MK Dons 0 Gillingham 1
MK Dons failed to close the gap on the play-offs on Tuesday evening after slipping to a 1-0 defeat at home to Gillingham.
.mkstadiumCraig Fagan scored the game's only goal five minutes after half-time to stun the Dons, who enjoyed near-total domination on a frustrating evening at
However, despite the result, the men from MK1 remain just three points adrift of the play-off places following Peterborough United's defeat at Preston North End.
The Dons were handed a boost before kick-off when midfielder Ben Reeves was declared fit, having originally been a doubt with a leg injury. The side’s leading goalscorer continued in his usual number 10 role alongside winger Ryan Hall, who was brought in to replace Daniel Powell in Robinson’s only change.
George Baldock had the first chance of a lively opening five minutes, playing a one-two with Izale McLeod before drilling into the arms of Stuart Nelson. The Gillingham ‘keeper did parry the right-back’s fierce effort but was able to recover in time to deny McLeod.
David Martin, who was playing against his brother Joe for only the second time in his career, was then called into action for the first time from, ironically, his younger sibling’s free-kick which was played short to Lee Gregory, who shot wide.
The Gregory chance a-part, the Dons had started the contest very well and they went close again in the 11th minute when Alan Smith headed just over Nelson’s crossbar from Reeves corner, after some good work by Odelusi down the left-hand side.
Robinson’s men then threatened again ten minutes later from another Reeves set-piece, this time a free-kick which eventually found its way to McLeod who, after controlling it on his chest, volleyed over.
Most of the Dons’ early success was coming down the left-hand side of the field and, in particular, Odelusi and it was from one of his direct runs that the Dons registered another shot on goal; McLeod the man pulling the trigger and forcing a corner on 32 minutes.
Although they didn’t find a breakthrough goal in the first half, it was just the start the Dons needed after their poor opening 45 minutes at Lamex Stadium.
However, it was the Gills who would have the opening shot of the second period after McDonald dispossessed Smith in the middle of the park and produced a good save out of Martin with a fierce effort.
And then, just a few minutes later, Peter Taylor’s men would take a surprise lead courtesy of the experienced Craig Fagan, who reacted quickest in the box after Martin saved from Weston to slot home from 10-yards.
The Dons certainly didn’t deserve to go a goal down and Robinson quickly introduced Daniel Powell and Dean Bowditch in an attempt to change that before replacing Izale McLeod with loanee James Loveridge after the hour-mark.
Robinson’s side then spent a large majority of the next 15 minutes camped inside the Gillingham half but apart from two volleys from Reeves and Smith, both of which were gobbled up by Nelson, they failed to really threaten an equaliser.
It was near total domination from the hosts, who saw Dean Bowditch have a half-volley destined for the top left-hand corner headed away by Gills defender Leon Legge in the 83rd minute.
That fight continued into the closing minutes and stoppage time but Robinson's men failed to find a dramatic late equaliser and, in the end, failed to take advantage on a Posh slip.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Baldock, Spence, Kay, Lewington (c); Smith, Alli; Hall (Powell 54), Reeves, Odelusi (Bowditch 54); McLeod (Loveridge 64).
Subs not used: Burns (GK), Randall, Galloway, Rasulo.
Gillingham: Nelson (GK), Martin, Linganzi, Legge, McDonald, Weston, Gregory, Harriman, Barrett (c), Fagan, Hewitt.
Subs not used: Baxter (GK), Akinfenwa, Dack, Birchall, Lee, Inniss, Hessenthaler.
Goal: Fagan 50
Referee: C Berry (Surrey)
Attendance: 6,760 (341 away)
Gulliver's Land Half-Time Jackpot Draw: 15-06-03-11