Goal-scorer Maynard always had faith his chance would come

Nicky Maynard celebrates his late winner against Oldham
Nicky Maynard celebrates his late winner against Oldham

Nicky Maynard never doubted a chance to net a winner would come as he rattled home a 96th minute volley against Oldham on Tuesday night.

Maynard hovered outside the box as the Latics only half-cleared a cross aimed at Kieran Agard before rifling home a brilliant volley to beat keeper Connor Ripley and secure three points for MK Dons with a 1-0 win.

Until that point, the game had been stale and lacked any real chances, with even Dons boss Robbie Neilson admitting he didn't want a DVD of highlights.

But Maynard, who came off the bench to net the winner, always felt a chance would come.

"We always believed we could get one chance and it came with virtually the last kick of the game," he said. "It was a scrappy game, and neither side had many, if any, shots on target. But we know if we're solid at the back, we're going to get one or two chances at the back to score. It's another three points to set us on our way.

"Coming off the bench, I'm expecting to maybe get one chance to make a difference.

"The cross has come in and usually I'm the one who goes up to win those. For some reason I decided to stay outside. It was headed out and I was lucky enough to get a good connection and see it go in."

Chances came at a premium at either end, but it was the Oldham defence who were the busier at Stadium MK. Wayward strikes from Dean Bowditch and Maecky Ngombo in the first half were all Dons really had to write home about until Harvey Barnes, Chuks Aneke and Maynard came on midway through the second period.

Chances remained few and far between though, despite Dons' domination, though Maynard felt a draw would have been an unfair reflection on the way the game was played.

He said: "Possession wise and the way we played, it would have been frustrating if we'd drawn. The way Oldham played and set up wasn't attractive and they didn't look to threaten us much, but sometimes that's what teams do to us, and you have to do whatever you can to get a result."

The result sees Dons climb League 1 to 14th, and key for the fans leaving Stadium MK was the team they'd climbed above courtesy of Maynard's winner. The striker though isn't concentrating on the league position, just the next team above them.

"For me, it doesn't matter whether AFC are above or below us, I just want us to climb the table," he added. "It obviously means a lot to the fans though, but all we can do is keep winning and if won't matter who is above us because we'll be catching them."

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