John Hughes could hardly believes his own misfortune as Hartlepool's winless run was extended to 18 games by a late Oldham goal in their 2-1 loss.
After clawing their way back into the game to equalise, Pools went down to 10 men and then conceded a 90th-minute penalty which was saved, only for the rebound to be tucked home.
It was Oldham's first win in four, but leaves Pools 10 points from safety at the foot of npower League One.
"I'm a believer in making your own luck and it's evident to me that we are due some," reflected Hughes after his second game in charge. His first match at the helm ended in a 5-0 loss to Coventry, but against the Latics the margins were far smaller.
"We hit the post, had a man sent off and to lose a goal to a handball penalty again - two in two games now - and at that time it doesn't give time you come back," he added.
"We played nice football at times and shot ourselves in the foot with the first goal, but I take responsibility for that for asking the players to pass the ball.
"On Saturday we went one down and head down, here it happened and we were still galvanised. We got an equaliser an then it foes against us."
For Latics' boss Paul Dickov there was sheer relief after three successive defeats plunged them into relegation danger.
"I'm happy with the application but we know we can play better than that. We've lost the last three games and we needed that one," he said.
"I wrote up in the board before the game three words - workrate, attitude and desire and we needed three points, but I shouldn't have to write that"