK), Miller, Ainsworth, Jervis (71′), Grant (77′), Wylde, Sangster (89′).
Oldham Athletic – Placide (GK), Dummigan, Gerrard (C), Wilson, Nepomuceno (66′), Gardner, Flynn, McLaughlin (45′), Fane (45′), Byrne, Davies.
Subs – Wilson (GK), Holloway (45′), Hunt (45′), Clarke, Green, Obadeyi (66′).