Tranmere halted their alarming slide down the First Division at Boundary Park yesterday as they recorded only their second win in 16 Endsleigh League games.
But it was another bleak afternoon for Oldham, whose troubles increased at the foot of the table. They have now won only twice in 14 League matches.
Tranmere, who had slipped from third to 19th place in the last three months, went ahead after 18 minutes through Pat Nevin's fierce drive from 14 yards after Paul Cook's corner was weakly headed clear by Richard Graham.
Graham was at fault for Tranmere's second, seven minutes into the second half, as he allowed Nevin's centre to float over his head for John Aldridge to claim his 20th goal of the season from six yards.
Graham then gave Oldham hope with a goal 19 minutes from time as his scooped effort beat goalkeeper Danny Coyne to set up a grandstand finish.
And although Oldham were unlucky not to equalise, Tranmere could easily have won by a wider margin.
Oldham, who were in the Premiership two seasons ago, remain fourth bottom while Tranmere's troubles eased as they climbed four places as a result of this victory.
Goals: Nevin (19) 0-1; Aldridge (52) 0-2; Graham (71) 1-2.
Oldham Athletic: Gerrard; Makin, Serrant (Hughes, 64), Richardson, Graham, Redmond, Halle (Barlow, 64), Orlygsson, Beckford, Banger, Beresford. Substitute not used: Hallworth.
Tranmere Rovers: Coyne; Stevens, Thomas, Rogers (Higgins, 89), Garnett, Cook (Irons, 69), Brannon, Aldridge, Moore, Nevin, Branch (Bennett, 87).
Referee: G Frankland (Middlesbrough).
Booked: Oldham: Graham, Beckford.
Man of the match: Nevin.
Attendance: 4,225.Reuse content