Shrewsbury Town 1 Oldham 0 - Report and pictures
[gallery][gallery]Freddie Ladapo came to back to haunt Oldham as his header earned Shrewsbury a valuable three points that took them out of the drop zone, writes Lewis Cox at Greenhous Meadow.
Ladapo, who was on loan with the Latics before Christmas, netted midway through the second period as Salop secured a vital victory.
The new hitman also netted in the first-half, but his effort was controversially ruled out after a lengthy delay from the officials.
But Shrewsbury, and Ladapo, weren't to be denied - as Town secured their first back-to-back home league wins since last March.
With sides around them in the league losing, and Bury drawing last night, it was enough for Salop to rise out of trouble, for now.
Town have still conceded just one goal at home under Hurst's stewardship, a remarkable turnaround.
The Latics included two of their new signings, Anthony Gerrard - a familiar face at the Meadow - slotted alongside experienced skipper Peter Clarke at centre-half.
There was also a place for former Walsall loanee Michael Ngoo in attack.
It has been going forward where Oldham have struggled this term. Scoring just 13 goals, it was clear to see why they started the afternoon in 23rd.
Defensively, on the other hand, they are as sound as any. A better record than runaway leaders Sheffield United in fact, conceding just 27.
Salop, with new loanee Tyler Roberts and Shaun Whalley in for Louis Dodds and Adam El-Abd, were out to secure a rare feat of consecutive back-to-back league wins.
The hosts began like a train. Oldham supporters were making all the noise but their team couldn't get to grips with Hurst's rejuvenated charges.
Whalley and Joe Riley sliced volleys over in the opening moments, while Alex Rodman and Roberts were heavily involved as Town charged forward.
Ryan Flynn, Oldham's diminutive playmaker, scythed through Town's back line to draw sharp reflexes from Jayson Leutwiler - making his 100th league appearance for Town.
The game became stretched, scrappy even. With potshots from both sides well-blocked, Toto Nsiala was particularly impressing for Salop - the new defender had a mammoth battle with the sizeable Michael Ngoo - and his head on everything.
The talking point came on half hour. Freddie Ladapo looked to have converted his second goal in two games and was leading a merry dance in front of the south stand after netting against his former loan side, before the apparent opener was pulled up a minute later by the officials.
Unclear whether an offside or handball call was behind the decision, but Town have every right to feel aggrieved with the length of the decision.
The second-half was lacking nearly the same high-intensity drama. A bad-looking injury to Oldham's Cameron Dummigan, who was stretchered off.
Things turned nervy, perhaps understandably The atmosphere was cranked up as the Latics missed the game's gilt-edged chance, Billy McKay hooking wide inside the six-yard box on the hour.
Eight minutes later, the Latics were made to pay by their former employer.
Ladapo was dancing again, as were Town fans.
Joe Riley's corner originally sought out Toto, whose giant frame almost connected, but the play was recycled and Ladapo was well-placed to arch an accurate header through a mass of bodies into the corner.
How big a goal it could prove to be. Block 19 and co were left chanting 'Oh Freddie Ladapo'.
Adam El-Abd was sent on for debut man Roberts, who caught the eye, as Hurst reshuffled, while Bryn Morris also enjoyed a late Salop bow as Hurst packed the midfield.
The Latics launched plenty of balls into Shrewsbury's box late on but the hosts looked resolute and organised as they stood firm in front of their buoyant support.
5 - Shaun Whalley lashes a first-time volley wide as it drops out of the sky. Good effort.
8 - Big chance for the visitors. Ryan Flynn jinks between a number of challenges, Deegan intercepts before Flynn stabs at goal, Jayson Leutwiler stands firm.
27 - Josh Law sends a presentable free-kick opportunity well over the bar for the Latics.
31 - SALOP GOALLL…..NO! Unbelievable from the officials. Freddie Ladapo looks to have bundled in Whalley's fine cross and is off on a merry dance before the officials call it off a minute later. Unclear whether for handball or offside. Salop are livid, Latics delirious. Ladapo so unlucky against his former club.
39 - Gary Deegan unleashes a fine half-volley from distance, flies straight at Connor Ripley.
45+1 - Whalley, who's had a few goes from distance today, with the best of the lot, rising just over the bar from outside the box.
60 - Massive let-off for Town as Amadi-Holloway knocks a header down for Billy McKay who hooks a golden chance wide from six yards. Massive
68 - GOAL SALOP - This time it counts! Ladapo is dancing again after converting an accurate header over crowded bodies and into the corner. Joe Riley's corner wasn't cleared and Ladapo comes back to haunt his former side.
77 - Riley os fed on the overlap by Whalley, fizzing cross is right across the face and not put away - official again flags for an offside.
Man of the match
Toto Nsiala - An absolute rock, the difference at the moment.
Leutwiler, Riley, Nsiala, Sadler, Brown; Rodman, Ogogo ©, Deegan, Whalley (Morris, 88), Roberts (El-Abd, 77), Ladapo
Subs not used: Halstead, Grimmer, Smith, Anderson, Barnett
Ripley, Law, Gerrard, Clarke ©, Dummigan (Banks, 59), McLaughlin, Fane, Flynn, Wilson, Ngoo (Amadi-Holloway, 56), McKay (Erwin, 70)
Subs not used: Kettings, Reckord, Edmundson, Green
Referee: Mark Haywood
Attendance: 5,537 (739 Oldham fans)