Grimsby Town moved to seven games without a win as they were beaten by Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
The Mariners started the better of the two teams but were unable to take their chances and were made to pay when striker Chris O’Grady put the hosts ahead three minutes before the break.
Town tried to get back into the game in the second half but rarely threatened the home goal an the points were made safe when Callum Lang made it 2-0 with 13 minutes to go.
One change was made to the Town starting XI after the home draw with Bury last week, with Kristian Dennis coming in for the injured Jordan Cook.
James McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie and Sebastian Ring operating as wing-backs as Harry Davis, Ludvig Ohman and Reece Hall-Johnson made up a centre-back trio.
Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Martyn Woolford were the midfielders and Dennis was joined by Wes Thomas in attack.
The subtitutes were Sam Russell, Danny Collins, Joe Grayson, Harry Cardwell, Charles Vernam, Ahkeem Rose and Alex Whitmore.
Oldham began the day a point and a place behind the Mariners in the League Two table, with both sides heading towards a mid-table finish.
The hosts were the first to attack, although winger Gevaro Nepomuceno’s dangrous-looking low cross failed to find a team-mate.
A foul on Thomas near the halfway line on nine minutes gave Town an opportunity to get the ball into the Oldham box but Hessenthaler’s free kick was headed clear.
A low cross from Clifton four minutes later was turned behind for a corner by defender George Edmundson but Ring’s header from Hessenthaler’s delivery was caught by home keeper Daniel Iversen.
The first real chance came soon afterwards when a chipped cross from Dennis found Thomas unmarked but his header was tipped over the bar by Iversen for a corner. It turned into another one on the opposite left flank and this time, the ball was played to Hendrie at the edge of the penalty area but his volley flew over the bar.
Dennis sent a low effort wide from 25 yards as the Grimsby pressure continued, before a Hessenthaler free kick from a promising position on the left was headed clear.
At the other end, left-back Alex Iacovitti played a one-two with O’Grady on the edge of the box and forced McKeown to push his shot away for a corner at his near post. From the flag-kick, the ball broke for Christopher Missilou but he fired wide.
Winger Johan Branger-Engone created a chance for Oldham after breaking free down the right but after cutting inside, his shot was saved by McKeown.
A home corner soon afterwards also came to nothing, as Lang’s ball was cleared as far as Missilou but his shot went harmlessly into the travelling Town fans behind the goal.
Ring had the next chance for the visitors after being found on the left by Clifton, although his effort went off-target.
Dennis found himself through on goal five minutes before the break but he was unable to fully bring the ball under control and sent it tamely through to Iversen in the Oldham goal.
Instead, when the deadlock was broken on 42 minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead, with a cross from the right falling for O’GRADY and his shot getting a deflection on its way past McKeown.
The home side had another opportunity when Nepomuceno let fly from 25 yards but McKeown pushed the ball up bfore gathering comfortably.
Two added minutes at the end of the half passed without further incident, with Oldham holding their narrow advantage at the break.
Vernam replaced Clifton before the restart and te hosts were straight onto the attack, with McKeown having to concede a corner from Lang’s shot. Another flag-kick followed in quick succession but this time, the ball was headed clear.
A free kick from the left brought another opportunity for the home side but Edmundson’s header was off-target.
At the other end, Town forced a corner through Vernam and from it, they went close twice in a matter of seconds, as Woolford’s powerful drive bounced back off the bar before Ohman’s header was brilliantly kept out by Iversen.
Rose was sent on in place of Dennis on the hour, before Hall-Johnson was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Mohamed Maouche.
Lang advanced through the middle but hit a low shot harmlessly wide of McKeown’s target as Oldham looked for a second goal, before a home free kick from the left went through to the keeper.
A stoppage came when Ohman stayed down after a foul by Lang and he eventually limped off to be replaced by Cardwell, with Zak Dearnley coming on in place of Nepomuceno for the hosts at the same time.
The Town shape now ha a much more attacking look to it and they had a chance to put pressure on the Oldham goal when Thomas was fouled midway inside the home half, although Hessenthaler’s ball was headed away for a throw-in.
O’Grady had a chance to make it 2-0 on 75 minutes but he was denied by McKeown, who got a touch to the striker’s shot to take it beyond the far post and out for a corner, whic was cleared.
Branger-Engone was the next to get in behind the Town defence but he was also denied, with another corner the result. This time, the hosts were able to capitalise though, as LANG met the delivery from the left to head past McKeown at the near post.
Davis was booked for a foul near the halfway line, before a Town corner was well claimed by Iversen.
Branger-Engone tried his luck with a lob from 40 yards but McKeown was able to get back and catch the ball.
At the other end, Town were pushing for a goal of their own and Cardwell was unlucky not to get on the end of a ball from Ring on the left.
Vernam also saw a shot blocked, before a penalty appeal by Lang was waved away by the referee and Lang went into the book soon afterwards for kicking the ball away ater a free kick was awarded against him.
Four added minutes were played at the end of the game before the referee’s final whistle confirmed the home side’s win.
It means the Mariners have not managed to taste victory in any of their six games in March and they will hope for better fortunes in April, starting with the home match against Stevenage on Saturday.
1 Daniel Iversen
34 Thomas Hamer
5 Alex Iacovitti
26 Peter Clarke (C)
4 George Edmundson
17 Christopher Missilou
22 Johan Branger
28 Mohammed Maouche
27 Gevaro Nepomuceno
10 Chris O’Grady
19 Callum Lang
13 Zeus de la Paz
23 Rob Hunt
15 Sonhy Sefil
7 Giles Coke
42 Mohamad Sylla
9 Zachary Dearnley
11 Urko Vera
1 James McKeown (C)
24 Harry Davis
5 Ludvig Öhman
2 Reece Hall-Johnson
27 Luke Hendrie
3 Sebastian Ring
15 Harry Clifton
16 Martyn Woolford
7 Jake Hessenthaler
39 Wes Thomas
8 Kristian Dennis
23 Sam Russell
6 Danny Collins
14 Joe Grayson
25 Alex Whitmore
17 Harry Cardwell
21 Ahkeem Rose
18 Charles Vernam
Referee: James Adcock
Attendance: 3,998 (777)
Next Up: Stevenage (H)