Delighted Oldham boss Keith Curle saluted his battling side as they claimed a dramatic away win over promoted Sutton.
The Latics left it until the 96th minute to clinch a breath-taking win at the VBS Community Stadium.
And no wonder Curle was left purring with his side’s commitment right until the death.
“We earned that win,” beamed Curle.
“There was a great attitude in the game and the most pleasing thing for me was when we went 1-0 down, which was their first shot on target, there wasn’t a change in the players’ attitudes and I look for that.
“I look for people who don’t drop their shoulders or show sad faces. There wasn’t any of that and it shows that the players have got the belief, understanding and willingness of what needs to be done.
“We will have 500 Oldham fans sent home very happy after watching that match.
“It wasn’t the greatest spectacle. The conditions and the pitch didn’t lend itself to that and it wasn’t the most entertaining or attacking game and we have to stand up to our opponent.
“[But] I always felt we would get back in the game and our next milestone is take the lead in the game and go on and win the game. We have to have the belief that goals will come.
“Sutton have a certain style of play and get numbers in the right areas at the right time.”
Victory for the Latics was their first win of the new season and a welcome boost to a frustrating start to their campaign.
Junior Luamba’s 96th-minute winner proved the difference, with skipper Carl Piergianni having levelled matters with barely a minute of normal time remaining.
David Ajiboye gave Sutton the lead just after the hour mark, firing home after Craig Eastmond’s shot cannoned off the crossbar.
But Luamba’s winner with virtually the last kick of the game completed a courageous comeback.
Gutted Sutton boss Matt Gray could not hide his disappointment, with the points having seemingly been in the bag.
“It is hard to take,” admitted Gray. “We dominated for large parts of the game and we were in control and it would have been nice to have got the second goal to kill the game off, but we sunk in a little bit.
“We made a few costly errors and we were punished. It is football and if you make errors, you do get punished and we made a couple of sloppy ones at the death there.
“It was a special occasion and an historic game – and the atmosphere from the fans was unbelievable.
“I don’t know what the attendance was but to see everyone here, packed in here especially when the goal went in, will be living long in the memory.
“But it’s just a shame we just couldn’t get a result today to match a brilliant day.
“It is hard to take. I have been here before and I am sure I will be here again. That is football.
“We try to focus on the positives and there was a hell of a lot of them today. We have to try and build on those. But there are negatives in our game and that is something we have to build, but that goes for every club in the country.
“There were quite a lot of positives. Our energy and our tempo and the chances we created were great. We looked a real threat and we should have been up and leading at half-time.
“For 75 minutes, we were strong at the back and I don’t remember (goalkeeper Dean) Bouzanis making a save but we need to iron out those mistakes and I am sure we will be fine.”