TANLEY boss John Coleman will be hoping his fortunes can turn around as swiftly as Brian Talbot's.
The Oldham boss was getting flack for almost 30 minutes as his ten-man Coca Cola League One side trailed underdogs Accrington 2-1 and looked to be heading out of the LDV Vans Trophy at the second round stage.
There were boos for wayward passing, shouts of "rubbish" and calls for the manager to go.
But the Oldham manager took a gamble - and it paid off.
He threw on sub Adam Griffin in the 74th minute. Within seconds he had equalised and then, eight minutes later, the 20-year-old sent home the cross for the winner. "It was the last throw of the dice - I had to do something and it worked," said Talbot.
The Latics manager was suddenly the tactical hero and Coleman - currently the subject of discontent from some Reds fans after their recent Conference form and Saturday's FA Cup loss - will be hoping any gamble he now takes will be equally as successful.
It had seemed it was to be the Reds day on Tuesday - and the huge boost they needed - as they showed the passion, commitment and performance which they had so badly lacked against Leigh in the FA Cup.
The Latics, struggling in the league, had taken the lead, scoring from the penalty spot after a comedy of errors on 24 minutes.
The game then erupted when Chris Butler slid into a tackle with Kevin Betsy on the half-way line in front of the dug outs - the Latics right winger retaliated and was sent off while Butler was yellow-carded.
And it proved the catalyst the Reds needed as two minutes later Lee McEvilly fired home the equaliser and, on 47 minutes, he did well on the wing and set Ian Craney up for Stanley's lead.
The battling Reds, after beating Coca Cola League One high-fliers Bradford in the first round, looked like they would hold on and secure a place in the Northern section last eight until Oldham found that bit of space and luck to head home two late goals.
"It is sickening," said Coleman who must be wondering what he can do to get a win.
"For 70 minutes we were magnificent. I don't know if it was tired legs, or we put too much effort into the first 70, but we have gone asleep and backed off a little bit. That has given them an "in" back into the game and they have scored with their only two shots on target in the second half.
"I would say we had six outstanding performances - the two centre halves, Steve Flitcroft was magnificent and Lee McEvilly was a constant threat for an hour. So it is hard to have a go at the players but we have got to be mentally tougher.
"We've allowed them to come into the game with ten men when they couldn't live with us with 11.
"It is frustrating as, at the moment, we have lost the belief that we can win a game. We were 2-1 up, 10 against 11, getting a lot of the ball and then we invite them back into the game.
"A couple of individual players have gone to sleep and cost us the goals. That's hard to bear when so many other lads have worked really hard to go and win the game."
The Reds manager brought Flitcroft in on the right for his first full start of the season with Steve Jagielka dropped the bench.
Butler filled the left back slot with Robbie Williams back in the centre of the park alongside former Oldham player Mike Flynn. Winger McEvilly returned after suspension.
And the Reds were the better team early on with Ian Craney shooting inches wide from the edge of the box, Paul Mullin almost setting up McEvilly after a mis-placed back pass and striker Mullin chipping the outrushing keeper but the Latics raced back to clear off the line.
Then, on 24 minutes, Dean Holden ran into his own player Aaron Wilbraham in the box and he in turn collided with Flitcroft and the referee pointed to the spot. Carl Ikeme almost got to the penalty but Appleby tucked it in the corner.
Then came the dismissal on 40 minutes which also led to Oldham manager Talbot being grounded with the tackle as the players slid in.
This spurred Stanley on and a Flitcroft inswinging corner two minutes later was punched out by the Latics keeper and fell to Bradford hero McEvilly to fire home his fifth goal of the season.
Then it all seemed so good when, two minutes after the restart, McEvilly shook off Danny Hall on the left wing and set up Craney who drilled the ball home from 15 yards.
The Reds had more chances - Craney tried his luck numerous times from long range, McEvilly had a fierce shot blocked while Andy Procter lashed a ball goalwards on the run from 20 yards but the keeper managed to push it out.
Then Talbot made his inspired substitution, David Lee raced down the right, he cut back for Dean Holden who fired in a cross which unmarked Griffin headed home at the far post.
Butler then hobbled off injured on 82 minutes and within seconds, Oldham had scored the winner. Griffin found space on the left wing, played in a ball to Holden at the far post who, unmarked, headed home the winner.
Stanley still could have got a deserved draw when sub Jonathan Smith appealed for hand ball from a shot, the ball bounced to Mullin butshot straight at keeper Lee Pogliacomi.
"Mullers should have scored, he knows that," added Coleman. "I am just so disappointed."