HARTLEPOOL United’s six-game unbeaten home run was brought to an end as their scoreless streak stretched to nearly seven hours.
Jean Yves M’voto scored the game’s only goal to give Oldham Athletic a first win at Victoria Park since 1970 as Pools’ troubles in front of the posts continued.
Neale Cooper handed a debut to Sunderland loanee Ryan Noble in a bid to ease the scoring woes but it was the Latics who were first to threaten.
Chris Taylor drifted infield from the right after just three minutes but his left-foot swinger lacked power and allowed Scott Flinders to watch comfortably into his grasp.
And it took just seven minutes for the visitors to find the breakthrough as Pools conceded at the Vic for just the second time in seven matches.
Playmaker Taylor dropped a 30-yard free-kick to the far post and former Sunderland defender Yves M’voto turned home first time with an instinctive poke into the bottom corner.
On 15 minutes the home support enjoyed their first glimpse of Noble when he latched onto an Andy Monkhouse headed flick only to be denied a debut goal when Alex Cisak scurried from his line to block with his feet on the edge of the area.
Pools were in control and a well-worked free-kick routine between Evan Horwood and Neil Austin saw the former go close when his 20-yard drive was snaffled by Cisak at his near post.
The hosts remained the better side as the first half wore to a close but they were unable to draw parity.
The second period started in much the same, positive manner and James Poole went close with a 20-yard stunner which bounced wide of Cisak’s goal.
But Peter Hartley did find the target just after the hour mark, heading Horwood’s deep corner towards the bottom corner, only for Kieran Lee to hack from the goal-line and preserve the visitors’ lead.
Chief threat Noble tired as the game moved into the final 30 minutes and his fatigue mirrored that of his colleagues as they struggled to fashion another clear-cut opening.
But the pace of the loanee remained the home side’s best bet and he wriggled free of Brown to burst clear on goal only for a narrow angle to prove his undoing as a left-footed effort trickled agonisingly wide with Cisak beaten.