MK Dons produced another excellent away display as they returned to winning ways with a 4-0 victory at Morecambe.
Liam Manning’s men scored two goals in each half at the Mazuma Stadium, with Mo Eisa and Matt O’Riley both finding the net prior to the interval.
Harry Darling then headed home his first league goal of the season with a little over an hour played before O’Riley rounded off the scoring with a second late on, sealing a result which lifts the Dons up to sixth and within four points of top spot.
MK Dons made four changes from their midweek trip to Sheffield Wednesday, with Darling, Eisa, Josh McEachran and Ethan Robson all returning into the starting XI.
Max Watters and David Kasumu missed out through injury while Troy Parrott and Tennai Watson were back and among the substitutes.
Morecambe produced the first shot on goal after just 90 seconds as Wesley McDonald forced Andrew Fisher into a diving save from the edge of the area. Shortly after, Courtney Duffus dragged wide from similar range.
The Dons established a foothold after that but found it difficult to break down a low Morecambe block.
They did get behind the defence on 22 minutes when Scott Twine delivered a cross for Peter Kioso, whose volley was blocked by a Shrimps defender. They were in again a minute later and this time, they took the lead.
A brilliant one-touch move down the left flank involving Daniel Harvie, Twine and then O’Riley saw the latter play in Eisa, who beat one defender inside the area before cooly slotting home the opening goal. 0-1.
Manning and his side were forced to defend three quick corners as Morecambe searched for an instant response. They then grabbed a second to double their lead with five minutes to go until half-time.
It all came down the left-hand side again, after O’Riley found Harvie. The Scot’s cross was cleared only as far as the MK Dons number seven and he found the net with a composed right-footed finish, after neat beat of skill to create room for the shot. 0-2.
The Dons almost found a third before the break but Twine was denied by the feet of Jokull Andresson after working his way into the Shrimps box.
Half-Time – Morecambe 0-2 MK Dons
Twine, who had the final chance of the first half, had the first opportunity of the second – a right-footed attempt from 20 yards which he dragged wide.
Morecambe had the second, through Arthur Gnahoua, and it forced Fisher into a fantastic diving save – one he then bettered from the resulting corner to keep out Alfie McCalmont’s fierce drive.
Manning went to his bench for the first time just past the hour to replace Robson with Hiram Boateng in the middle of the park. Before Boateng could even break sweat, the Dons lead was extended to three.
The goal came from a corner, after a Twine cross had been blocked. Twine took the corner himself and his delivery was met by the head of Darling, who diverted home his fourth goal of the campaign. 0-3.
Gnahoua blazed over as the hosts looked to claw their way back into the match. A Liam Gibson cross then flashed dangerously across goal, moments before McCalmont shot wide from the edge of the area.
At the other end, the Dons threatened a fourth but Kioso was denied at the crucial moment by a well-timed sliding tackle.
With a little over 15 minutes to play, Callum Jones dragged a shot wide for Morecambe as their hopes of salvaging a result started to fade. Fisher also got down well to save from Ayunga and then Wesley McDonald.
Then, on 83 minutes, the Dons put the game beyond doubt with their best goal of the game. After Harvie had been fouled, O’Riley sprinted 15 yards to play a quick free-kick into the path of Twine who, after moving into the box, gave the ball back to his midfield partner and he found the top right-hand corner with a sumptuous left-footed finish. 0-4.
Manning’s men were in cruise control after that and did go close to finding the net for a fifth time through Kioso, but he fired just wide from 15 yards out.
Troy Parrott and Charlie Brown were given minutes off the bench late on and the former almost had an instant impact but his low cross was just out of Eisa’s reach.
Full-Time - Morecambe 0-4 MK Dons.
MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, O’Riley (Parrott 90) Twine, Eisa (Brown 90+1), McEachran, Robson (Boateng 64), Harvie, Kioso.
Subs: Ravizolli, Watson, Jules, Baldwin.
Goals: Eisa (23), O’Riley (40, 82), Darling (64),
Morecambe: Andresson, McLaughlin (Gibson 46), Leigh, O’Connor, Jones, McDonald, Delaney, Ayunga, McLoughlin, McCalmont, Duffus (Gnahoua 46).
Subs: Da Silva Mendes, Diagouraga, Phillips, Cooney, Wootton.
Referee: R Welch.
Attendance: 3,700 (257 away)