Notts County ended 2011 with a 3-2 defeat to Oldham Athletic, after the hosts twice came from behind to claim the win.
Lee Hughes got Notts off to a great start in the 10th minute with his eighth goal of the campaign but did not celebrate the close-range header out of respect to his former club. On 27, the Latics drew level, courtesy of Luca Scapuzzi's composed finish, after the Magpies had failed to clear the danger.
Neal Bishop made it 2-1 to County with a deflected effort six minutes prior to the interval. On 70 minutes, the hosts drew level, when substitute Filipe Morais' cross evaded everyone to find the net.
Morais then created the Latics' third with a back-post corner that led to centre-back Zander Diamond applying the finishing touch. Bishop came closest to salvaging a point during three minutes of stoppage time but it was Oldham that took the points.
There had been three changes to the Magpies' starting line-up, with Mike Edwards, Karl Hawley and Hamza Bencherif coming into the side. Sam Sodje was missing after picking up his fifth caution of the campaign against Sheffield United, whilst Charlie Allen and Ben Burgess dropped to the bench.
Although performances had been impressive in the league throughout December, Notts went into the match on the back of three consecutive defeats. However, they remained confident that, should they cut out the individual errors, they would have a very good chance of ending 2011 with a win.
The possibility of three points was certainly improved in the 10th minute, when Alan Sheehan's corner picked out Jeff Hughes at the back post. The midfielder nodded into the path of Bencherif, whose downward volley was nodded inside the post by Lee Hughes at close range.
Chris Taylor should have levelled the scores shortly after the opener, as he latched onto a flick-on behind the County rearguard. The wideman only had Stuart Nelson to beat but prodded wide of the target - possibly deterred by the County stopper's quick run out of goal.
Oldham did manage to equalise in the 27th minute, when Dean Furman won possession in the final third and threaded in Scapuzzi. The tricky midfielder demonstrated clever footwork to skip around Nelson, before firing into an empty net.
Notts restored the deficit ahead of the interval with a hopeful effort from 20 yards out, which had been allowed by Jeff Hughes' determined closing down. Bishop's left-footed hit took a strong deflection and looped over Alex Cisak in the home goal.
Shortly into the second period, Martin Allen made his first switch of the afternoon, replacing Alan Judge with Ben Burgess. The alteration saw Hawley drop back into midfield and Burgess partner Lee Hughes in attack.
From his deeper position, Hawley almost created County's third with a pinpoint 50-yard pass to Lee Hughes on the left flank. With the home defence pushed up for an attack, Hughes attempted to find Burgess with his centre but placed it too close to the goalkeeper.
The substitution of Oldham's danger-man, Scapuzzi, angered the home support but his replacement, Morais, wasted no time in making his mark on the game. Just five minutes after his introduction, the winger jinked his way inside from the left and delivered a cross that evaded everyone to find the net, off the foot of the post.
With only four minutes of regulation time remaining, Oldham went ahead for the first time in the match, when Jean Yves M'Voto nodded Morais' corner at goal. This prompted a scramble inside the six-yard box that Diamond finished off by poking the ball over the line.
Prior to three minutes of added time, Taylor came close to making it 4-2 but his shot from the edge of the box skidded inches wide. At the other end, Bishop volleyed wide with an ambitious attempt, meaning they left Boundary Park empty handed.
Attendance: 3,623 (349 away supporters)
Man of the Match: Jeff Hughes