City left to rue missed first-half chances, as Oldham claim all three precious points...
A tentative first few minutes had passed, with both sides anxious to improve their position at the wrong end of the League One table.
Almost from nowhere, the game sparked in to life in the seventh minute. Some lacklustre defending from the away side was punished by Latics forward Ryan Flynn, who surged passed stand-in skipper Nathan Clarke on the right.
His shot-come-cross was turned in by Kevin Foley, as Reice Charles-Cook attempted to get a glove to the delivery. City replied almost instantaneously, with a superb equaliser from veteran striker Marcus Tudgay.
His fourth of the season, the 34-year old drove towards the opposition 18-yard, before unleashing a rocket shot that flew in to the corner of the net. Connor Ripley could only watch as the ball nestled in the top left of his upright, as City found themselves - deservedly - on level terms.
The game was being broken up by constant fouls, with referee B Toner quick to blow the whistle for any contact. Latics centre-half Anthony Gerrard tried his luck with a dead ball from distance in the 22nd minute, but the four-man City wall stood firm.
The Sky Blues began to find some passing rhythm as the clock passed the 25-minute mark, not helped in large by the lack of grass on the SportsDirect.com pitch. George Thomas was having some joy down the right, fashioning a chance for Tudgay, before a whipped cross from Clarke nearly found the 34-year old once more.
The resulting corner was taken by teenage Thomas, and met by Derby County loanee Farrend Rawson. His header was desperately close to creeping under the bar, but finished inches over Ripley’s goal. With City in ascendancy, Callum Reilly was the latest player in the away strip of red and black to fashion a chance.
A superb lay-off from Tudgay found the midfielder, who worked the space for a shot, only for his effort to rebound off the underside of the Oldham upright. A Reilly cut-back seconds later found Tudgay on the six-yard line, but the first time shot was skewed wide.
With the game finely poised, Charles-Cook nearly gifted Chris Taylor a sight of goal, before the Bolton loanee worked City’s stopper once more. Battling past Vladimir Gadzhev in the middle of the park, the 30-year old hit an effort from range, which Charles-Cook was able to handle safely.
A breakaway from Kyel Reid just before the interval nearly worked the ball for left-back Ryan Haynes, before a neat interchange between Andy Rose and Thomas ended in yet more goalmouth action. Tudgay’s cross-field pass was chested down by Rose in to the path of Thomas, and the Welshman elected to try and return the ball, instead of shooting - which perhaps would have been the wiser decision.
No changes to either side at half-time, and City were quickest out the traps. Gadzhev, in typical fashion, slipped a ball through the lines to Rose on the right. His pass found its way to Thomas, who couldn’t work the shot, but instead found the advancing Haynes - only for the cross to be caught comfortably by Ripley.
Moments later, Reilly released Reid down the left who beat his man for pace and drove a low cross towards Thomas. The 19-year old’s first touch superbly fooled his opposition defender, before the subsequent shot struck the post - the second time City were denied by the woodwork.
Oldham sub Paul Green made Charles-Cook work in the 55th minute, but the 23-year old was able to pull off a routine stop, as John Sheridan elected to make his final two changes of the game before the hour mark.
That soon paid dividends, as the home side took the lead for the second time. Charles-Cook spilled the ball when he came to claim a cross, and Latics skipper Peter Clarke was quickest to pounce on the mistake.
Ryan McLaughlin compounded the travelling supporters’ misery, when he forced his way through the City backline and despatched his effort confidently in to the bottom corner.
But, returning from a long injury layoff, Kwame Thomas gave City a glimmer of hope. He rose highest in the area to meet a floated Jodi Jones cross, as the two subs combined to give the away side a lifeline.
Unfortunately, there were no more twists in the five goal thriller at the SportsDirect.com stadium, and the home side claimed all three vital points.
Attendance: 3,766 (389).
Yellow: Gadzhev, Rawson.
Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Foley, Clarke (C), Rawson, Haynes, Reilly, Rose, Gadzhev (K. Thomas 68'), G.Thomas (Lameiras 85'), Reid, Tudgay.
Subs: Burge (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Turnbull, Bigirimana.
Oldham Athletic: Ripley (GK), Wilson, Gerrard, O'Neill, Flynn (Ngoo 59'), Amadi-Holloway (Green 19'), Taylor, Hunt, Fane (Banks 59'), Clarke (C), McLaughlin.
Subs: Kettings (GK), Croft, Osei, Obadeyi.