Milton Keynes Dons succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Peterborough United at London Road in an entertaining local derby.
Goals from Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron Mclean either side of a Dean Lewington strike gave Peterborough the victory in a game that could have gone either way. A lively opening period saw the MK Dons apply long periods of pressure on the Peterborough backline with the sort of possession football Karl Robinson's side have been playing all season.
Jermaine Easter was the first to go close after a Lewington throw was knocked down by Jabo Ibehre in the penalty area. The Wales international though could only poke wide of Joe Lewis' goal. The Dons were looking dangerous on the attack, particularly down the left-hand side, with Lewington combining well with the energetic Luke Chadwick.
The tireless Mackail-Smith was proving to be the hosts' most dangerous outlet and it was he who capitalised on a slip by Gary Mackenzie on 20 minutes before squaring to Aaron Mclean just outside the Dons area. Mathias Kouo-Doumbé did well to hold the striker up before Mackenzie's last-ditch recovering tackle prevented a shot
The Dons continued to control possession though and, although chances were at a premium, were looking the bigger threat. That changed though after 36 minutes when a quick free-kick just inside the Dons half was played up to Mclean whose flick-on fell invitingly for Mackail-Smith between the centre back pairing of Kouo-Doumbé and Mackenzie.
The former Dagenham and Redbridge striker steadied himself before slotting past David Martin. It was a lead the hosts scarcely deserved but one they didn't hold on to for long. Peter Leven's long throw from the left was headed more up than out by Kelvin Langmead and as Ibehre battled with two Posh defenders for the ball, Lewington arrived late to drive home from 12 yards. The Dons continued to pass the ball around well after the equaliser and Robinson will have headed into the interval the happier of the two managers.
The hosts came out much-improved for the second period and soon found themselves ahead once more. Lewis Guy is tackled by Gabriel Zakuani. &nbsp; A Grant McCann corner from the left wasn't dealt with and Mclean was left unmarked to head past Martin from seven yards. The goal appeared to energise the home side and they could have had a third after Lee Tomlin found McCann in space just inside the Dons area, only for the Peterborough captain to fire straight at the on-rushing Martin.
The Dons were under the cosh and Aaron Wilbraham was brought on for Dietmar Hamann to add more of an attacking threat. It was a move which almost paid dividends for the Dons as the striker found space on the edge of the Peterborough area but drove narrowly wide. It was&nbsp;Mackenzie, making his first Dons start, who next went close.
Lewis Guy lost his marker brilliantly on the right-hand side before playing a low cross into the area which found&nbsp;the Scottish defender unmarked 10 yards out, only for the striker's effort to fly over the bar. The Dons would continue to throw men forward in search of a deserved equaliser and Wilbraham again went close with a driven effort from the right of the Peterborough area but it wasn't to be as the full-time whistle soon followed.
Peterborough United (4-4-2): Lewis; Whelpdale, Zakuani, Langmead, Rowe (Little 76); Tomlin (Mendez-Laing 90), Gill (Lee 79), McCann, Boyd; Mackail-Smith, Mclean.
Subs not used: Collis, Hibbert, Mendez-Laing, Davies, Nana. Goals: Mackail-Smith 36, Mclean 47 Booked: Gill, Tomlin, McCann
MK Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Woodards, Mackenzie (Chicksen 85), Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington; Guy, Hamann (Wilbraham 67), Leven, Chadwick; Ibehre, Easter.
Subs not used: Carrington, Searle, G. Baldock, Howell, Flanagan. Goals: Lewington 37
Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)