A brace from top-goal scorer Dean Bowditch helped MK Dons to three points in a 2-1 victory over ten-man Bury.
Bowditch, with four goals in his last three games, cancelled out David Amoo's early strike before finding the back of the net from the penalty spot for the second time in four days before the half-time interval.
Despite taking the lead it was always going to be difficult for Bury once the Dons had levelled the scores but it was made even harder a minute before the break when a cynical shirt pull by Giles Coke was spotted by the referee the midfielder was shown his second yellow card of the night.
The victory - which could have been more emphatic had luck fallen Charlie MaDonald's way in the second half - strengthens the Dons' hold on fifth place in the table and moves them nine clear of seventh placed Carlisle and level on points with fourth-placed Huddersfield.
The Dons, with Alan Smith and Charlie MacDonald returning while Jabo Ibehre and Luke Chadwick dropped to the bench, had sight at goal inside the opening minutes when Smith was found at the right of the box allowing him to flash a shot over.
The home side inched closer to breaking the deadlock early in the game when James Tavernier, who has been nothing short of impressive since joining on loan from Newcastle until the end of the season on January transfer deadline day, powered into an advancing position to whip across in for the unmarked Dean Bowditch at the back post, but the former Yeovil man saw his header cleared off the line by Mark Hughes.
However, in the 10th minute Bury caught the Dons on the counter-attack and quickly punished them with the speed of David Amoo, who spent time on loan with the men from MK last season. A ball threaded through the eye of a needle by Steven Schumacher from midfield was picked up by Amoo, after timing his run to perfection, and despite the chase of Shaun Williams the forward was able to round David Martin and fire the visitors into a shock lead.
Immediately after the goal the Shakers appeared to be on the ascendancy as a few nerves ran through the Dons team. But the Dons were able to regain level terms ten minutes after falling a goal down when a foul on Smith presented them with a free-kick which was played to the right-hand side. The movement in the box from men in white shirts caused problems for the Shakers' backline and as the cross came in MacDonald flicked on for Bowditch get on the end of with a diving header to beat Cameron Belford.
Daniel Powell, the two-goal hero in Saturday's victory over Oldham, retained his place in the team and caused problems for Shakers full-back Joe Skarz, yet with confidence after his weekend display Powell twice opted for a shoot-on-sight policy when the better option would have been to bring supporting team mates into action.
Powell was key to most of the positive moves forward by the Dons and when he delivered a fine cross into the box there appeared to be acres of space in the box as MacDonald picked up the ball. Belford was quick off his line to pile pressure onto the Dons forward and a heavy touch took the ball to a difficult angle, resulting in MacDonald rattling the upright.
A string of fouls interrupted play and when Gleeson took offence to a challenge on Lewington an exchange of words with Schumacher resulted in cautions for the pair - taking Gleeson's bookings to 10 resulting in a two-match ban with immediate effect.
Shakers goalie Belford kept the scores level seven minutes before the break when a superb tip over from Gleeson's free-kick prevented Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, bearing down on the keeper, from heading the ball into the net. From the resulting corner Lewington nodded over.
Bury were plunged into trouble when talented midfielder Coke, booked in the 8th minute for a foul on Gleeson, grabbed the shirt of Kouo-Doumbe to prevent him from breaking forward and with referee Darren Drysdale nearby the Shakers man was given his marching orders.
It went from bad to worse for the visitors when Smith ran onto a ball from Darren Potter and was taken down by Belford in the left of the box. The penalty was duly awarded and Bowditch stepped up to convert to the 'keeper's left, just as he did against Oldham, to fire the Dons in front.
With a suspension awaiting Gleeson and having taken a few kicks on the night Robinson opted to bring off the midfielder to allow Ibhere to come on and offer support to MacDonald up front.
The change in personnel meant a switch of position for Smith, who moved into a defensive midfield role alongside Potter.
Potter was afforded the time to pull the strings from the centre of the pitch but the workrate of former Don Mark Carrington prevented him from truly matching his high standards.
The Dons should have had a second penalty when Powell, who caused Bury problems all night and was tripped by Skarz inside the box but the linesman nor referee spotted the foul.
The pressure continued from the Dons when Tavernier fizzed in a wonderful cross, which was headed away at the far post by Bury before Dean Lewington followed up with a low effort for Belford to save.
Bury were finding it difficult to keep tabs on the Dons as they struggled to make the ground with a one-man disadvantage as Jay O'Shea, making a lively impact from the bench, lashed s shot wide before teasing a cross in to MacDonald whose shot just dipped over the bar.
Bowditch, desperate to get his hat-trick, found himself in the right place at the right time on a number of occasions but his desire to get a third may have proved to have played on his mind too much as shots went wide and bounced awkwardly for the him.
MacDonald's hunt for a goal continues despite some great chances to get on the score sheet. One of the best of the night came when a brilliant cross from O'Shea was met with superb movement from MacDonald to get across his marker bit a bullet header flew over.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Tavernier, Kouo-Doumbe, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson (Ibehre 45); Powell (O'Shea 74), Smith, Bowditch (Chadwick 88); MacDonald.
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Chicksen.
Goals: Bowditch 20, 45 (pen)
Bury (4-5-1): Belford; Picken (Eastham 60), Sodje, Hughes, Skarz; Amoo, Schumacher (c) (Harrop 75), Carrington, Coke, Sweeney (Worrall 48); John-Lewis.
Subs not used: Elford-Alliyu, Williams.
Booked: Coke, Sweeney
Sent-off: Coke 45
Goal: Amoo 10
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Attendance: 6,405 (206 away)
Goal-Don Goal times: 1st goal: 09.40; 2nd goal 19.53; 3rd goal 45.00