Burton Albion crashed out of the FA Cup after playing 87 minutes with just ten men after Ryan Austin was red carded for an early foul on Robbie Simpson. The Brewers were immediately on the back foot as Shefki Kuqi scored the resultant penalty. A Ross Atkins howler made it two and a flowing move saw Kuqi turn provider for Oldham's third before half time as the home side made their passage into round two relatively easy. Calzin Zola struck a consolation goal with a little under 20 minutes to go as Albion fought back in the second half but any hopes of a repeat of last season's cup heroics were gone.
Striker Calvin Zola was the only one of the injury doubts to declare himself fit for Albion's entry into this season's FA Cup away at his former club Oldham. Aaron Webster and Billy Kee were unable to shake off their niggles and were replaced by Danny Blanchett and Jimmy Phillips as Albion changed their formation slightly for the trip to take on the Latics.
Paul Peschisolido opted to go with a flexible formation with John McGrath deployed just in front of the back four and Jacques Maghoma restored to a central role alongside Adam Bolder. Kee's absence allowed Phillips to return on the left side of midfield as part of a four man midfield pushed forward in support of lone striker Zola in a 4-1-4-1 formation designed to move to 4-3-3 in attack.
Oldham named only one of their Manchester City loanee's, Luca Scapuzzi, in their starting line-up after the youngster impressed against Crewe in the week. Andreas Mancini, son of Manchester City boss Roberto was only on the bench,
The home side were awarded an early free kick and from it former Aberdeen defender Zander Diamond stooped to head the ball which went wide. Albion found themselves down to ten men after just two and a half minutes when Rob bie Simpson got the better of Ryan Austin who hauled his man down before facing the inevitable red card after just three minutes. It was just the start that Albion did not want and Finnish international Shefki KUQI stepped up to nonchalantly send Ross Atkins the wrong way from the spot.
Cleveland Taylor was immediately sacrificed to allow Tony James to plug the gap at centre half and it almost got worse for Albion as Atkins upended Luca Scapuzzi near the bye line to concede another penalty but the keeper redeemed himself going low to his right to push Kuqi's spot kick around the post.
Just when it looked as if the keeper's afternoon was improving he was culpable for Albion going 2-0 down in the 13th minute. Adam Bolder gave away a free kick 35 yards out and there looked little danger when Simpson stepped up to take it but after grabbing the ball under his crossbar Albion's loanee keeper inexplicably dropped the ball over the line.
A nervous looking Albion started to settle more but Oldham always looked a threat going forward and there was almost a chance of a third as James made a hash of a clearance and Kuqi was almost in with Nathan Stanton making a vital interception to block the ball onto the striker and out of danger.
Just as it looked as if the Brewers were settling into the game a little more the Latics burst through and made it 3-0. Simpson played Kuqi in down the left channel of the penalty area and he bided his time before crossing for Oldham skipper Dean FURMAN to casually find the back of the net from close range.
It was a first half to forget for the Brewers as they failed to muster a singel attempt on goal, either on or off target and there were worried looks in stoppage time as both John McGrath and Jacques Maghoma ended in a heap on the pitch after colliding with each other.
Half time: Oldham Athletic 3-0 Burton Albion
Thankfully for the Brewers the second half was started at a much more sedate pace and lacking in any real incident. Albion looked more composed and substitute Chris Palmer, on for Adam Bolder almost carved out a real chance for the Brewers. Bursting through the middle he found Calvin Zola who then laid the ball off for the supporting Maghoma. The midfielder shot but only hit his effort against the legs of the Oldham keeper.
The former Gillingham man also had a free kic that was half cleared and then Brewers supporters got their first look at Argentine winger Andres Gurrieri as he cam on in the 62nd minute for Jimmy Phillips.
Suddenly the Brewers looked more lively and Andy Corbett went close with a vicious vollied effort from the angle of the penalty area that went not far wide of Alex Cisak's goal after John McGrath had picked him out on the left hand side.
Former Leicester City midfielder James Wesolowski almost made it four with a sharp turn inside the box but his effort went narrowly wide as the Oldham fans began to celebrate what they thought was a goal.
Albion got themselves on the scoresheet on 71 minutes and it was the former Latic, ZOLA, who got it. A strong run from Gurrieri taking him from his own half earned him a free kick and when Chris Palmer delivered into the danger area, Andy Corbett got a flick and the Congolese striker got to the near post to put the ball through the legs of Alex Cisak in the Oldham goal.
The possibility of a remarkable comeback was still on and Zola laid the ball into the path of Palmer with a quarter of an hour to go but he blazed over.
Simpson saw a header from beyond the far post headed off the line by Tony James as Oldham tried to put the game to bed once and for all. It was an important clearance and almost instantly Gurrieri launched a superb ball forward that game Maghoma the chance to stretch the home defence but was eventually crowded out.
Gurrieri continued to impress and he forced a rash challenge from Chris Taylor. The youngster was then furious with the officials who ruled out a goal after Corbett's shot had been blocked by what looked suspiciously like an Oldham hand with the Argentine burying the eventual ball, his effort ruled out for offside.
It had been a bravely fought second half from the Brewers but they could not reduce the deficit further and their run ion this season's FA Cup is over at the first hurdle.
OLDHAM: Cisak, M'Voto, Wesolowski, Diamond, Furman, Simpson, Taylor, Lee, Scapuzzi, Mellor, Kuqi. Substitutes: Black, Morais, Adeyemi, Smith, Tarkowski, Gerrard, Mancini.
BREWERS: Atkins; Corbett, Stanton, Austin, Blanchett; McGrath; Taylor (James, 5), Bolder (Palmer, 53), Maghoma, Phillips; Zola. Substitutes: Poole, Pearson, Gurrieri, Dyer, Garnett.
Referee: M.Naylor (South Yorkshire)
GOALS: Oldham - Kuqi (4 pen), Simpson (13), Furman (36); Albion - Zola (71)