MK Dons 1 Dover Athletic 0
Karl Robinson’s side returned to winning ways on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 victory overDover Athletic; a result which sent the side through to the Third Round of the FA Cup with Budweiser.
The Dons had the better first-half chances, mainly through Jason Banton, but failed to find the breakthrough as the Whites held on. However, Ben Reeves finally put the home side ahead with a fine powerful effort beyond Mitchell Walker just after half-time.
Karl Robinson made four changes to the side with Darren Potter (suspended), Dale Jennings (cup tied), Daniel Powell (injured) and Ian McLoughlin was replaced by the returning David Martin in goal.
The Dons started brightly and Patrick Bamford had the game’s first chance after good link-up play with Samir Carruthers, but his effort was comfortably saved by Walker.
A long range effort from Banton then almost caught Walker out as he scrambled back to tip over the bar and Banton came close again when he curled an effort just wide from outside the box.
Shaun Williams couldn’t get a free-kick from the corner of the box on target, before Dover's Ricky Modeste's cross-come-shot was intercepted by Martin before a team-mate could get on the end of it.
Martin then had to block Nathan Elder’s shot which fell into the path of Chris Kinnear Jnr, who fired over.
As the Dons regained control of the game Reeves’ curling shot ended up wide of the post, while the same man’s corner was headed over by Dean Lewington. At the other end, Sean Raggett’s free header wasn’t powerful enough to beat Martin.
Banton, who had the most first-half chances for the Dons, saw an opening late-on and tried an effort from outside the box, but again it was off target.
George Baldock replaced Banton at half-time and Robinson’s men kept on the pressure in the second-half. It took just five minutes before Reeves found the back of the net with a powerful finish from just inside the area after a good cross from substitute Baldock.
The Dons lead could have been doubled minutes later as Dover failed to deal with a Reeves free-kick, but Williams fired over after a scramble in the box.
The Dons continued to pile the pressure on, but the Whites were standing firm and they earned themselves a corner which almost caused chaos as Martin struggled to gather the ball.
Baldock was lively down the right hand side and an impressive run almost ended in a goal as he drove the ball just wide of Mitchell’s goal. And minutes later, the MK-born winger forced a low save out of Mitchell as he broke into the box.
It was the wide play causing Dover the most problems and a second goal almost came for the home side as Carruthers’ cross deflected off a defender and hit the post. At the other end, Elder was close to equalising for Chris Kinnear’s side as the 28-year-old shot over the bar after the ball fell kindly for him on the penalty spot.
In the 77th minute, Martin was replaced in goal by McLoughlin and Brendan Galloway, who scored his first senior goal in the last round of the competition against FC Halifax Town, came on for the final 13 minutes. The latter soon found space in the box and pulled it back to the unusually quiet Bamford, who fired over from the penalty spot with the goal gaping.
As injury time approached, Dover went close to forcing a replay as Cogan’s late free-kick was met by the head of Raggett, but the ball went inches over the bar.
The Dons found the task of beating a lower league side harder than they would have expected as Dover were resilient throughout, but Robinson’s men go into tomorrow’s Third Round draw.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin (McLoughlin 77); Hodson, Spence, Williams, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Smith; Carruthers (Galloway 77), Reeves, Banton (Baldock 46); Bamford.
Subs not used: Flanagan, Rasulo.
Goal: Reeves (51)
Booked: Williams, Hodson
Dover Athletic: Walker, Stone (c), Wynter, Raggett, Forbes, Kinnear Jnr (Orlu 90), Modeste (Bakare 57), Rogers, Elder, Cogan, Murphy (Charles 86).
Subs not used: Hook (GK), Kamara, Woodall, Carew.
Attendance: 4,060 (1,068 away)