- It was a case of After the Lord Mayor’s Show as Latics succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat to MK Dons.
- It was an underwhelming performance by the hosts after Saturday’s superb victory at Bolton.
- Latics went ahead on 20 minutes when Charlie Wyke tapped home at close range from Will Keane’s cross but the visitors were level on the half hour when Daniel Harvie crossed for Peter Kioso to head home.
- The visitors then shocked the hosts seven minutes later by taking the lead when a cross from the left was deflected into his own net by Tendayi Darikwa.
- Despite dominating the second half the hosts couldn’t penetrate the Dons well drilled defence and the visitors held out for a surprise victory.
- Latics slip a place to fourth in the League One table while the Dons remain in sixth spot.
- Leam Richardson made one change to the starting eleven from the victory at Bolton with Tom Bayliss replacing the injured Jordan Cousins.
The visitors started quickly and after two minutes Matt O’Riley crossed for Mo Eisa to head towards goal but Ben Amos saved comfortably.
Latics gradually started to settle and a flowing move between Darikwa, Bayliss and Will Keane ended with James McClean’s cross headed behind by Wyke.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Keane did superbly to cross from byline and Wyke converted from close range.
The visitors responded immediately with Kioso and Eisa having efforts blocked inside the penalty area.
The Dons drew level on the half-hour mark when Harvie’s cross to the back post was headed into the net by Kioso.
At the other end Latics nearly restored the lead when Callum Lang pulled the ball back to Wyke, but his effort was turned behind for a corner by the Dons goalkeeper Andrew Fisher.
McClean then had low shot well saved at the near post by Fisher.
But the Dons were in front in the 37th minute when Harvie’s cross from the left was deflected into his own net by Darikwa.
The visitors almost added a third early in the second half when Scott Twine’s free-kick was flicked on by Harry Darling, but his header sailed just wide of the right post.
Latics now started to dominate possession as the Dons retreated into defence.
Power’s cross was turned behind for a corner by Kioso, before Fisher bravely punched McClean’s cross away from danger.
Latics to continued to pump crosses into the box with Jack Whatmough looping Power’s cross onto the roof of the net.
Richardson made a triple substitution with Gavin Massey, Jordan Jones and Stephen Humphrys replacing Lang, McClean and Bayliss as the hosts went for the equaliser.
Latics looked more combative with Power moved into midfield and Latics created some late chances.
In the 89th minute Jones’ dangerous cross was well punched away by Fisher before Power curled his effort over the crossbar.
In the dying seconds of the game Power’s free-kick came to Humphrys inside the box but agonisingly his curled effort landed on the roof of the net.
Despite a second half rally it had been a below average performance by Latics after the heady heights of Saturday’s victory.
Credit should be given to MK Dons but Latics never really hit their stride and looked off the pace for long periods.
They sorely missed the injured Jordan Cousins in midfield.
In retrospect Richardson probably picked the wrong line up and would’ve been better to have used Power in midfield instead of Bayliss with Tom Pearce at left back and Darikwa at right back.
Manager Richardson tried to take a positive view of the setback but in truth Latics had not played well on the night.
“I thought we should have done that a little bit more and we might have got a different result – but we will certainly learn from tonight and prepare for a bank of fixtures.”
Whilst defeat was tough to take for Latics tonight, Richardson remained upbeat and wants his squad to be the same as they head to the capital to face AFC Wimbledon this weekend.
“We’re 12 games in and we’re learning a lot about each other,” he said.
“I think it’s important that when you are doing well that you are critical in yourself, as it’s easy when you are in diversity to look upon different reasons.
“All our challenges in front of us are good, exciting challenges and they are ones that we will embrace. We’ve got a lot of games coming and there’s a lot of football to be played, so we will certainly look forward to it.”