Oldham Athletic 0 Notts. County 1

Bill Dearden returned to haunt his former club Oldham as Notts County pulled off a rare away win to ease their worries at the foot of Division Two.

Notts manager, Dearden made his professional name at Oldham in the 1960's and was delighted with this return to his home town club.

Paul Heffernan's early goal was enough to take the points as Oldham's Jermaine Johnson missed a 73rd minute penalty on his debut on loan from Bolton.

Notts saw Clive Platt sent off for using foul and abusive language after Johnson's spot kick was saved but dismal Oldham could not prevent another home defeat at Boundary Park.

Dearden said: "Clive will be disappointed and he would have regretted it if we had ended up conceding in the last 15 minutes, but I am very proud of my players.

"It was one of those days when they had it in their minds to get bodies in front of everything Oldham could throw at us.

"We were down to the very bare bones because of injury and suspension and I am pleased with the reaction.

"The lads got their reward for hard work especially when we were down to ten men." Notts almost scored in the first minute as Ian Richardson powered a header over the bar from close range. But they grabbed the winner three minutes later as Richardson played a through ball and Heffernan raced through to beat goalkeeper Les Pogliacomi in the bottom corner from ten yards.

A weak back pass by Oldham defender David Beharall almost gifted a second to Platt and County had further chances to put the game beyond Oldham's reach in the early stages.

Keeper Steve Mildenhall had his first test after half an hour when he saved from Ernie Cooksey whilst Scott Vernon shot wide before the break.

Oldham pressed forward in the second half and Mildenhall made an excellent stop when Calvin Zola prodded goalwards from six yards.

The penalty was given for hand ball against Richardson but Johnson fired too close to Mildenhall who dived to his right for a comfortable save.

Platt was shown a straight red for comments made to referee Mike Ryan but his side had no more scares and held on for the valuable win.