Shaun Williams' free-kick gave MK Dons a much-needed win over Walsall to move them up to eighth in League One.
The first chance of the game fell to Walsall but Sam Manton was denied by a good save from David Martin.
The home side rallied and Patrick Bamford went close with a dipping effort from Lee Hodson's cross.
They took the lead when Williams sweetly struck free-kick went in off the post and they were able to see the game out to secure victory.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"I don't think it was ever going to be a classic because of our confidence being knocked slightly and people questioning one or two things, so I thought the way the players responded was magnificent.
"I think today the back four were tremendous. My two men of the match were Shaun Williams and Darren Potter - they were sensational.
"We're gonna be under the radar. That's the way we are. We're not really a top-10 team with all the injuries we're having.
"To be where we are is marvellous. This has been probably my hardest week I've ever had as a manager of this football club."
Milton Keynes Dons 01 Martin (McLoughlin - 77' ) 05 Hodson 03 Lewington 08 Potter 23 Spence 06 Williams 17 Powell 10 Chadwick (McLeod - 54' ) 15 Bamford Booked 12 Reeves (Smith - 75' ) 21 Banton Substitutes 02 Otsemobor 04 Flanagan 11 Smith 13 McLeod 16 McLoughlin 18 Baldock 22 Carruthers Walsall 01 O'Donnell 15 Chambers 03 Taylor 06 Featherstone (Sawyers - 62' ) 12 Downing 04 Butler 07 Chambers 08 Mantom 11 Hemmings (Lalkovic - 74' ) 10 Westcarr 16 Baxendale (Hewitt - 88' ) Substitutes 02 Purkiss 09 Lalkovic 13 Lewis 14 Benning 24 Hewitt 25 Sawyers 27 Gray
Ref: Dean Whitestone