MK Dons produced a perfect away display to beat Morecambe 4-0 at the Mazuma Stadium.
Liam Manning's men scored two goals in each half, as they made it three wins from four across all competitions. Will Grigg netted a brace inside 35 minutes, with Conor Grant and substitute Matt Dennis then adding to the score after the break.
The MK Dons Head Coach made four changes from his MK Dons side who beat Watford in midweek, with Darragh Burns and Dawson Devoy handed their first league starts. Dean Lewington, Bradley Johnson and Conor Grant were the other three who came into the starting XI.
A dominant start by the Dons saw them test Connor Ripley just two minutes in, courtesy of a long-range drive from Bradley Johnson which the Shrimps goalkeeper saved and held onto.
Manning’s men went close again on 12 minutes when, after a quickly taken free-kick, Lewington delivered a cross for Burns, who headed wide of the target at the far post.
Eventually the Dons’ dominance was rewarded with a goal on 16 minutes. A brilliant passing move down the left saw Johnson flick a ball into the path of Conor Grant, who steadied himself before sliding a ball across for Grigg who turned home inside the six-yard box. 0-1.
There was almost a chance for Grigg to get a second when Johnson won possession and broke forward with 21 minutes played. He attempted a through ball to the striker, though the pass ran through to Ripley in the Shrimps goal.
Soon after, Burns got past his man down the right and delivered a cross to the far post. Harvie did well to meet the ball in above his marker but his header landed on top of the net.
Burns and Harvie combined again just before the half-hour mark with the latter pulling a ball back to the former, 15 yards from goal. Burns was forced into taking a touch to get onto his right foot and that allowed time for a defender to block his eventual effort.
Morecambe broke from that block and earned themselves a corner, from which Cumming was forced into his first save – a brilliant diving stop to his right which kept out Ryan Delaney’s goal-bound header.
Cumming’s opposite number, Ripley, produced a diving save to prevent Henry Lawrence finding the net from range but he was to be beaten again from the next attack, as the Dons doubled their lead.
Again it came down the left-hand side, with Harvie the man to send a cross in from the left and his cross was inch-perfect for Grigg who used his left foot, this time, to beat Ripley and find the same corner of the net. 0-2.
Cumming prevented Jensen Weir from pulling a goal back with three minutes to play in the half. The Dons then went close to adding to their lead in stoppage time but Ripley was able to get to a loose backpass before Grant while he also denied Burns on the follow-up with a terrific stop.
Manning’s men returned for the second half with goalscorer Grigg replaced by Matt Dennis after getting a very positive 45 minutes under his belt. Dennis’ first involvement was to head clear an early corner sent into the near post by the hosts.
Dennis almost linked up with Grant moments later before Morecambe threatened again through substitute Kieran Phillips, who saw his one-on-one effort saved by Cumming. Cumming also denied Gnahoua with a strong save at his near post.
The Dons eventually started to get a hold back on the contest and after a good spell of possession they almost extended their advantage but Burns dragged his first-time shot wide from Harvie’s pull-back. Johnson then forced Ripley into a save with a low, left-footed drive.
Morecambe thought they had a way back into the match on the hour when Weir beat the offside trap. However, while his effort got past Cumming, the Dons goalkeeper watched as it hit the outside of his left post and bounced away to safety.
Manning’s men were fortunate but they capitalised on their good luck by going up the other end and scoring a third.
Johnson won possession with a brilliant tackle and that allowed Lawrence to drive forward. He then spotted the run of Grant on the left-hand flank and played the MK Dons number 16 through on goal – Grant made no mistake with his finish, slotting past Ripley for his first league goal in MK Dons colours. 0-3.
Tucker threatened a fourth soon after the re-start with an on-target header from a corner which Ripley saved. At the other end, Ousmane Fane headed over from a deep cross.
It was to be the Dons who would get the next goal, however, and it was substitute Dennis who scored it, to make it two goals in a week following his goal against Watford.
Dennis was able to celebrate this one too, after latching onto a loose ball from Johnson’s well-timed tackle deep in Morecambe’s half. He did well to get onto it ahead of two better-placed Shrimps defenders and then kept his cool one-on-one to slide a shot past Ripley. 0-4.
Louie Barry came off the bench with 12 minutes to play, replacing Grant following his two-goal contribution.
Moments later, Dennis almost produced a stunning solo goal to make it five moments later but was denied at the crucial moment by Ripley, having driven into the box from the half-way line. From the resulting corner, Johnson glanced a header just past the post.
Dennis used his pace and power down the left to create an opportunity for Johnson but his eventual delivery into the area was intercepted by Ripley, diving out of his goal. Caleb Watts then headed wide for the hosts, who were still searching for a goal.
Barry saw a right-footed drive tipped past the post with six minutes played. Lawrence went for goal soon after but couldn’t keep his long-range effort down.
Morecambe had a flurry of late chances to ruin the Dons' clean sheet but Cumming & Co stood firm to keep hold of their shut-out - their first in the league in the season - which was the icing on the cake of a brilliant day in Lancashire.
MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington, Tucker, O’Hora, Grigg (Dennis 46), Johnson, Grant (Barry 78), Burns (Smith 61), Harvie (Jules 87), Lawrence, Devoy (Robson 61).
Subs: Ravizzoli, Oyegoke.
Goals: Grigg 16 (A. Grant), 36 (A. Harvie), Grant 62 (A. Lawrence), Dennis 7 (A. Johnson)
Morecambe: Ripley, Love, Gibson, Rawson, Delaney (Cooney 78), Taylor, Fane (McLoughlin 71), Connolly (Watts 71), Gnahoua (Mayor 89), Weir, Bedeau (Phillips 46).
Subs: Smith, Rooney.
Referee: S Barrott
Attendance: 3,995 (279 away)
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