MK Dons' frustrations on the road continued as Paul Huntington's solitary goal gave struggling Yeovil a first win in ten games.
Huntington rose highest to head home an Andy Welsh cross ten minutes into a gruelling contest at Huish Park, where the Dons were again unable to turn their outstanding home form into a profitable performance on the road.
Karl Robinson's team have now lost nine games away from home this season, in stark contrast to their eight wins at stadiummk, as they continue to search for the magic ingredient on their travels. Yeovil, while no closer to safety than they were at the start of play, survived the late dismissal of substitute Jean-Paul Kalala to at least climb above Dagenham to 22nd in the division and will feel they were worthy of the spoils after limiting the Dons to a small number of chances on a ground they have yet to conquer in four attempts. But they must pick themselves up quickly ahead of a near-carbon-copy trip next weekend, when they make the journey to face a mercurially-talented Exeter City.
After back-to-back victories at stadiummk, Robinson opted for minimal disruption to the chemistry his side have discovered in the last seven days. Joint-leading scorer Sam Baldock was the only new face introduced in place of weekend goalscorer Daniel Powell, as Michael McIndoe's loan from Coventry was extended in time for him to face one of his former club. Without a win in nine games, Yeovil boss Terry Skiverton looked to be working to the same logic as he stuck with the eleven that grinded out a goalless draw at Plymouth. But despite showing virtually the same personnel, the Dons looked a different side to the one that so quickly dismantled Bristol Rovers at the weekend.
They were hustled and hurried by a frantic Yeovil midfield, Paul Wotton and Shaun MacDonald throwing themselves into every tackle in the middle of the park, and were forced to go long to relieve the pressure on their back four. It worked for Yeovil, who frustratingly turned the Dons back four time and again, dumping balls over the top for Dean Bowditch, Sam Williams and Welsh to chase. They threatened twice before opening the scoring - Bowditch unable to reach a decent Andy Williams cross from the right before Sean O'Hanlon flicked an even better one from Welsh over his own crossbar.
It should have served as a warning, but Welsh was allowed too much time to deliver after Jabo Ibehre had cleared his original corner, and Huntington rose unattended to head past David Martin. Playing their first home game since mid-November, it was the perfect start Yeovil could provide for their vociferous supporters and they looked to build on the momentum as Shaun MacDonald and Bowditch both forced Martin into manageable saves.
A scuffed Baldock free-kick blocked by Huntington aside, the Dons had offered little in terms of chances, but did begin to exert some pressure as Peter Leven forced a good save from John Sullivan from a Danny Woodards cross and Mathias Kouo-Doumbé headed just over from the resulting corner. But their fluency was missing, unaided by a sponge of a pitch that became increasingly difficult to negotiate as the drizzle descended over Somerset. Welsh threatened to open them up again on the half-hour, cutting inside from the right to deliver another in-swinging cross, but Sam Williams wasted the free header.
The break afforded Robinson the chance to reshuffle, bringing Lewis Guy into a narrower role from the right flank, and both he and McIndoe, booed throughout, threatened to breach the Yeovil line early in the second period. But the Glovers showed few signs of a retreat as they came within a whisker of some much-needed breathing space.
Leven's header back looked a little light and when Andy Williams got his toe in ahead of O'Hanlon, he beat the outrushing Martin with another flick but only found the outside of the post. It kicked off an end-to-end period as Luke Chadwick, on to replace Guy just moments before, took an unnecessary touch inside the box that cost him a shot at goal, before Dean Lewington intervened at the death to deny a clean-through Welsh.
With time wearing down and Yeovil increasingly keen to hold onto their lead, the Dons quite naturally saw more of the ball, but were unable to truly penetrate. Their hopes were boosted six minutes from time when Kalala, only introduced six minutes previously, crazily raised a hand to McIndoe after tripping the Dons winger.
The Congolese midfielder saw red, to the furious appeals of the home fans, while McIndoe's involvement earned him a yellow. But the visitors, despite throwing substitute Gary MacKenzie up
front as a make-shift striker, could not mount the necessary pressure to make their numerical advantage count. The defeat does not do serious damage to the Dons' hopes of reaching the play-offs, as they remain just a point behind the team in sixth. But their concerns on the road continue, ahead of another long trip to Exeter City on Saturday.
Yeovil Town (4-4-1-1): Sullivan; Ayling, Huntington (c), Ehmer, Smith; Welsh, Wotton, MacDonald, Bowditch (Calver 90+4); S. Williams (Kalala 78); A. Williams.
Subs not used: Upson, Gibson, Baggridge.
Goals: Huntington 10
Sent off: Kalala 84
MK Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Woodards, O'Hanlon (MacKenzie 65), Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington (c); Guy (Chadwick 55), Gleeson (Johnson 75), Leven, McIndoe; Baldock, Ibehre.
Subs not used: Searle, Carrington, Chicksen, Powell.
Booked: MacKenzie, McIndoe, Leven
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)