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Report: Dons 3-0 Doncaster Rovers

21 April 2015

The Dons maintained the pressure on second place with a comfortable 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers under the lights at stadiummk.

Dean Bowditch broke the deadlock on 65 minutes, a lead which was deservedly extended courtesy of a fine brace from the returning Carl Baker.

Karl Robinson made one change from the 6-1 win over Leyton Orient, recalling the previously suspended Samir Carruthers to the starting XI in place of Bowditch, who dropped to the bench.

Roared on by a buoyant home crowd, the Dons started brightly and only some very smart Donny defending denied Rob Hall’s cross finding a team-mate with just four minutes on the clock.

Carruthers dragged a shot wide of Stephen Bywater’s right-hand post shortly afterwards while, at the other end, Cedric Evina’s delivery was deflected behind.

A stunning 70-yard pass from Kyle McFadzean set Carruthers away but he couldn’t pick out a team-mate on 15 minutes, before Hall saw a shot brilliantly blocked by Andy Butler from 15 yards after some fancy footwork.

Dele Alli stung the palms of Bywater following a slick move from the Dons, who were having to remain alert to Donny’s threat going forward.

Will Grigg and Hall both curled over midway through the first half as the men from MK1 began to control proceedings but the opening goal was proving elusive for the time being.

Dean Lewington had the ball in the back of the net on 25 minutes but his rebound from Carruthers’ powerful initial effort was ruled out for offside.

Alli, looking for his 17th goal of the season, forced Bywater into a smart save close to his body after arriving well to meet Carruthers’ cut-back on 32 minutes.

The hosts maintained the pressure on their opponents right up until the half-time whistle, which they continued at the start of the second half and Hall lifted an effort just over the top on 48 minutes.

Dean Furman threatened for Donny when he flashed an effort wide of the target on 50 minutes while, at the other end, Hall saw a low drive well blocked after cutting in nicely from the right touchline.

Some superb one-touch passing between Carruthers, Lewis Baker and Alli set up Hall, who dragged his 15-yard effort off target, but the Dons were turning up the heat.

That proved to be Hall’s last involvement as he was replaced by Carl Baker with just over 30 minutes remaining as the men from MK1 looked for a spark.

David Martin ensured the Dons remained on level terms when he expertly tipped over Kyle Bennett’s dipping effort.

Alli almost produced a moment of magic on 62 minutes when he sent a powerful volley inches over the top.

Bowditch was introduced on 64 minutes and he made an immediate impact, breaking the deadlock in fortuitous fashion when Mitchell Lund’s attempted clearance hit the winger in his face and went in off the post. 1-0

Martin brilliantly tipped over Richie Wellens’ effort on 70 minutes after the ball had dropped kindly to him following a corner from the left.

Another substitute, Carl Baker, put the Dons 2-0 up on 77 minutes when, after dancing his way past a couple of challenges, he rifled home from close range to mark his return to the team in style.

He doubled his tally for the night with five minutes remaining in an almost carbon copy of the second, receiving the ball from Alli and finishing nicely into the bottom left-hand corner. 3-0

MK Dons: Martin; Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Lewington (c); Potter, Alli; Hall (C Baker 57), L Baker (Bowditch 64), Carruthers (Powell 86); Grigg.

Unused subs: Burns, Hodson, Green, Powell, Cole.

Goals: Bowditch (65), Carl Baker (77 & 85).

Attendance: 8,159 (266 away fans).

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