Wilson’s side kept their fifth consecutive clean sheet as they maintained their attempt to make up for last season’s play-off heartbreak by securing an automatic promotion place.
Captain Michael Doyle got the important breakthrough on 57 minutes at Boundary Park on Saturday, tucking in the rebound from 12 yards after goalkeeper Alex Cisak could only parry Dominic Poleon’s angled shot.
Oldham almost levelled when Matt Smith headed Lee Croft’s cross inches wide before his 18-yard shot was saved.
But United sealed the points late on with Kitson’s 10th goal of the season. Cisak charged off his line but failed to gather Tony McMahon’s free-kick and allowed Kitson to head into the empty net from 14 yards.
“It’s a great win and you could see how much it meant to everybody,” said Wilson. “To go five games without conceding is excellent and it’s down to the whole team’s efforts, not just defenders.
“Oldham caused us an extreme problem with their physicality. We all saw the problems Matt Smith gave Everton in the FA Cup, plus they have big centre-halves, but our defenders were enormous and didn’t budge an inch.
“We kept Oldham out of our box for a lot of the game and we worked very hard from front to back. We have the quality to score goals at the other end, but our defensive record is making a big difference.”
Managerless Oldham’s first defeat in four league games plunged them back into the bottom four.
Oldham Athletic: Cisak, Brown (Iwelumo 78), Tarkowski, Mvoto, Grounds, Croft, Wesolowski (Obita 65), Furman, Simpson, Baxter, Smith. Unused substitutes: Jacob, Murray, Taylor, Millar, Winchester.
Sheffield United: Long, McMahon, Collins, Maguire, Hill, Robson, McDonald, Doyle, Flynn, Poleon (McFadzean 71), Kitson. Unused substitutes: Coyne, Westlake, Cresswell, Ironside, Whitehouse, De Girolamo.
Referee: A Woolmer (Northamptonshire).
Man of the match: Harry Maguire.