SHEFFIELD Wednesday stunned Oldham with a spectacular fightback tonight - they went from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2 at Boundary Park.
Owls had been second best in the first half at Athletic, missing a penalty and slipping behind 2-0 in the Capital One League Cup first round.
But they fought back in a dominant second half in which they run the Lancashire side ragged.
Early on, Oldham had tried to pressure Owls’ defence but the visitors had appeared solid.
Nejc Pecnik’s bizarre long distance free kick almost caught home goalie Alex Cisak out on five minutes, the looping delivery just going over the angle of the goal.
However Oldham exposed Wednesday down their left flank, James Wesolowski crossing for Jordan Slew, the 19 year old Gleadless born ex Blade, scoring with his right foot. It was not a clean finish, but enough to steer the ball past Chris Kirkland. And a debut goal too.
Oldham could have gone further ahead with Wesolowski sweeping a shot from outside the area wide of Kirkland’s right post.
And the home side punished the Owls down their left again, a decent cross being headed home by 6ft 4ins defender Jean-Yves M’Voto on 26 minutes for 2-0. It looked bleak.
Owls boss Dave Jones responded by replacing injured Gary Madine with Chris O’Grady, hoping to provide some offensive thrust.
Chris Maguire then had the best chance for Wednesday, speeding between two defenders on the edge of the box but firing low and wide.
It was Maguire’s last contribution; he was replaced by Giles Coke.
The Owls were handed a lifeline with a penalty after Antonio were bundled over from the back- but Pecnik slammed it high over the bar.
After the break, Kirkland stopped Oldham from going further ahead with a save from a sidefooted shot from Lee Croft.
But then a chink of light...Jermaine Johnson scored at the Wednesday fans’ end with a decent left-footer from just outside the box.
It was a turning point in a freeflowing game which saw Kirkland pulling off an excellent save from a Wesolowski half-volley.
Suddenly, the home side’s defence parted and a Wednesday freekick found O’Grady, who headed across Cisak low for 2-2.
On 69 minutes, O’Grady got his second turned quickly on a Pecnik pass and fired home low with his left foot for 3-2.
It was an amazing U-turn in events.
Johnson could have wrapped it up with a volley but he blasted wide and the much-improved Pecnik side footed a nice effort narrowly round the post.
But it was left to the silky Antonio to score the fourth, he cut inside from the left and curved a beauty home.
LATICS: Cisak, Byrne, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Grounds, Croft, Furman, Wesolowski, M’Changama, Slew, Simpson.
Subs: Brown, Smith, Bouzanis, Taylor, Millar, Hughes, Winchester.
OWLS: Kirkland, Buxton, Llera, Gardner, R Johnson, Antonio, Semedo, Pecnik, J Johnson, Madine, Maguire.
Subs: Bywater, M Jones, Coke, O’Grady, Beevers, Mattock, Prutton.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)
*Read Paul Thompson’s analysis in Tuesday’s Star.