Fleetwood Town returned to winning ways on Boxing Day after a superb 2-1 victory at Oldham Athletic.
Second half strikes from Devante Cole and Ashley Hunter were enough for all three points, despite a late Kean Bryan free-kick for the hosts.
Uwe Rosler made four changes to the starting 11 with Markus Schwabl, Wes Burns, Hunter and Chris Neal coming in. Striker Conor McAleny started on the bench after not featuring since the end of October.
Tope Abadeyi was the player to create Oldham’s first chance, he worked the ball well down the left wing, took on Lewie Coyle but his shot across goal was just cleared away by Cian Bolger.
Moments later Oldham nearly capitalised on a mistake in the midfield by Kyle Dempsey. Craig Davies picked up the loose ball, turned to face the Town goal, but his curling effort was well over Chris Neal’s crossbar.
In an even first half, Richie Wellens’ side should have taken the lead with five minutes to go until half time whistle. Aaron Amadi-Holloway picked up the ball on the left side, he worked a yard of space on his left foot, delivered a good cross to Davies who only had to make a solid contact with the ball, but it skimmed off his head and away for a goal kick.
Town finished the half very strong with a number of attacks. Burns and Hunter looked dangerous on the ball, with two teasing crosses not being met at the other end from Cole.
The second half started with the referee being substituted due to picking up an injury. The assistant referee Steven Rushton replaced Mark Heywood in the middle.
Despite the home team pressing, Fleetwood took the lead when a Markus Schwabl put in a low cross into the Oldham six-yard box and it was on a plate for Cole to knock it past Johny Placide. A clinical finish from Devante.
Oldham responded well, with Dan Gardner seeing a 25-yard shot go agonisingly wide of the left-hand post.
Hunter made it 2-0 just after the hour mark. Cole nicked the ball from the Oldham defender, he ran directly down the right wing, and by picking his head up, he saw Hunter in the middle and after picking him out, it was a simple tap in for the striker.
Cole nearly doubled his goal tally when he picked up the ball down the left from Bell. The striker worked the ball onto his right foot, looked to curl it top corner, the idea was there; but not the execution.
Ashley Eastham brought down Davies just outside his own penalty area with eight minutes to go. The Oldham striker left the free kick to Bryan, who hit an unstoppable shot into the top left corner.
However it was as good as it got for Oldham, with heroic defending from Rosler’s side ensuring a return to winning ways ahead of Saturday’s game with Bury.
Oldham XI: Pladcide (GK), Dummigan, Gerrard © (Duffus 77’), Gardner, Davies, Amadi-Holloway, Hunt, Fane, Byrne, Obadeyi (McLaughlin 70’), Bryan.
Subs not used: Wilson (GK), Flynn, Clarke, Green
Town XI: Neal (GK), Coyle, Bell, Eastham, Dempsey, Burns (Pond 80'), Bolger ©, Glendon, Hunter (Hiwula 86'), Schwabl, Cole
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), McAleny, Rodgers, Biggins, Sowerby
Referee: Mark Heywood (replaced by Steven Rushton at half-time)