BLUES got off to an awful start to the season in a match that highlighted the fact manager Dave Twite still needs to strengthen his team, especially in defence, at a shocked Barton Stadium on Saturday.
After a promising pre-season, it was not what Winsford expected as Oldham, second from bottom last season, ran in two goals in each half.
But it was what the club is accustomed to. They dominated early on only to fall behind against the run of play.
It could have been so different if Les Miranda had put away his one-on-one chance with Gareth Jones after just 20 seconds. Jamie Williams' throughball put the experienced striker through on the left, but his shot under Jones' body crept agonisingly wide of a post.
The home team maintained the pressure and Steve Rowland had the next chance in the fourth minute, but his shot on the turn lacked power.
The visitors were gaining confidence, but it was still against the run of play they took the lead on 20 minutes.
Mohammed Balden looked well off-side when he received a throughball, but he was allowed to carry on and his ball gave James Curley the chance to blast home from close range.
Balden himself got on the scoresheet in the 43rd minute when his speculative shot from the edge of the area sneaked under the body of Simon Williams.
Winsford brought on Stuart Wellstead and Chris Hutchinson for the second half and Hutchinson added more bite to the attack. Indeed, it was only a fine stop by Jones that kept out his 52nd minute shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Just when Blues looked as if they may get back into the match, Oldham scored the goal that wrapped up the points. It was the Balden-Curley combination again that left the United defence flat footed with the latter hitting his second.
Oldham finished the scoring in 80 minutes when Balden broke clear and Williams' despairing tackle resulted in a penalty tucked home by Alex Dodd.
It was not United's day. Even a consolation evaded them when Neil Harrison's lob cleared the bar and Wellstead's last-minute header was saved.