MK Dons 3 Notts County 1
and extended their unbeaten League to seven matches.mkstadiumA dominant display from MK Dons saw them beat Notts County 3-1 at
The Dons bossed proceedings throughout and went in control of the match after just five minutes when Luke Chadwick scored his first goal of the season before Shaun Williams doubled the lead with a superb free-kick.
Notts County came back into the game late-on when Callum McGregor broke through the defence to pull a goal back. However, Patrick Bamford’s run of scoring in every home match continued as he applied the finishing touches in injury time.
The Dons made one change to the side which drew 1-1 with Swindon Town a week earlier as Samir Carruthers returned from international duty to take the place of Jason Banton, who dropped to the bench.
The hosts made the ideal start against a County side desperately lacking confidence having been confined to the bottom of the table thanks to a positive result for Coventry last week. The Magpies goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski found himself in trouble when he failed to gather the ball at Patrick Bamford’s feet which left the striker with space and time to cut back to Luke Chadwick.
Chadwick, just inside the edge of the box, gleefully passed the ball into the bottom corner of the net as Bialkowski desperately tried, and failed, to get back on his line in time to prevent the hosts from taking the lead.
The visitors came within a whisker of an equaliser 11 minutes later when their first attack called on Dons goalkeeper David Martin. Marcus Haber connected with a cross into the box and it forced Martin to juggle the ball on the line before pushing it clear at the second time of asking.
There was a clear confidence surging through the Dons side as they looked threatening at every attack. Stephen Gleeson saw his header come back off the post while Carruthers sent a curling effort just wide.
The Dons had by far and away dominated the first half with Notts County struggling to get any forward movement together which possessed any real momentum. For Robinson’s men the biggest challenge was making sure their control in the match was converted by the scoreline.
When Williams was presented with a free-kick from the right channel it offered the Dons the opportunity to pack-out the County box. Williams though didn’t need assistance as he curled a superb shot past Bialkowski at his near post and into the top corner to give the Dons a deserved 2-0 lead.
As the half-time mark approached Notts County began to walk a tight rope as Carruthers went close again with another ambitious effort while a Magpies defender blocked an effort on the line from Danny Green.
The interval would have been a welcome relief for the visitors, but it was an inconvenience for the Dons who wanted to build on the one-sided first half. Danny Hayes tried to get County back into proceedings minutes after the restart but his shot lacked the composure needed to test Martin in goal.
At the other end Alan Sheehan had to come to the Magpies rescue when a fluid move resulted in Chadwick firing a low shot goal-bound. Sheehan though had tracked back well to prevent the midfielder adding a third to the Dons’ tally.
In an attempt to find some creativity on the pitch County made a double substitution on the hour with Yoann Arquin and Jack Grealish both bringing fresh legs to the visiting side.
It, however, was the Dons who continued to look the more likely side to add to the scoreline as Bamford picked up the ball and beat several defenders before Bialkowski was forced into a fingertip save from his low strike.
Notts County gave themselves a lifeline with 14 minutes remaining on the clock when the Dons’ defence were caught cold by a run from McGregor, who latched on to an excellent ball from Sheehan, and the midfielder fired home to reduce the deficit.
Only moments later the Dons could have reinstated their two-goal lead had it not been for an excellent save from Bialkowski who denied Carruthers from point-blank range.
Substitute Izale McLeod should have put the game beyond all doubt for the Dons when he watched two chances go begging within minutes of each other. First the striker did all the hard work by breaking through and opening up room before firing wide and then, this time from the right flank, turning his shot straight at Bialkowski.
Instead, in injury time, it was Bamford who confirmed all three points for the Dons when he reacted quickest as Bialkowski parried a close-range shot from McLeod into space in the box. The Chelsea loanee made no mistake as he applied a thumping finish to confirm the win for the Dons.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Green (McLeod 73), Chadwick (Alli 72), Carruthers (Baldock 85); Bamford.
Subs: McLoughlin (GK), Smith, Reeves, Banton.
Goals: Chadwick 5, Williams 37, Bamford 90
Notts County: Bialkowski, Dumbuya, Sheehan, Liddle, Smith, Leacock, McGregor, Haynes (Arquin 59), Bell (Grealish 59), Haber, Labadie (Boucaud 71)s.
Subs: Spiess (GK), Murray, Fotheringham, Tempest.
Booked: McGregor, Haynes
Attendance: 7, 142 (430 away)