After losing by the same score to Preston on Saturday, the Dons will be delighted to have recorded their first-ever home win in the Championship after absorbing a lot of pressure from their visitors.
The Trotters created several openings during the match at stadiummk but after four games in all competitions, Neil Lennon’s men are still yet to trouble the scorers.
Bolton goalkeeper Ben Amos had to be sharp in the seventh minute when he came off his line to beat Simon Church to the ball after Darren Potter had played it through to him.
This sparked MK Dons into life as Carl Baker tried a shot from 25 yards that just dipped over the bar but Dean Moxey almost left them stunned with a rising effort that David Martin pushed over.
From the resulting corner Prince-Desir Gouano missed a good chance to give the Trotters the lead when he headed wide from Liam Feeney’s delivery despite being unmarked at the back post.
Antony Kay then had to make a last-ditch tackle to stop Zach Clough after the youngster had gone on a wonderful run into the Dons area that had taken him past several defenders.
Bolton were now putting their hosts under the cosh and came within a whisker of going ahead when Martin brilliantly tipped Clough’s rising shot from Gary Madine’s knock-down on to the bar.
Baker’s radar was slightly off again when he fired over from a narrow angle as a first half that the visitors shaded finished goalless.
They were to create the first opening after restart as well as Madine did superbly to control a long pass by Lawrie Wilson only to see his effort deflected wide.
But MK Dons were to break the deadlock on the hour mark as Samir Carruthers threaded a wonderful pass through to Powell who cut inside before finishing into the bottom corner.
Bolton now had to break their season’s duck just to avoid a second straight defeat but their long-awaited goal just would not arrive for them as Madine headed wide from another Feeney corner.
Clough then sent a free-kick from the corner of the box wide before he steered a first-time shot over from a low, driven cross by Moxey as the Trotters began to crank up the pressure in vain.