MK Dons booked their place in the third round of the Capital One Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win over Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
Luke Chadwick played a starring role for the Dons as the former Manchester United man netted a brace, just as he did at the same stage of the League Cup competition last season, in a dominant performance from the Dons.
Chadwick’s double came in a 15-minute period in the second half as Karl Robinson’s charges turned in a composed and professional display to dump Steve Kean’s side out of the Cup.
There was a late scare when David Goodwillie breached the Dons defence in the late stages with a thumping header, but ultimately it was too little too late for the Ewood-outfit.
Robinson made three changes as the Dons refocused their attentions on the Cup with Shaun Williams, Stephen Gleeson and Charlie MacDonald all finding a place in the starting line-up in place of Dean Lewington (suspended), Jay O’Shea and Ryan Lowe, who both found a place on the bench.
The early season star for the Dons has been Academy product Daniel Powell, some four years after making his first team debut the wideman has proven to be a lively threat in front of goal and he started brightly against Rovers.
After MacDonald had won the ball at kick-off, Powell was found on the right-hand side and in his typical bullish style, the winger made his way into the box only to see a low drilled effort parried by Jake Kean.
Rovers though also threatened within the opening five minutes and it was a goalline clearance from Williams that prevented the visitors from taking the lead. The talented Fabio Nunes burst down the flank, turning Jon Otsemobor the wrong way before pulling the ball back to Edinho Junior.
The Dons had most of their joy down the Rovers left as Powell once again eased through, this time to fizz in a cross which MacDonald intelligently back-heeled just wide.
The home side were well on top in the opening phases and some quick-thinking from Martin also created a fine trademark Dons goal. The ‘keeper switched up play by releasing Otsemobor from a goalkick, and the full-back, after controlling with his chest, raced down the wing.
On this occasion, Chadwick, who was playing the advanced role in midfield, picked up the ball yet the experienced midfielder lifted his shot just over the bar.
The tempo dipped slightly, but when the Dons went on the attack they tore through Blackburn. A fine cross from Powell, who had switched to the left flank, was nodded back by MacDonald to the feet of Chadwick, but yet again he was thwarted as Kean pushed the low effort out for a corner.
Despite dominating the first half, the Dons were unable to break the deadlock as they headed into the changing rooms with the scores all even.
However, it took the Dons just over six minutes to find a weakness in the Rovers backline. Otsemobor, in his home debut, showed his strength as he brushed off the challenge of Grant Hanley, who protested he had been fouled, and cut the ball back from the byline.
After Otsemobor’s hard work it was left to Chadwick, who scored twice in the same round of the Cup last season, and this time round the 31-year old took a moment before tucking a composed shot beyond Kean.
Blackburn found it difficult to keep up with the energetic Dons and when Powell’s deflected shot seemed destined for the net it was Hanley who came to the rescue with a block on the line.
Rovers boss Steve Kean made a double substitution bringing on Jason Lowe and David Goodwillie in the hope of creating chances, which had been few and far between for the visitors at stadiummk.
Goodwillie duly obliged with a long-range shot which lifted only inches over the bar.
The Dons though refused to get complacent in the game and continued to push forward looking to extend their lead. The advancing Otsemobor created space, bringing Bowditch into play before Powell rifled a shot at Keane.
The Rovers goalie could only parry the shot and Chadwick was on hand to turn in the rebound before wheeling away to celebrate with the East Stand supporters.
Blackburn tried to rally but another fine performance from MacKenzie meant the Dons’ defence were in no mood to falter. At the opposite end, Bowditch looked eager to joun in with the goals as he lashed a fierce shot just wide.
The tempo fizzled out as the clock ran down which allowed Rovers to get the better of the Dons, for the first real time in the game, as Nunes whipped in a cross from the left and Goodwillie went unnoticed as he sent a thumping header home.
Yet, the Dons’ fine performance was rightly rewarded with a place in Thursday's third round draw.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Williams, Chicksen; Potter, Gleeson; Powell, Chadwick (O’Shea 76), Bowditch (Ibehre 90); MacDonald (Lowe 74).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Alli, Galloway.
Goals: Chadwick 52, 67
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-1-1): Kean, Orr, Nunes, Marcus Olsson, Dann (c), Jorge, Etuhu (J Lowe 58), Junior (Goodwillie 58), Rochina (Formica 68), Hanley, Vukcevic.
Subs not used: Usai, Martin Olsson, Morris, Ribeiro.
Goal: Goodwillie 83
Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)
Goal-Don Goal times: 1st goal – 51.44; 2nd goal – 66.33; 3rd goal - 82.05