Relief for Tisdale to get his first MK Dons win on the board

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale was delighted with his side's gritty performance as they held on to beat Oldham 2-1 on Saturday.

Finishing the game with more injuries than fit players, after Conor McGrandles stretchered off in stoppage time, Dons held on to victory courtesy of first half goals from Kieran Agard and Ryan Harley.

Dan Gardner pulled one back for Oldham five minutes before the break which sparked a second half onslaught for the home side which Tisdale's side duly held on to take the win.

"It was a battle that started with a lot of football," said Tisdale afterwards. "There was some fluid football, not a lot of structured play though. Both sets of players were very committed.

"We had a few players out there still looking to build up their fitness, we're not at our peak by any means so I'm delighted to get the three points, especially with all the challenges we had to get 11 people through the game. We had two players injured too, which made life a lot harder for us.

"It was a hectic game, if we break it down. It wasn't a perfectly fluid game. I'd like us to have been more composed with more possession, but I'm being a bit harsh really. We didn't half defend well! They put their bodies on the line, got their head on the ball first and I'm delighted with them.

"We had 10 men and arguably there were two I'd have like to have taken off because they were struggling. There were some big, big performances. I was really impressed with us defensively. We stuck to our task at the end and we just about got over the line. There are many ways to win a match and we did enough - that's what it's about: doing enough."

Dons raced into a 2-0 lead after 21 minutes. Kieran Agard slotted home a penalty after nine minutes when George Williams was hauled to the ground, before Harley doubled the advantage following more good from Alex Gilbey and Agard in the build-up.

Tisdale continued: "When you go 2-0 up away from home, two things will happen: the home side respond or you go and score a third. Their goal on 40 minutes was a sign of things to come. They went in at half time and had time to reboot.

"It was a clear penalty - George got goal-side and he got pulled back. Fair play to the referee for giving what he saw. It's a little pointer for players this season, my players, showing referees will be more vigilant this season.

"To score a second within that 10 minute period was excellent. We then played some pretty good football,m and did enough to score another goal today but on the other hand they had enough pressure to deserve a second too. They had pressure, we had counters, but whatever it was, we scored one more than them today."