MK Dons were beaten 1-0 by Wycombe Wanderers despite a much-improved performance at Stadium MK.
Liam Manning’s men dominated much of the contest but were undone by a long-range strike from Nick Freeman five minutes before half-time – a goal which, ultimately, proved to be the difference.
The defeat is the Dons’ fifth in succession in Sky Bet League One and leaves them bottom of the table heading into their trip to The Valley this Tuesday evening.
Liam Manning reverted back to the same starting XI - and bench - from the Sky Bet League One clash with Plymouth Argyle last weekend, with Dean Lewington captaining the side and making his 750th league appearance for MK Dons.
The Dons registered the first shot on target four minutes in, as Nathan Holland, after collecting a pass from Will Grigg, tested Max Stryjek from the edge of the area with a low shot.
Holland, on the opposite flank this time, then surged into the area, only for a Wycombe man to step across at the crucial moment and dispossess him of the ball. Barry did the same shortly after but he, too, was denied by a Chairboys defender.
With 13 minutes played, Daniel Harvie delivered in a teasing low cross from the left which Grigg was unable to connect with on the edge of the six-yard box. Barry then got in again down the same side but, after going down in the area, his appeals for a penalty were waved away.
Wycombe had their first attempt with 19 minutes on the clock, though it was a routine save for the Jamie Cumming from Chris Forino’s header. The Dons responded quickly with Barry having a shot on goal from 25 yards – one which was deflected just wide.
Barry threatened again moments later, latching onto Grigg’s knockdown before forcing a save out of Stryjek at his near post. From the resulting corner, Jules got his head to McEachran’s ball but wasn’t able to direct his effort on target.
Cumming called into action to gather a deflected long-range effort from Alfie Mawson. He then started an attack which saw Jules break into the box – his low cross was aimed for Barry who went down under challenges from two Wycombe players. Nothing doing, however, from referee Oliver Lanford.
Barry and Holland combined on the half-hour mark, creating a shooting opportunity for the latter, which was blocked. Wycombe then provided their most threatening attack of the first-half but Johnson threw himself in the way of Anis Mehmeti’s try.
That led to a Chairboys corner from which they took the lead against the run of play – Nick Freeman firing through a crowd of players from 25 yards out, leaving Cumming with no chance diving to his left. 0-1.
The Dons, in search of an instant replay, saw Barry produce another save out of Stryjek, after he raced onto Harvie’s long throw through the Wycombe defence. They were then afforded a huge let off when Vokes somehow failed to find the target with the goal at his mercy from Mehmeti’s pull-back.
It remained 1-0 into the break – an unfair reflection on the Dons’ performance. They set about changing their fortunes early in the second, with Daniel Oyegoke earning them a corner inside the opening two minutes of the half. They weren’t, though, able to make it count.
On 51 minutes, Barry tried his luck after receiving a pass from Holland inside the area. His bending effort was on target but too close to Stryjek, who saved. The Dons worked themselves into the box again four minutes later but Grigg’s cross was blocked.
Cumming was alert to deal with Garath McCleary’s header three minutes before the hour mark. The Dons were then halted on their way to a promising attack by a cynical foul from Jacobson on Barry – he escaped with only a yellow.
McCleary wasted a good opportunity for the visitors on 62 minutes, blazing high and wide when well placed inside the area. Cumming then claimed a looping header from Vokes just moments before it was to cross his goal-line.
Matt Dennis came off the bench with 22 minutes left to play, replacing Holland in attack. He chased down a through pass from Johnson soon into his appearance but was just beaten to the ball by Stryjek.
Cumming watched Forino head wide shortly after, while McCleary just missed the target with an effort on 74 minutes as Wycombe countered once again.
Dennis worked a terrific chance to level the scores with 10 minutes remaining but he was denied by a strong right arm from Stryjek. Barry also went close following a mazy run in from the left, but his attempt was blocked.
Matt Smith came on for the closing stages in place of McEachran. Kayode was also introduced, moments later Harvie saw a long-range drive tipped over by Stryjek. From the resulting corner, Johnson had a header saved.
That proved to be the final chance of note as the Dons fell to yet another frustrating league defeat.
MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington, O’Hora, McEachran (Smith 83), Grigg, Holland (Dennis 68), Oyegoke, Johnson, Barry, Harvie, Jules.
Subs: Ravizzoli, Tucker, Robson, Kayode, Grant.
Wycombe Wanderers: Stryjek, Jacobson, Forino, Vokes (Hanlan 84), Wing (Wheeler 90+2), Mehmeti (Mellor 84), McCleary, Mawson, Freeman, Obita, McCarthy.
Subs: Blunkell, Horgan, Pattenden.
Goal: Freeman (40)
Booked: Jacobson, Forino
Referee: O Langford
Attendance: 7,377 (1,241 away)
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