MK Dons made it two wins from two to start the 2018/19 season courtesy of a 1-0 win over Bury at Stadium MK.
Substitute Ousseynou Cisse converted from George Williams’ cross in stoppage-time to earn Paul Tisdale’s men all three points in their first home league match of the campaign.
Paul Tisdale handed 17-year-old Dylan Asonganyi his league debut as he made two changes to the side which beat Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Ryan Watson was the other new inclusion - he came in for his MK Dons bow.
There was an early sighter for Asonganyi, two minutes in, when Callum Brittain sent a long pass forward from his right-back position. Asonganyi, who had got behind the Bury defence, chased the ball down but couldn’t connect and Joe Murphy gathered.
His strike partner Kieran Agard then earned MK Dons a corner on five minutes and Ryan Watson’s teasing delivery was almost met by Alex Gilbey.
Bury failed to clear and that led to a chance for Joe Walsh, whose volley was saved by Murphy. The loose ball fell to Agard but his effort was blocked by a defender and from the resulting corner, Jordan Moore-Taylor headed wide.
MK Dons had another corner two minutes later and from this delivery, George Williams sent a header wide of the target.
Paul Tisdale’s side maintained their dominant start and with 10 minutes on the clock, Agard delivered an in-swinging cross. Asonganyi met the ball but glanced his header wide of the right-hand upright.
Bury’s first shot of the game arrived 60 seconds later - Neil Danns with the long-range effort which Nicholls watched skim out for a goal kick.
They kept the pressure on after that chance and it took two blocks from Walsh to prevent both Nicky Adams and Danns from troubling Nicholls.
MK Dons responded and a great ball in from Brittain was put behind for a corner by a Bury defender. Lewington’s corner was cleared but MK Dons were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Watson, 10 yards from the edge of the area. Lewington was the man to send in the set-piece - a good ball but Williams was penalised for an alleged push when trying to connect at the far post.
Midway through the first-half, Bury’s Danny Mayor went close to breaking the deadlock but his goal-bound strike was blocked by the head of Williams.
Walsh was next up to produce a moment of stunning defending as he threw himself in front of a fierce drive from Danns inside the area before Nicholls produced a save to keep out a curling shot from the lively Mayor.
Bury continued to threaten and Adams’ right-footed effort from 20-yards just skimmed the crossbar on 34 minutes. At the other end soon after, Asonganyi did well to create room for a shot on the edge of the D but his right-footed attempt was comfortable for Murphy.
MK Dons put the pressure on at the end of the half but other than an Asonganyi effort which was blocked, they weren’t able to trouble Murphy before the interval. It was Bury who went closest in stoppage-time - they hit the left-hand upright direct from an Adams free-kick.
Tisdale’s side started the second half well and an early chance fell to Asonganyi inside the Shakers box but his low shot was blocked by one his teammates in a crowded six-yard area.
MK Dons went agonisingly close to taking the lead just before the hour-mark when Ryan Watson’s deflected free-kick had Murphy scrambling. The Shakers stopper, though, managed to get across his line quickly and keep the effort out with a diving save.
Watson was withdrawn moments later and Ousseynou Cisse took his place. A second substitution followed not long after - Robbie Simpson replaced Asonganyi.
On 65 minutes, Gilbey nicked the ball off Danns and tried his luck from distance. His right-footed half-volley wasn’t too far away but it didn’t force Murphy into a save.
Nicholls was forced into action in the 74th minute when Bury substitute Gold Omotayo met a cross in from the right but the striker’s header was straight at Nicholls, who made the save.
Tisdale made his final change with 11 minutes remaining, introducing one of the two goalscorer from last week, Ryan Harley, in place of Brittain.
His side had two half-decent shouts at a penalty waved away by Antony Coggins, who decided that Simpson and Agard weren’t brought down unfairly inside the Shakers penalty area.
Substitute Harley then had a shot blocked on 84 minutes which resulted in a corner from which MK Dons weren’t able to take advantage. A minute later, Simpson was an inch away from connecting with Cisse’s teasing cross.
MK Dons, though, kept pushing and they were rewarded in stoppage time. Cisse flicked the ball on for Williams, who composed himself on the right and delivered a fierce cross into the box. The ball was right in the path of Cisse, who slid in and turned home his first league goal for the Club - and one he’ll never forget. 1-0.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain (Harley 79, Williams, Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Lewington; Houghton, Watson (Cisse 61); Gilbey; Asonganyi (Simpson 67), Agard.
Unused subs: Sietsma, Hancox, Cargill, Jackson.
Goal: Cisse (90+1)
Match Sponsor’s Man of the Match, chosen by Storm Office Solutions: Joe Walsh
Attendance: 6,867 (349 away)
Referee: A Coggins