Over the next few weeks, mkdons.com will take a look back at the 2012/13 season, month-by-month, to relive some unforgettable moments from what has been a historic season for the Club.
First up, we focus on the four games which took place in August, with injuries and suspensions failing to deny Karl Robinson’s side from making strong starts to both their League and Cup campaigns.
Saturday 11th August: Cheltenham Town 1-1 (4-5 pens) MK Dons - Capital One Cup Round 1
The Dons kicked-off the 2012/13 season with a penalty shoot-out victory over League Two side Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road in the first round of the newly-named Capital One Cup.
Karl Robinson’s side, who faced the Robins in the same round of the same competition the year before, lost defender Shaun Williams to injury inside the opening half an hour before midfielder Stephen Gleeson was shown a controversial straight red-card for a strong challenge on Sam Deering.
Despite the two set-backs, the Dons took the lead just before the break courtesy of Dean Bowditch who finished confidently after ghosting past the Cheltenham backline.
The Robins, however, bounced back after the re-start and they equalised in the 58th minute courtesy of a spectacular 30-yard strike from winger Kaid Mohammed.
Both teams then pushed for a winner but with the scores level after both full-time and extra-time it came down to penalties to decide which team would make it through to the next round of the League Cup.
After Dean Bowditch, Charlie MacDonald and Billy Jones had all kept their nerve from 12-yards for their respective sides, David Martin denied Robins forward Daryl Duffy to hand the advantage over to the Dons.
Defenders Antony Kay and Gary MacKenzie then scored their spot-kicks for Robinson’s men leaving Ryan Lowe with the honour of netting the decisive penalty on his debut for the Club.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Chicksen, MacKenzie, Williams (Kay 26), Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch, Chadwick (Lowe 71), O’Shea (Smith 61); MacDonald.
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Powell.
Goals: Bowditch 45’
Booked: Kay, Potter.
Sent off: Gleeson 41’
Attendance: 1,660 (352 away)
League position: N/A
Saturday 18th August: MK Dons 2-0 Oldham Athletic – npower League 1
Daniel Powell’s superb solo effort helped the Dons to victory in their opening League game of the campaign.
Powell, who finished 2011/12 with 11 goals to his name, capped off a wonderful second-half move with a terrific left-footed finish to secure the three points for the Dons after Darren Potter had put the hosts ahead in the 34th minute.
Karl Robinson’s side came into the game without trio Shaun Williams (ankle), Stephen Gleeson (suspended) and Mathias Kouo-Doumbe (knee) but they made the best possible start just after the half-hour mark when Potter headed home Dean Bowditch’s cross.
Powell then doubled the’ advantage 15 minutes into the second period as the Dons cruised to an opening day victory on a baking hot afternoon at stadiummk.
The result, however, was marred when an off-the-ball incident involving Oldham’s Robbie Simpson and Antony Kay resulted in the latter being shown a red-card on his League debut for the Dons.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Chicksen, MacKenzie, Kay, Lewington (c); Potter, Chadwick (Smith 81); Powell, O’Shea, Bowditch (MacDonald 64); Lowe (Ibehre 75).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Otsemobor, Alli, Galloway.
Goals: Potter 34’, Powell 59’
Booked: MacKenzie, Chadwick, Smith
Sent off: Kay 90’
Attendance: 7,409 (512)
League position: 4th
Tuesday 21st August: AFC Bournemouth 1-1 MK Dons – npower League 1
MK Dons came from behind to earn a point away at AFC Bournemouth, despite having a men sent off for the third successive game.
The Cherries struck first blood after Charlie Daniels’ cross-come-shot allowed Lewis Grabban the chance to finish from close range before Dons midfielder Alan Smith saw red for a lunge on Harry Arter.
Smith, who signed a permanent deal with the Club in July having enjoyed a spell on loan at stadiummk the previous season, became the third Dons player in three games to be given his marching orders, leaving Karl Robinson’s side a man-down for the remaining 70 minutes.
Despite having a man-advantage, though, Bournemouth failed to put the game to bed and just after the hour mark, the men from MK1 earned a share of the spoils when Daniel Powell fired past Shwan Jalal to net his second goal of the season.
The home team did have chances to re-gain the three points late-on but the Dons held on bravely to keep their unbeaten start to the season in-tact.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Lewington (c), Chicksen; Potter, Smith; Powell, MacDonald (Chadwick 21), Bowditch (O’Shea 90); Lowe (Ibehre 71).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Galloway, Alli.
Goals: Powell 62’
Sent off: Smith 21’
Attendance: 5,407 (271 away)
League position: 5th
Saturday 25th August: Swindon Town 1-0 MK Dons – npower League 1
For the fourth consecutive game, MK Dons had a man sent off as they fell to their first defeat of the 2012/13 at the hands of Swindon Town.
Due to suspensions, manager Robinson was unable to fill the bench for the trip to the County Ground and their personnel problems took a further blow just before the break when skipper Dean Lewington was dismissed for an apparent elbow on Swindon midfielder Simon Ferry.
Things then went from bad to worse for the visitors as they fell behind moments later when Matt Ritchie’s cross drifted over David Martin and into the bottom corner.
Dons ‘keeper Martin then pulled off a number of important saves in the second half to keep his side within touching distance of their opponents but the man disadvantage proved too much for the men from MK1 as they slumped to their first loss of 2012/13.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Lewington (c), Chicksen (Ibehre 75); Potter, Chadwick; Powell, O’Shea (Williams 42), Bowditch; Lowe (MacDonald 64).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Spence, Ali.
Sent off: Lewington 40’
Attendance: 8,299 (497 away)
League position: 10th
Tuesday 28th August: MK Dons 2-1 Blackburn Rovers – Capital One Cup Round 2
MK Dons booked their place in the third round of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Blackburn Rovers thanks to a brace from talisman Luke Chadwick.
The Dons dominated the first half and they could have led at the break if not for Blackburn ‘keeper Jake Kean, who denied both Chadwick and Daniel Powell early on.
It eventually took until the 52nd minute for Karl Robinson’s to finally take the lead - Chadwick showing his experience to cooly slot home Jon Otsemobor’s cross to put the Dons ahead against Steve Kean’s Championship outfit
The former Manchester United and Norwich City man was then gifted the chance to double his tally for the evening when Rovers ‘keeper Jake Kean spilled Daniel Powell’s long-range effort and the experienced midfielder made no mistake from 10 yards.
Despite being a League below their Lancashire opponents, the Dons’ victory never looked in doubt with David Goodwillie’s consolation in the 82nd minute proving the only dampener to an otherwise pleasing evening for the Dons at stadiummk.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Williams, Chicksen; Potter, Gleeson (c); Powell, Chadwick (O’Shea 77), Bowditch (Ibehre 90); MacDonald (Lowe 74).
Subs: McLoughlin, Alli, Galloway.
Goals: Chadwick 52, 68
Sent off: None
League position: N/A
*MK Dons added three new faces to their ranks in the form of Ryan Lowe, Antony Kay and Jimmy Bullard, who all completed moves to stadiummk in August.
Lowe and Kay both signed just before the Capital One Cup trip to Cheltenham Town and the two players made their League debuts in the 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic.
Bullard then became Karl Robinson’s last summer signing when he joined the Dons on a short-team deal just hours before the home clash with Blackburn Rovers, at match he was ineligible to play in.
*George Baldock signed a new two-year contract with the Club, a deal which will keep him at MK1 until 2014, before agreeing to join Blue Square Premier side Tamworth on loan until January.
*Goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin earned another cap for Republic of Ireland Under-21s as he played 90 minutes in Noel King’s side’s 1-0 defeat to Turkey.
In his eighth game for Ireland, McLoughlin pulled off a number of important saves before being beaten late on in the UEFA Under-21 European qualifier.
Also, Academy duo Dele Alli and Brendan Galloway represented England Under-17s at the annual Nordic Tournament.