Exeter City picked up a crucial three points as they kept up their hopes of a place in the Sky Bet Leagueb play-offs with a 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic.
Ryan Bowman’s close range header on 79 minutes was the difference between the two sides when he popped up to head home following an initial save from the Oldham keeper.
Manager Matt Taylor named the same side that started the 1-1 draw with Stevenage on Easter Monday as the Grecians looked to hold onto a place in the play-offs.
The game started lively with Oldham testing Christy Pym right away with Mohamed Maouche shooting low, before Craig Woodman had a powerful effort well blocked. Moments after that, Lee Martin tried his luck from distance, but Zeus De La Paz collected.
Callum Lang then had a good chance when the Latics won the ball back high up the pitch, and the forward latched onto it at the far post before Pym saved well.
Nicky Law then had another attempt for City when Sweeney’s cross was knocked down by Lee Martin, but again, De La Paz saved.
Pym was involved again on 40 minutes when Oldham did well down the left-hand side before a dangerous ball came into the box, and the City keeper did well to push the ball away and prevent Lang from heading home.
The Grecians were dealt a blow just before half-time when Law limped off with injury with Hiram Boateng replacing the City number 8. Shortly after that, Maouche had another attempt for Pete Wild’s side when he drove at the defence before shooting low and forcing an impressive save from Pym down to his right as the sides went into the break level.
The blustery conditions continued into the second half, of which the away side had the first chance, when a cross was cleared by Dean Moxey and Chris Missilou hit a volley well, but his attempt went just over.
Lee Martin then had an attempt for the Grecians when a quick throw from Woodman found the City midfielder before he cut in from the left and sent a curling effort just over.
City’s best chance then came on 53 minutes when a corner was recycled and found Boateng unmarked in the middle, but he could only head at the post. Pierce Sweeney then collected the rebound and fired in a low effort, but De La Paz saved well.
Williams was next to go close for City on the hour mark when Jake Taylor did well to feed Bowman, and the forward teed up the winger to curl an effort just wide of goal.
Another good chance fell for the home side, who dominated much of the second half, when some intricate play on the left saw Boateng chip a cross into Bowman. After controlling well and working himself some space, his low shot was kept out well by the Latics’ keeper.
They finally got the goal they deserved when a quick free-kick saw Lee Martin beat his man before crossing. Williams’ initial header was well saved by the Athletic keeper, but Bowman was on hand to head in from a couple of yards out to make the score 1-0.
The Grecians managed the remainder of the game well, and looked to threaten Oldham on the counter-attack as they held onto a crucial three points.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, O’Shea, L. Martin, Law (Boateng, 41), Williams (K. Wilson, 90), Bowman, Moxey, Taylor, Collins
Subs not used: Hamon, Jay, A. Martin, Holmes, D. Wilson
Booked: Williams, Taylor, Sweeney
Oldham Athletic: De La Paz, Edmundson, Iacovitti, O’Grady, Missilou (Bragner-Engone, 66), Lang, Clarke, (Baxter, 86), Maoche, Hamer, Sylla (Afolayan, 80)
Subs not used: Coke, Benteke, Hunt, Uche
Booked: Iacovitti, Edmundson, Clarke
Attendance: 5,040 (Inc, 650, away)