MK Dons started their Papa John's Trophy exploits with a 2-1 win over Burton Albion.
Jay Bird opened the scoring for MK Dons with his first goal of the season on the hour, before Harry Darling netted his first of his Dons career just five minutes later.
Burton, however, did make things interesting as they found a way back into the game through Matt O'Riley's own goal.
Manning's side dealt with a late onslaught as they picked up three points in Southern Group C.
MK Dons made eight changes for their first Papa John’s Trophy tie of the season with Tennai Watson, Harry Darling and Daniel Harvie the only three keeping their place from Saturday’s win.
Laurie Walker was back between the sticks, with Watson, Darling, Harvie, Zak Jules and Aden Baldwin ahead of him.
Josh McEachran was handed his first start of the season alongside Hiram Boateng and Josh Martin in midfield, with Jay Bird and Charlie Brown leading the line.
Liam Manning handed places on the bench to scholars Brooklyn Ilunga, Junior Gyamfi and Lewis Johnson.
The first chance of the game fell the way of Frazer Blake-Tracy who was found in the box from an early long throw. Fortunately for MK Dons, the Burton Albion man was unable to convert from inside the box.
Burton then almost took the lead in the most bizarre of circumstances as both Harry Darling and Laurie Walker left a back pass for the other, with Darling having to rescue the pass off the line.
Charlie Brown’s clever runs were causing Burton trouble at the back and he had the chance to give Dons the lead after McEachran’s pass. Ellery Balcombe, however, was off his line to claim at Brown’s feet.
Brown then clever a clever one-two with Watson inside Burton’s box, his shot had Balcombe beaten but was cleared off the line by the recovering Ryan Leak.
Leak’s clearance only fell as far as Daniel Harvie, who beat two men before testing Balcombe with his right-footed effort. Despite taking a deflection off a Burton man, the keeper managed to get down to deny the Scot.
Danny Rowe almost opened the scoring with a huge slice of luck as his cross clipped the crossbar before bouncing out of play for a goal kick.
The first chance of the second-half came about following a good save from Walker. He then distributed into the path of Harvie who picked out Brown inside the box, his effort was blocked and cleared.
The Dons continued to look for the opening goal of the game with Martin having the next chance of the half, he was unable to keep his effort down.
At the other end, both Baldwin and Jules put their heads on the line to clear a number of long throws from the home side.
Having dominated the second-half for large spells, Liam Manning's side were soon rewarded as they opened the scoring. Josh Martin created a shooting chance inside the box. His effort was deflected into the path of Bird who finished. 0-1.
One quickly became two as Harry Darling netted his first MK Dons goal on the night of his 100th professional start. The initial shot was from Brown, however, Balcombe deflected into the path of Darling who prodded home. 0-2.
The second goal kicked Burton Albion into life who came straight forward looking to find a way back into the game. Omari Patrick's low cross caused danger, with Zak Jules on hand as he cleared.
Burton, however, found did find the back of the net as Joe Powell's free-kick took a deflection as it looped past Walker. 1-2.
Brown's ambitious effort almost resorted the Dons' two-goal advantage, he was on the end of Harvie's cross, but was denied by Balcombe at close range.
O'Riley then attempted one of his customary left-footed shots from the edge of the box, Balcombe managed to turn his effort away from goal.
Boateng then tried his luck from range, but his attempt was saved comfortably by Balcombe.
MK Dons: Walker, Watson (O'Hora 89), Jules, Darling, Brown, Martin, Baldwin, McEachran (O'Riley 57), Boateng, Harvie (Ilunga 73), Bird
Subs: Ravizzoli, Freeman, Johnson, Gyamfi.
Goals: Bird (59), Darling (64)
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