MK Dons made it back-to-back home Sky Bet League One victories courtesy of a 2-0 success over Wigan Athletic at Stadium MK.
Following a dominant first-half display, Russell Martin’s got their just rewards after the break, with Scott Fraser converting a second penalty of the season, four minutes before full-debutant Stephen Walker struck home his opening goal for the Club.
The result lifts MK Dons up to 17th in the Sky Bet League One table, ahead of their meeting with AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.
Walker made his first start since returning to MK Dons as one of six changes made by boss Martin. Warren O’Hora, Lasse Sorensen, Jordan Houghton, Matthew Sorinola and Cameron Jerome were the others who came into the XI.
Sorinola and Jerome were involved early, with the former crossing to the latter, who headed wide from inside the area.
The MK Dons number 35 had another shooting chance on 18 minutes, following a neat attacking move involving Walker and Fraser. Unfortunately, Jerome’s first-time effort was saved by a diving Jamie Jones.
Fraser worked his way into the box soon after, beating three Wigan men before forcing Jones into a save at his near post.
MK Dons were enjoying a lot of success down the left channel and created another opening on 29 minutes through Sorinola, whose low cross was intercepted. Fraser then went agonisingly close with a stabbed effort which Jones did well to keep out.
The chances kept coming for Martin’s men, who saw Walker bend a left-footed shot over the bar from the edge of the area on the half-hour mark. With their next opportunity, Richard Keogh had a header saved from Sorensen’s corner.
Walker tried his luck again on 41 minutes but failed to trouble Jones with his 20-yard strike.
MK Dons returned for the second half eager to make their dominance count and they were handed the chance to do so from the penalty spot just two minutes after the re-start, following a clear foul on Sorinola inside the box.
Fraser stepped up to the mark and, just as he did against Portsmouth, slotted home his second goal of the season to put MK Dons in front. 1-0.
Within four minutes, Martin’s men had doubled their lead and it was Walker, on his first start since returning to the Club on Deadline Day, who got off the mark.
He was involved in the build-up, which led to Sorinola delivering a ball into the box. The cross was cleared but only as far as Walker, who drilled home a first-time finish to make it 2-0.
Wigan almost produced an instant response from a corner, but Curtis Tilt failed to hit the target with his header. Another dangerous ball in from the left, moments later, was missed by Joe Garner in the box.
The Dons then regained control and almost added a third through Jerome but his looping header fell wide of the target.
Martin made his first change on 69 minutes, refreshing his attack with Joe Mason replacing Walker. He went close to instant impact with a curling left-footed shot that wasn’t far away from finding the far corner.
Garner threatened with a long-range effort as the game entered the final quarter of an hour. Fisher then got down to gather a low cross from the right as the Latics continued to push for a way back into the game.
The Dons survived several more scares as the 90 minutes drew closer, before doing what they needed to do in stoppage time to keep hold of their clean sheet – the icing on the cake on what was a confidence-boosting night for Martin and his side.
MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Keogh, Poole, Fraser (Gladwin 71), Walker (Mason 69), O’Hora, Sorensen (Freeman 86), Houghton, Sorinola, Jerome.
Subs: Nicholls, Williams, Harvie, Bird.
Goals: Fraser (pen 48), Walker (52)
Wigan Athletic: Jones, Pearce, Tilt (Perry 69), Keane (Crankshaw 9), Massey (Aasgaard 65), Palmer, Gardner, Merrie, James, Long.
Subs: Evans, Obi, Joseph, Jolley.
Referee: C Breakspear