Sat 01 Jan 11
at 18:12 PM
REPORT: MK DONS 2 BRISTOL ROVERS 0
MK Dons kicked off 2011 with another fine home win as first-half goals from Daniel Powell and Peter Leven buried Bristol Rovers at stadiummk.
Looking to build on the momentum of their midweek win over Bournemouth, Karl Robinson's side were at times superb against the struggling Gas, creating a host of early chances before striking twice within a couple of minutes.
And with a demanding fixture schedule to come in January, starting with a trip to Yeovil on Monday, they were able to play well within themselves in between, controlling the tempo of a game they dominated before threatening to cut loose towards the end. It's a win that lifts them four places to eighth in the League 1 table while maintaining their highly impressive record at stadiummk, where they have won eight and lost just one of their 11 home league games. With the same personnel that started Tuesday's impressive win over the Cherries, the Dons went out in search of their eighth home win of the season with typical gusto.
From as early as the second minute they were on the front foot, the elusive Lewis Guy picking out Powell's run down the right and the youngster's cross headed wide by Michael McIndoe via a deflection. Rovers looked like a side that hadn't played in three weeks - their last outing a Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat to Exeter on December 14th - while the Dons oozed momentum.
A minute later, Guy was at it again, sliding Ibehre into space in the inside-left channel, but after cutting inside Byron Anthony the big striker stabbed his shot against the foot of the post and Guy couldn't keep the rebound down. Guy drilled another effort from a similar position just over shortly after that, but the goal was coming and it arrived on ten minutes.
Powell was typically positive, advancing purposefully into the space a sloppy Rovers defence afforded him, and showed great confidence to power his finish past Mikkel Andersen at his near post. A first goal of the season for the 19-year-old Academy graduate and it wouldn't be long before the Dons doubled it. Jabo Ibehre, endearingly selfless throughout, was tugged back by Anthony 25 yards from goal, Leven struck the free-kick and got a sizeable dose of good fortune as it deflected off the wall to totally wrong-foot Andersen.
Such was the Dons' dominance, nearly 18 minutes passed before David Martin first touched the ball, and even then it was of his own choosing - eagerly racing out to mop up an aimless ball over the top as his side poured forward.
With the hectic forthcoming schedule no doubt in mind, the Dons did take their foot off the gas, but remained in control of the pace, Leven and the excellent Stephen Gleeson dictating the tempo to their desire. What glimpses Rovers did have of the Dons goal were fleeting ones - Will Hoskins failing to stretch Martin when well-placed and Chris Lines likewise after Danny Woodards had half-cleared a Hoskins through-ball.
The pattern would hardly change after the break, Rovers trying to muster energy going forward and the Dons conserving it, but no less dangerous on the break. Leven saw a better-struck free-kick clawed out by Andersen on 54 minutes and Jo Kuffour, strangely quiet by his lively standards, scuffed sub Eliot Richards' cutback straight at Martin.
It would ignite the briefest of spells of Gas pressure, Hoskins following that up with a dragged half-volley after Mathias Kouo-Doumbé had misjudged inside the box. But the Dons clearly had gears to go through and could have been out of sight once they started to put their foot back down. Robinson introduced Sam Baldock and Luke Chadwick to finish the job and both went close in quick succession - the latter scraping the top of the bar from a Dean Lewington cross and the former almost uprooting the entire frame after great work from Gleeson and Chadwick down the right.
McIndoe, in the final game of his initial loan from Coventry, nearly rounded his spell off with a fine strike, but was repelled by Andersen. And the Danish keeper would twice frustrate Baldock before the end - tipping his angled shot around the post on 86 minutes and preventing him converting an Adam Chicksen cross at the death. Dons' outstanding home record goes on and they head to Yeovil on Monday just a point outside the play-offs with a game in hand.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Woodards, O'Hanlon, Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Leven; Powell (Chadwick 68), Guy (Baldock 62), McIndoe (Chicksen 82); Ibehre.
Subs not used: Searle, MacKenzie, Carrington, Johnson.
Goals: Powell 10, Leven 13 Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Andersen; Regan, Anthony, Coles, Sawyer; Reece (Hughes 46), Lines, Campbell, Swallow (Richards 46); Hoskins, Kuffour.
Subs not used: Green, Brown, Pell, Tunnicliffe, Blizzard. Booked: Anthony, Sawyer, Regan, Campbell
Attendance: 7,185 (609 away)
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)