Oldham head coach Dino Maamria hailed an outstanding effort after his side dominated Mansfield to record a 3-1 Sky Bet League Two victory.
Jonny Smith opened the scoring midway through the first half, firing home neatly with his left foot for his eighth goal of the campaign.
The winger assisted the second shortly before half-time, his corner met by a volley from defender Tom Hamer.
Mansfield, who hammered Oldham 6-1 in the reverse fixture, had no answer to the home side and fell three behind after 58 minutes when Gevaro Nepomuceno cut infield and hammered in a left-footed drive from 20 yards out, rendering Otis Khan’s last-gasp close-range finish a mere consolation.
“We needed that and credit goes to the players. They applied themselves brilliantly tonight,” said Maamria, who saw a run of seven games without a win end in emphatic style.
“We had to go back and do what we do best – footballers enjoy having the ball and that’s what we went back to tonight. We were really brave and I thought the first half was outstanding.
“The second half was a bit more difficult but we managed to get the third goal and we really could have scored more, but the most important thing was the win and it puts us five games unbeaten and makes the picture look much better.
“We have been very close to winning in the last four games and have been drawing games which I don’t mind, because you want to stay unbeaten and keep picking up points. But tonight was almost the complete performance and I’m just disappointed we conceded a goal in the last 30 seconds.
“It has given me a lot of hope going forward.”
Mansfield manager Graham Coughlan felt his side lacked energy following on from a 3-0 victory over Bradford at the weekend.
“We didn’t turn up to be honest and we were second-best all night,” said Coughlan, whose side dropped to 21st in the League Two table.
“The scoreline suggests that and the performance suggests that. It is fair to say it was the worst performance since I have come through the door here.
“On the back of Saturday as well, I was hoping for a little bit more.
“You could see that we were devoid of energy. We couldn’t press and we couldn’t get near them. We expended a lot of energy against Bradford and maybe this was just a bridge too far.
“It’s not like us and we haven’t been playing that badly. It’s one of those nights where you have to lick your wounds, take your beating and maybe congratulate Oldham.
“A lot of the basics we didn’t do right. We turned the ball over cheaply and we didn’t get near men.
“We didn’t deserve anything and we got nothing out of the game. We have to dust ourselves down and go again.”