Salford boss Richie Wellens admitted he was “absolutely devastated” after his side lost 2-1 to Greater Manchester rivals Oldham.
The Latics came back from an interval deficit to triumph at Boundary Park thanks to substitute Davis Keillor-Dunn’s stoppage-time strike, but the Ammies had been dominant up until half-time and hit the goalframe three times.
Wellens said: “I’m absolutely devastated after that. I’m gutted for the players, they’ve not deserved that.
“We should have been out of sight by half-time, maybe three or four up.
“Instead, in really difficult conditions, the second half was much more of a battle and we’ve come up short.
“I would have been disappointed with a draw. We’ve hit the woodwork and created so many opportunities.
“Really it’s criminal that we’ve lost this one, and it’s a tough blow to take.
“At no stage did I feel in any real danger, but these are the difficulties you sometimes face as a manager.
“Something is clearly missing with the players, whether it’s the mentality I’m not sure.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more in the first half, though.
“Overall it’s been a massively disappointing day, but we have to move on from it and prepare for the next game.”
The Ammies were terrific value for their lead at the interval.
Ian Henderson’s smartly-taken early goal was the only one of the half, but the goalframe also rescued Oldham twice.
Richie Towell thumped the crossbar with a long-range strike, while Tom James also hit a post.
Oldham improved immeasurably in the second period, and they grabbed a deserved leveller with 15 minutes left when Congo international Dylan Bahamboula lashed home a rebound.
After James had hit a post again with 15 minutes left, it was left to Keillor-Dunn to snatch Oldham’s first-ever victory against Salford.
Boss Harry Kewell said: “Clearly it was a game of two halves, and being honest Salford could have been two or three goals clear by half-time.
“Our performance in the second half has won us the game, though.
“We were much more aggressive all over the field, we got dangerous balls into the box and in the end we’ve got our rewards.
“Salford were unlucky, but overall our second-half performance means we deserved to win.
“We had the win behind us in the second half, and I did feel that if we used our brains, we would get back into the game.
“We got ourselves organised much better, and after I’d asked the lads to play in the right way at half-time, that’s exactly what they did.
“Davis came up trumps at the end, and our second-half efforts had paid off.
“Hats off to the players, I put a lot of pressure on them but they’re showing they’ve got real character.”
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