Report: Oldham Athletic 0-2 MK Dons
Goals from Ben Reeves and Kieran Agard in either half did the damage as Karl Robinson’s men enjoyed their fourth away league win of the season, as well as a deserved clean sheet.
There was one change for the Dons as Samir Carruthers replaced Ed Upson, who was only fit enough to make the bench after coming off on Tuesday.
From the first whistle, there was a real ebb and flow to the game as both sides went forward with purpose, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by in the opening 15 minutes.
Carruthers and Reeves, in particular, started brightly for the Dons and the latter set up Ryan Colclough but, after beating his man with ease, his cross was gathered by Connor Ripley. At the other end, Cameron Burgess headed over from a corner.
After a strong run, George Baldock delivered a superb ball on 17 minutes but it was just too far in front of Nicky Maynard before Agard saw a shot blocked.
David Martin was called into action for the first time midway through the first half, tipping over Freddie Ladapo’s fierce 20-yard effort after some clever build-up play.
Shortly afterwards Colclough, who was growing into the game, found Agard with an excellent pass but his shot was blocked from a tight angle.
His strike partner, Maynard, drew a fine save from Ripley 25 yards out as the Dons enjoyed their best spell of the game so far.
That was capped with the opening goal on 36 minutes when Reeves’ long-range drive crept under the arms of Ripley – a decent strike but the keeper will be disappointed not to have stopped the shot.
The hosts responded well and the Dons defence, who unfortunately lost Baldock three minutes later to a hamstring injury, had to be alert to deal with a number of balls into the box.
Robinson’s men had looked dangerous going forward throughout and they had two further chances before the break – Colclough fired over before Agard dragged an effort wide.
Oldham were quick out of the blocks in the second half and they almost levelled on 47 minutes but Peter Clarke’s overhead kick hit the bar.
Martin then saved from Clarke as the hosts kept up the pressure but the Dons continued to look threatening on the ball and Darren Potter almost picked out Maynard.
The men from MK1 extended their lead on 55 minutes when Agard glanced home Carruthers’ delicious delivery – Colclough deserves praise for his hard work to win the free-kick which lead to the goal.
Full of confidence, the Dons almost scored a third 11 minutes later but Maynard curled an effort not too far past the right-hand post after some more good build-up play.
Reeves sent an ambitious effort wide on 69 minutes before Agard struck the crossbar from 12 yards as the Dons continued to offer the attacking threat in the game, despite already being 2-0 up.
Playing on the last defender, Maynard was looking dangerous and he was offering a superb outlet for the Dons, who were in total control of proceedings as the game ticked into the final 10 minutes.
Colclough carried the ball deep into the Oldham area with four minutes remaining but he didn’t get a full connection and his effort was easily saved by Ripley.
At the other end, the Dons continued to look strong defensively and Martin enjoyed a routine save from a free-kick.
Robinson’s side comfortably saw out the closing stages and nearly added a third in the final minute but Maynard couldn’t quite control Carruthers’ clever pass.
Starting XI: Martin; Baldock (GB Williams 39), Walsh, Downing, Lewington (c); Potter, Carruthers; Agard, Reeves (Bowditch 73), Colclough (Upson 90); Maynard.
Unused subs: Nicholls, Hendry, GC Williams, Tshimanga.
Goals: Reeves (36), Agard (55).
Bookings: Baldock, Potter.
Attendance: 3, 273.