MK Dons failed to make ground on the play-off places on Saturday afternoon after losing 1-0 to Sheffield United at stadiummk.
Karl Robinson's side could have closed the gap on the top six to three points with a victory but were never able to bounce back after Stefan Scougall put the visitors ahead with a fine solo goal in the first-half.
Loanee Sanmi Odelusi did provide a spark in the second half and went close on a number of occasions but it wasn't to be for the men from MK1, who remain in 10th position in the Sky Bet League 1 table.
Despite the poor state of the pitch, the Dons managed to move the ball around well early on and Luke Chadwick was inches away from connecting with an Izale McLeod cross which would have surely ended in a goal. Jose Baxter had Sheffield United’s first real attempt on goal from the edge of the box, but David Martin was equal to it, before Jamie Murphy’s effort was deflected wide by Antony Kay.
At the other end, good feet from George Baldock played in Dean Lewington and his looping effort almost caught out Mark Howard who had to tip the ball over the bar. But despite the Dons’ superior possession Stefan Scougall raced beyond the defence and slotted the ball past Martin and into the back of the net to put the Blades ahead 23 minutes into the game.
The rest of the first half went by almost without another chance for either side, before Kay headed just wide from a Ben Reeves corner deep in stoppage time. Things could have got much worse for the Dons shortly after the break, but Jordan Spence did well to clear Baxter’s effort off the line after he poked the ball past Martin.
Manager Karl Robinson decided it was time for a drastic change so Alan Smith, Ryan Hall and Sanmi Odelusi all replaced Luke Chadwick, Daniel Powell and Larnell Cole. Minutes later, Reeves whipped a good corner into the box, but Kay headed straight at Howard. At the other end, substitute Ben Davies curled a free kick just wide of Martin’s post thanks to a deflection from the Dons wall.
Baxter broke through into the Dons penalty area, but his effort was weak and Martin was able to gather the ball. From that chance, Odelusi ran the entire length of the pitch before pulling the ball back, but Howard stopped it reaching McLeod. And it was Odelusi who went close to equalising for the Dons when he headed just over the bar after a great ball in from Hall.
The home side piled on the pressure with every player bar Martin in the United half, but the ball just wouldn’t fall to a Dons player in a good position and Howard's goal remained un-breached.
MK Dons: Martin; Baldock, Spence, Kay, Lewington (c); Alli, Reeves; Cole (Odelusi 53), Chadwick (Smith 52), Powell (Hall 52); McLeod.
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Hickford, Collinge, Summerfield.
Booked: Chadwick, Hall
Sheffield United: Howard, Harris, Brayford (Davies 17), Hill, Flynn, Doyle (c), Baxter, Collins, Coady, Scougall (Kennedy 81), Murphy (Porter 40).
Subs not used: Long (GK), Miller, Paynter, Reed.
Goal: Scougall 23
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Attendance: 9,192 (1,565 away)
GoalDon Treble Chance HT Draw results: 14-09-11-04