In a game where the away team unusually made up nearly half of the game attendance, Town went home empty handed as they lost 1-0 to Oldham Athletic.
Town, in the red and black away kit, started the game confidently and had the first chance of the game on two minutes when a Lee Peltier cross was turned wide when Jordan Rhodes attempted an over head scoop shot.
In a full blooded and tense first ten minutes neither team could get on the ball enough to have any real quality play.
Town felt they deserved a penalty in the eleventh minute when Peter Clarke went down under a challenge in the box after a cross from Antony Pilkington, but the ref waived away any appeals straight away.
Oldham had their first chance of the game on 20 minutes when a drive from Dale Stephens was saved by Bennett, but only into the path of Chris Taylor, but the goalkeeper spread himself well to deflect the rebound, and redeem himself.
Town then wasted the best chance of the game when a Pilkington cross brushed the head of Oldham defender Mvoto, straight into the path of Graham Carey who controlled the ball but screwed his shot wide of the post from twelve yards out.
GOAL - Oldham - 23 mins - Oldham scored the first goal of the game when a seemingly harmless ball over the top dropped kindly into the path of Oumare Tounkara, who, with Ian Bennett rushing out of goal and despite the keeper getting a slight touch to the ball as he did, the ball continued to roll for the striker who slotted it into an empty net.
Town looked to get back in the game straight away, when a foul by Mvoto resulted in a free kick on the end of the Oldham penalty area. Up stepped Graham Carey but his attempted trademark free kick went harmlessly over the bar.
Rhodes then had a chance when a far post Pilkington header dropped to Jordan of the penalty, and after shrugging the defender to the ground when making space for himself, then managed to hit the defender with the attempted shot.
Oldham then came close to doubling lead on 35 minites when a Damian Johnson pass was intercepted on its way to Gudjonssen and the ball was slipped through to Tounkara, who produced a good save from Bennett when one on one with the keeper, with the keeper managing to tip it around the post.
SUB - Town - 38 mins - Scot Arfield replaced Anthony Pilkington who walked off uncomfortably, with one presuming his hamstring problems had caught up with him again.
Whilst Town had spells of possession Oldham looked more dangerous with it, and as the first half drew to a close it was hard to argue that Oldham, through the chances they had, didn't deserve the lead.
HALF TIME - Oldham 1 v 0 Town
SUB - Town - 45 mins - Town made their second sub of the game when Jordan Rhodes was replaced by the returning Alan Lee
at half time.
Oldham had the first chance of the second half, and should have again doubled the lead when a quick break by Filipe Morais was chipped into Oldham's first half dangerman Chris Taylor who shot tamely wide of the post.
Town earned a free kick 25 yards out in the 60th minute when Alan Lee
was fouled by Oldham centre back Reuben Hazell but Careys free kick hit the wall, with nothing coming from the resulting corner.
Town then came very close to equalising when an industrious run by Scott Arfield lead to a cross where Alan Lee
did well to get something on it, leaning back, and the ball went agonisingly wide of the keeper's right hand post.
SUB - Town - 65mins - Fresh from his comeback against Rotherham, Gary Roberts took to the field to replace Graham Carey as Lee Clark made his third and final substitution.
Not long after his arrival did Town begin to get a foothold in the game as his spark seemed to inspire the rest of the team to get something from the game, with Arfield, Lee and Afobe all having good runs at the oppositions back four.
As when every team pushes forward, you leave yourself open at the back and a quick break by Oldham lead to Cedric Evina having a good strike fantastically saved by Ian Bennett. From the resulting corner a Mvoto header was cleared off the line by Damian Johnson as the game became more stretched.
Afobe was coming more and more into the game, and after holding off three players on the edge of the area, couldn't keep his strike on target once he'd created the opportunity himself in the 76th minute.
He again created a chance for himself in the 79th minute as his curled shot was held by the keeper as he dived to his left.
SUB - Oldham - 81st minute - Oldham made their first substitution of the game when Richie Jones replaced his fellow midfielder Felipe Morais.
Roberts whipped in a dangerous corner in the 84th minute which was cleared by the second defender, only for Roberts to redeliver and again, Oldham were lucky to clear.
SUB - Oldham - 85th minute - Oldham soon made their second sub as Dean Kelly replaced Cedric Evina in a like-for-like attacking substitution.
FULL TIME- Oldham 1 v 0 Town
Overall, Lee Clark will have seen glimpses of what his squad of players are capable of but will be looking for more consistent periods of quality, starting with the Cambridge United game this Tuesday.
Town's Team (4-4-2):
Ian Bennett; Liam Ridehalgh, Peter Clarke (c), Antony Kay, Lee Peltier; Graham Carey (Gary Roberts, 65), Joey Gudjonsson, Damien Johnson, Anthony Pilkington (Scott Arfield, 38); Jordan Rhodes (Alan Lee
, 45), Benik Afobe
Unused Subs: Alex Smithies, Joe Garner, Jamie McCombe, Chris Atkinson