Goals from second-half substitutes Sam Long and Olamide Shodipo saw MK Dons beaten 3-2 by Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
The U’s took the lead just six minutes in through Matty Taylor but Russell Martin’s men equalised shortly after – Cameron Jerome scoring his second goal in as many games from a Daniel Harvie cross.
It was the home side, though, who would win the game after the break with Long and Shodipo finding the net on 58 and 89 minutes, respectively. Ben Gladwin found the net in stoppage time but it was too little too late to change the Dons’ fortunes
Boss Martin made two changes to his starting XI, with Baily Cargill and Jordan Houghton coming in for Richard Keogh and Louis Thompson, who were both rested. They were among the substitutes, though, along with Deadline Day signing Stephen Walker.
They made a composed start but found themselves behind just six minutes in when Matty Taylor converted a low cross in from the left, following a quick Oxford counter attack. 1-0.
Regan Poole had the Dons’ first attempt at a response – a shot from the edge of the area which was blocked by a U’s defender. With their second, they equalised.
Daniel Harvie deserved a ton of credit for his involvement in the goal. He started the move before broking clear down the left. After carrying the ball to the edge of the area, he slid a ball across to Jerome, who had the simple task of converting his second goal in as many games to level the scores. 1-1.
Harvie went close to a second assist four minutes later with another low cross in from the left – this time, though, it was Morris sliding in and he wasn’t able to get enough of a connection to trouble Simon Eastwood.
Jerome then had another opportunity from a left-wing cross, but this time was underneath the delivery. He was, though, able to meet Poole’s ball in shortly after, however directed his header wide of the target.
With 10 minutes to play in the half, Anthony Forde forced Lee Nicholls into a fingertip save from a direct free-kick. The MK Dons number one was then alert to produce a strong hand which kept James Henry’s deflected cross away from his goal.
The Dons flew straight up the other end and went close with the final opportunity of the half – Rob Atkinson, though, got to Harvie’s low ball just ahead of Morris.
It was the home side who threatened first at the start of the second half, with Josh Ruffels sending a shot straight down the throat of Nicholls.
Houghton then denied Taylor with a vital clearance, moments before Sean Clare broke through the middle and dragged a right-footed shot wide of goal.
Oxford were able to find a breakthrough, though, just before the hour mark courtesy of substitute Sam Long, who met a free-kick in the centre of the area and powered a header past Nicholls. 2-1.
Marcus McGuane almost delivered an immediate killer blow but failed to find the target when one-on-one with Nicholls, almost straight from the re-start.
Martin went to his bench with 67 minutes played, introducing Joe Mason and Thompson in place of Jerome and Kasumu. The former was involved right away, linking up with Morris, whose deflected ball in was collected by Eastwood.
A scrappy quarter of an hour followed, with the referee preventing the Dons from building any sort of momentum due to frequent blows of his whistle.
Martin’s men were able to work their way to the edge of the box with nine minutes to play but Mason’s try was deflected wide of the target. Before the resulting corner was taken, Martin replaced Harvie with Ben Gladwin – his final change.
Gladwin linked up with Mason on 85 minutes, however the striker couldn’t trouble Eastwood with his header.
Oxford then had a golden opportunity to wrap the game up but Dan Agyei failed to beat Williams on the goalline. Moments later, though, they did secure the points as substitute Shodipo found the net with a fantastic long-range strike. 3-1.
Gladwin did give the Dons a chance late on with a fantastic long-range strike but with so little time remaining, they weren't able to trouble the result and prevent falling to defeat. 3-2.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Poole, Cargill, Kasumu (Thompson 67), Morris, Fraser, Harvie (Gladwin 83), Houghton, Jerome (Mason 67).
Subs: L Walker, Keogh, S Walker, Sorinola.
Goals: Jerome (11), Gladwin (90+2)
Booked: Kasumu, Houghton, Lewington
Oxford United: Eastwood, Clare, Ruffels, Moore, Gorrin, Taylor (Shodipo 86), Sykes, Forde (Agyei 78), Henry, McGuane, Atkinson (Long 54).
Subs: Stevens, Hall, Cooper, Kelly.
Goals: Taylor (6), Long (58), Shodipo (89)
Booked: Henry, Taylor
Referee: K Johnson