The win, Wigan’s fifth consecutive in the league and all without conceding a goal, took them 3 points clear at the top of Division Two after Bristol City overturned Cardiff at Ninian Park later in the day.
Oldham were missing a number of key players, notably defender Clint Hill whose broken leg sutstained at Crystal Palace looks set to have ruled him out for the vast majority of the season, if not for the rest of it.
Also conspicuous by his absence was leading scorer Clive Wijnhard whose troublesome knee needs reconstruction surgery meaning that the Dutch national could possibly be out for upto 18 months.
Wigan were still missing Andy Liddell and Lee McCulloch but were again joined on the injured list by the unfortunate Steve McMillan who had been hoping to recover from a knock to the ankle until he went over on it during training on Thursday.
McMillan’s place at left back was again ably covered by youngster Leighton Baines who surely must have impressed enough by now to warrant a professional contract.
Wigan’s only change from the side that had progressed through to the FA Cup Third Round saw Ian Breckin drop back to the bench with skipper Jason De Vos returning to duty after a one match suspension.
The game created little in the way of clear cut chances but the ones that the 8,269 crowd (Oldham’s highest of the season so far) saw came the way of the vistors with Iain Dowie’s side failing to get a single shot on target with Wigan keeper John Filan, who had made his debut for Paul Jewell’s side at the very same ground exactly 12 months previously, virtually redundant for the 90 minutes with only the odd ball coming into his area giving him the chance to stretch his legs as he comfortably collected.
The opening goal came after 35 minutes when Scott Green placed a free kick from the right wing into the path of Neil Roberts in the area who chested it down for an unmarked NATHAN ELLINGTON to hit a half volley just beyond the Oldham keeper at the far post although the Australian did get a hand to the ball but to no avail and Wigan had the advantage.
Dinning saw his long range effort go wide minutes after the restart and then Wigan hit their hosts on the break after clearing a David Eyres corner kick. Oldham’s own Antipidean shotstopper was forced to head clear as he raced out of his area to deny Wigan.
Neil Roberts was the first to reach another Wigan’s corners but saw his rising header go over the woodwork from six yards out.
Wigan’s second and killer goal arrived on the hour mark with Scott Green again involved as supplier when his corner was picked up by the head of JASON DE VOS and the Canadian captain powered the ball across the face of goal and in at the far post for his third goal of the season.
Minutes later referee Andy Hall, who had already yellow carded Chris Armstrong and Darren Sheridan for the home side and Wigan’s Peter Kennedy moments before De Vos’ goal, reached for his book again to caution David Eyres and Jason Jarrett after the pair had clashed as the Wigan midfielder attempted a run down the right flank.
However when the Birmingham official next reached into his pocket will unfortunately be one of the main talking points of the afternoon with former Wigan midfielder Darren Sheridan taking an early bath for the fifth time since joining Oldham last summer.
The diminutive midfielder had already had his name taken midway through the opening half for a foul on Jason Jarrett and the referee didn’t hesitate in dishing out a second yellow, followed by the red when Sheridan caught Neil Roberts as they went for a loose ball.
The dismissal didn’t help Oldham’s cause any and any hopes of a last push for something out of the game seemed to have gone up the tunnel with Sheridan as Wigan used the numerical advantage to take a tighter hold of the proceedings.