After an encouraging opening, Latics fell behind to a Darren Potter goal in their opening npower League One match of the season at Milton Keynes Dons.
It was disappointing as Latics more than matched their hosts, who are one of the favourites for promotion, in the first half.
On a blisteringly hot afternoon in Buckinghamshire, it was a lukewarm start as both sides cancelled out each other.
The only clear goalscoring chance in the opening quarter of an hour came when Youssouf M'Changama (pictured) had a long-range shot deflected for a corner.
Dean Furman also had another drive from distance but that, too, flew harmlessly wide.
Mk Dons saw plenty of the ball, but made little impact in the final third of the pitch where Latics defended resolutely.
Home keeper David Martin had to claw away a cross from Jonathan Grounds following a quickly taken free kick by M'Changama.
Latics fell behind in the 34th minute through Dons' first clear-cut chance of the afternoon.
Potter was left free 10 yards out to head home a right-wing corner from Dean Bowditch low to the left of keeper Alex Cisak
Latics were lucky not to fall 2-0 behind five minutes before the break when Ryan Lowe burst clear but shot just wide with only Cisak to beat. All credit to the keeper, though, for dashing off his line to force the Dons' striker into a hurried shot.
And there was another let off for Latics on the stroke of half time when an angled shot from Daniel Powell struck the crossbar.
Half time: MK Dons 1, Latics 0