The Dons were edged out 1-0 by Ipswich Town at stadiummk on Saturday lunchtime despite a strong second-half showing.
Brett Pitman’s early goal ultimately proved the difference, with the men from MK1 unable to turn their pressure into a goal and a deserved equaliser.
Samir Carruthers replaced Diego Poyet as the men from MK1 faced Ipswich for the first time in a league fixture. Daryl Murphy fired the first effort of the afternoon across goal while, at the other end, Nicky Maynard was denied just as he wound up for a shot following good work down the left by Josh Murphy. Former Tractor Boy Dean Bowditch then curled a 20-yard effort just wide of the right-hand post as the game started brightly, in particularly the Dons. However, it was the visitors who went in front on nine minutes when Brett Pitman headed home Luke Chambers’ right-wing cross, albeit there was a fortuitous free-kick in the build-up for Mick McCarthy’s men. Maynard came close to getting on the end of a dangerous Bowditch delivery before some slick football involving the same two men almost brought Murphy into play. The Dons were growing into the game and Murphy saw a shot saved by Dean Gerken on 25 minutes prior to Jordan Spence trying his luck from distance. After twisting and turning, Baker then forced Gerken to tip a teasing cross over the top – from the resulting corner, Carruthers and his fierce 25-yard effort was blocked by an Ipswich man. The visitors fired a warning shot just past the half-hour mark when Murphy latched on to Chambers’ ball down the line and lifted his effort not too far past the right-hand post. Dons remained in control of possession and territorial advantage until the break but they were unable to turn that into clear-cut chances. Pitman created a good opportunity for himself in the opening minute of the second half but, after cutting in from the right, he fired his effort off target from 15 yards. Robinson’s men responded and Baker saw a goal-bound effort blocked before Maynard glanced Carruthers’ clever cross past the right-hand post on 55 minutes. Carruthers was again involved shortly afterwards as he found Murphy, who in turn picked out Bowditch but his shot was deflected narrowly wide of the target. The Dons had lifted their tempo and were now really taking the game to Ipswich as the clock ticked past the hour mark – the latest effort seeing Maynard direct a Murphy cross just over the bar. Daniel Powell and Ben Reeves, back from injury, were introduced to try and capitalise on being on top, but it was the visitors who had the next chance through Murphy but he volleyed over the top from 25 yards. Murphy swept just wide on 78 minutes while, at the other end, Powell couldn’t quite get on the end of teasing left-wing cross. Fellow substitute Reeves came even closer to levelling matters when he brought the best out of Gerken, who then brilliantly tipped over Carruthers’ long-range effort. The Dons were knocking on the door as the game entered the final 10 minutes – the best opportunity of which fell to substitute Rob Hall, who brought a fine save out of Gerken. The men from MK1 continued to push for an equaliser right until the final whistle but they couldn’t find a breakthrough. Starting XI: Martin; Spence (Hall 86), Kay, McFadzean, Lewington (c); Potter, Carruthers; Baker (Powell 62), Bowditch (Reeves 62), Murphy; Maynard. Unused subs: Cropper, Hodson, Poyet, Gallagher. Attendance: 13,520 (3,204 away). Referee: Gavin Ward.