MK Dons bounced back to winning ways as they saw off Wigan Athletic 2-0 at stadium mk.
Scott Fraser opened the scoring with a penalty shortly after half-time. Stephen Walker would then add to the scoreline a few moments later.
Victory means the Dons have a second win in as many home games ahead of the weekend’s grudge game with rivals AFC Wimbledon, and they bounce back from disappointing results at Oxford and Blackpool with a successful return.
The Dons had seemed to achieved lift-off in their last home game by beating Gillingham, only to suffer back-to-back away defeats.
Russell Martin made no fewer than six changes from the weekend reverse at Blackpool, although 3 were enforced, as David Kasumu was banned while Carlton Morris and Louis Thompson were ill.
The changes included a home debut for Andy Fisher, a start for deadline day returnee Stephen Walker and an 800th league appearance in Dons colours for skipper Dean Lewington.
After a fairly tentative beginning, MK Dons had the first big chance when Jerome headed wide, while Wigan suffered an early setback as striker Will Keane limped off injured.
Keane’s replacement Ollie Crankshaw would see a chip at goal denied by Fisher within moments of his arrival, before the Dons began to apply more pressure.
Central to this were Cameron Jerome and Fraser, with most of the Dons’ positive play coming through these two players.
It was also keeping Jamie Jones in the Wigan goal busy. The keeper denied an angled hit by Jerome before tipping wide two excellent chances for Fraser after some neat build up play had freed up the Dons’ summer arrival from Burton Albion.
Loan recruit Walker also saw two long-range strikes fly over, as the hosts tried in vain to find a first half opener.
But within 2 minutes of the restart, the Dons would be given a penalty to try their luck with, after a surging run by Matty Sorinola was ended by Tom James’ mistimed lunge.
Fraser took up the responsibility, and coolly sent Jones the wrong way to score his first MK Dons goal at stadium mk.
It would then be 2 within 4 minutes. More good work by Sorinola down the Dons’ left flank would yield a cross that was half-cleared by a Wigan defender. Walker met it and hit a sweet first time strike past Jones for a second goal, and his first since returning on loan from Middlesbrough.
Wigan did respond with some innacurate chances from Curtis Tilt and Joe Garner, though the away side struggled to build a lot of momentum to find a goal back, and suffered a further injury setback following an knock to Gavin Massey.
For the most part, MK Dons remained on the front foot and continued to cause the away defence trouble. This continued even after the removal of the lively Walker, with his replacement Joe Mason seeing an effort just curl wide of the mark.
Wigan began to offer more in the latter stages of the contest, if mainly in terms of pressure rather than chances. An errant Joe Garner long range hit and a messy moment that saw the ball just cleared after Fisher failed to hold onto a cross were the closest moments of danger, and the Dons saw the result through.
MK Dons: Fisher – O’Hora, Keogh, Lewington – Poole, Fraser (Gladwin 71), Houghton, Sorensen, Sorinola – Jerome, Walker (Mason 69)
Subs: Nicholls, Williams, Harvie, Bird, Freeman
Goal: Fraser (pen 48), Walker (52)
Wigan: Jones – James, Tilt (Perry 69), Long – Massey (Aasgaard 64), Gardner, Merrie, Palmer, Pearce – Keane, Garner (Crankshaw 9)
Subs: Evans, Obi, Joseph, Jolley