SHEFFIELD United swept to victory at Boundary Park with goals from Michael Doyle and Dave Kitson.
Danny Wilson and captain Doyle had reminded beforehand that United would have to be at their very best to ensure a shock did not ensue.
Kitson nearly gave them the perfect start when he hunted down Cisak and forced the goalkeeper to concede a throw-in but, when both Robson and Doyle failed to control passes which bounced waist-height, it became clear the playing surface was another hurdle to overcome.
Wilson, making his 100th competitive appearance in the United dug-out, was returning to the scene of his first.
That match, nearly two years ago, had ended in victory thanks to goals from Maguire and Cresswell.
But, as Smith’s last gasp equaliser for Athletic at Bramall Lane five months ago demonstrated, Doyle was right to remind that the hosts “would never give up.”
Simpson’s 32nd minute free-kick sailed over Long’s crossbar and, as Oldham gathered momentum, Doyle was cautioned for a trip. Simpson followed in the 34th for a hard but seemingly fair challenge on Flynn.
Maguire’s toe poke, from Robson’s sweeping delivery, was duly palmed away by Cisak when play resumed.
The half meandered to a close with Doyle miscuing following Kitson’s 43rd minute cut-back although McMahon did see a powerful drive deflected behind for a corner.
Robson turned his ankle in the 49th minuted but recovered. Kitson flicked Robson’s pass into space soon after but Poleon did not interpret the move. No matter as, in the 56th minute, he was involved in the move that saw DOYLE break the deadlock.
Tarkowski slipped trying to make a clearance, Poleon seized his chance and forced Cisak to parry after bursting through but United’s captain converted the rebound via a post. Attacking the 2,591 strong away support behind Cisak’s net, United saw McDonald cautioned for a foul.
Long was forced to make a smart double save when Croft, from an acute angle, followed up Smith’s shot on the turn. KITSON, in the 86th minute, made no mistake when his towering header from McMahon’s free-kick doubled United’s lead