REPORT: MK Dons 4-4 Oldham: Goal-fest sees Dons salvage an unlikely point
Two goals in the final 10 minutes saw MK Dons rescue a remarkable point in a 4-4 draw with Oldham Athletic.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the dying minutes, Aidan Nesbitt and Ed Upson turned around what looked set to be an Oldham victory. Craig Davies opened the scoring after just six minutes for the visitors before Alex Gilbey pulled one back 11 minutes later.
Oldham would take a 3-1 lead into the break, with Eoin Doyle prodding home before Joe Walsh tucked into his own net. Upson made it 3-2 just after half time, but Peter Clarke felt he'd done enough for the Latics as they took a 4-2 lead after 63 minutes before the dramatic finale saw Dons salvage a point.
After the 1-1 draw with Walsall in the week, Robbie Neilson opted for the same starting line-up again to face Oldham. Chuks Aneke's recovery was under the microscope with his second league start in four days, playing up alongside Kieran Agard, yet to find the back of the net this season. The only change to the line-up came on the bench, with injured Osman Sow replaced by Aaron Tshibola.
Richie Wellens' side came into the game on hot form, undefeated in their last five as they dragged themselves away from the drop zone. And their confidence was clear to see as they took the lead with just six minutes on the clock, largely down to the persistence of Eoin Doyle. Racing clear down the Oldham right, the chance appeared to have gone when Dons got back in number, but Doyle's ball across the face evaded Scott Wootton and Ethan Ebanks-Landell, allowing Craig Davies a relatively straight forward finish to beat Lee Nicholls.
But as easily they went behind, they were level again 11 minutes later in similar circumstances. The Oldham defence completely switched off as the ball ran into the penalty area, and was picked up by Aneke. Waiting for support, he spotted the run of skipper Alex Gilbey to tap home his first for the club, bringing Dons back on level terms.
The visitors were playing great football at times, but came unstuck by Dons' en masse defending, with Ouss Cisse and Ed Upson both adding to the volume of bodies in the box to keep them at bay.
Cisse in fact was having one of his better halves in a Dons shirt and almost turned provider in a move that started and finished with Aneke. A perfect 'around the corner' ball to the Mali midfielder was then returned to Aneke on the edge of the box, but his effort was bravely blocked by Latics captain Peter Clarke.
Cisse again was at the heart of Dons' next attack, breaking again down the left flank, holding up play well to find Agard's late run, but Johny Placide was a match for the strike as Dons began to get on top of things.
But Oldham would go into the break leading though, thanks to a huge slice of luck. Bad luck seems to be following Ebanks-Landell around of late, and when his clearance spun up in the air, Doyle was able to get a toe to the ball, beating Nicholls as it clipped the far post and went in.
It would get worse for Dons on the stroke of half time though as Davies whipped in a low ball across the face of goal, which missed Doyle but tagged Joe Walsh for 3-1, leaving them with a huge ask in the second half.
But that ask was made easier 10 minutes after the restart when Upson bent a free kick past Placide, clipping the underside of the bar to pull one back for Dons.
Just as the momentum appeared to be swinging back in favour of the home side though, Oldham got a fourth on 63 minutes as Jack Byrne picked out an unmarked Clarke from a free kick, and the defender had the simple job of diverting past Nicholls.
It was all looking pretty routine for Oldham, but with nine minutes to go, Aidan Nesbitt, who had been on the field less than a minute, was picked out by Aneke to give Dons a sniff of a point once again.
And incredibly, they were level with two minutes to go when sub Gboly Ariyibi picked out another sub in Ryan Seager, only for his effort to come back off the bar and poked home by Upson to salvage an unlikely point.
Referee: Antony Coggins
MK Dons: Nicholls, Walsh, Wootton (Seager 69), Walsh, Ebanks-Landell, Golbourne, Brittain, Upson, Cisse (Ariyibi 69), Gilbey, Agard (Nesbitt 80), Aneke
Subs not used: Siestsma, Williams, Lewington, Tshibola
Oldham Athletic: Placide, Dummigan, Gardner (Omrani 90), Davies (Flynn 84), Doyle, Menig (Nepomunceno 69), Hunt, Fane, Clarke, Byrne, Bryan
Subs not used: Ruddy, Wilson, Gerrard, Obadeyi
Booked: Clarke, Fane, Aneke