Bristol Rovers' faint play-off hopes were dealt a huge blow as they were beaten 2-1 at struggling Oldham.

An 88-minute goal by substitute Deane Smalley clinched all three points for the Latics, who took a vital step away from the relegation zone.

Lewis Guy had put Dave Penney`s side in front but Jo Kuffour looked to have given Paul Trollope`s side a share of the spoils before Smalley snatched all three points.

The Latics took a deserved lead just after half-time when Paul Black crossed from the left and Lewis Guy, on loan from Doncaster, volleyed in his second goal n three games.

Oldham created several opportunities to extend their lead, with Pawel Abbott heading over, Dale Stephens driving wide and Joe Colbeck hitting the outside of the post and they were pegged back after 77 minutes when Andy Williams produced the assist for Kuffour to tap in his 14th goal of the season.

But battling Oldham regained the lead after fine work by Danny Whitaker, who crossed for Smalley to head in at the far post. Kuffour had a fine opportunity to level in stoppage time but his shot was kept out by Darryl Flahavan.

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