Ryan Lowe's late penalty gave Tranmere their first Sky Bet League 1 win of the season.
The striker scored the only goal of the game at Boundary Park in second half injury time after coming on as a substitute.
Ronnie Moore named the same starting eleven that began the Capital One Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers. Ryan Lowe, Joe Thompson and Akpo Sodje returned from injury to be named on the substitutes' bench alongside Andrai Jones who had completed his suspension and new loan signing Adam Dugdale.
After losing an early challenge against Ian Goodison, Oldham's Jonson Clarke-Harris picked himself up to meet a left wing cross in the middle of the Rovers area but his header went wide of the target.
Oldham enjoyed the better of the first five minutes, with Sidney Schmeltz firing wide from 25 yards following a knock down from Clarke-Harris and Adam Rooney flicking a shot wide from a Schmeltz corner.
A foul on James Rowe gave Rovers their first chance on nine minutes but Evan Horwood's cross was punched away by Mark Oxley and the Latics keeper caught Akpa Akpro's follow up header.
Schmeltz weaved his way past Horwood and into the Tranmere area on 15 minutes and Taylor did well to hook his low cross out of the area, while Chris Atkinson got his body in the way of a long range effort from Clarke-Harris a minute later.
James Tarkowski headed over Owain Fon Williams' goal from a corner on 19 minutes and it needed a good clearance from Ash Taylor to cut out a dangerous cross four minutes later.
At the other end Rowe and Akpa Akpro linked in the Oldham area but the latter's shot lacked the weight it needed to test Oxley, while a Rowe cross was fumbled by the Latics keeper on 25 minutes but he gathered at the second attempt.
Horwood and Atkinson couldn't quite find shooting angles on 29 minutes while Rovers survived a goalmouth scramble as the game went into first half injury time.
Though Oldham had dominated possession and territory in the first half, Rovers matched them in the second. Akpa Akpro sent a back post header on to the roof of the Oldham net ten minutes into the second half from a Koumas corner and the striker did well to win possession on the right soon after but his cross from out wide was well held by Oxley under pressure from Stockton.
Oldham substitute Albert Rusnak brought a save out of Fon Williams on 66 minutes with a header from Korey Smith's right wing cross.
Rovers brought on Lowe in place of Koumas on 70 minutes while Akpa Akpro almost opened the scoring soon after, with his flick from Rowe's right wing cross going just past the left hand post.
Goodison tried to carve out a shooting opportunity for himself after breaking into the Oldham half on 73 minutes but after beating two men he took one touch too many and the visitors were able to launch a counter attack.
Taylor narrowly missed the target with a header from the edge of the area from Horwood's deep free kick on 82 minutes and Fon Williams had to tip a long range effort from Cristian Montano over his bar soon after.
Sodje replaced Akpa Akpro with two minutes of normal time remaining and the striker played a key role late on. His flick on gave Lowe the chance to chase the ball in the Oldham area and after being brought down by Oxley the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot. Lowe picked himself up to find the bottom left corner from the spot and earn Rovers all three points.
Oldham: Oxley, Grounds, Wesolowski (Rodgers 63), Tarkowski, Schmeltz, Smith, Rooney, Clarke-Harris (Rusnak 63), Lanzoni, Dayton (Montano 75), Mills. Unused substitutes: Mellor, Millar, Philliskirk, Coleman.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Horwood, Atkinson, Koumas (Lowe 70), Power, Rowe, Stockton, Akpa Akpro (Sodje 88). Unused substitutes: Mooney, Jones, Dugdale, Kirby, Thompson.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Yellow cards: Rowe (65), Lanzoni (81)