Report: Dons 1-2 Chesterfield
Lewis Baker scored a stunning 25-yard goal to give the men from MK1 the lead at half-time, but the Spireites hit back with goals from Gary Roberts and Caolan Lavery either side of a Dean Lewington sending off.
Lewis Baker made his first start in place of Samir Carruthers, while George Williams and Will Grigg came into the starting XI for Carl Baker and Devante Cole.
The Dons settled the better of the two sides and created the first opportunity on seven minutes, but Sam Hird was in the right place to clear away Daniel Powell’s dangerous ball into the box.
At the other end, Kyle McFadzean did well to block Jay O’Shea’s effort before Ollie Banks guided a shot wide of the target when well placed following good play down the right by Tendayi Dariwka.
The visitors, growing in confidence, came even closer on 15 minutes when Gary Roberts hit the post with a fierce effort after O’Shea’s initial drive had deflected kindly into his path 12 yards out.
Former Don O’Shea then headed a Roberts cross over the top as the game approached the midway point of the half.
The next opening for the men from MK1 came on 25 minutes but Grigg’s endeavour wasn’t rewarded as the ball eventually deflected into the grateful arms of Tommy Lee.
Robinson’s side went in front in some style just three minutes later when, after a short corner involving Williams and Reeves, the latter fed Baker, who fired an unstoppable effort into the top left-hand corner from 25 yards – not a bad way to mark his home debut! 1-0
A defensive mix-up presented Caolan Lavery with a chance shortly afterwards but Antony Kay got back to block a goalbound effort after the Spireites striker had pushed the ball past Ian McLoughlin.
Hird then shot high and wide at the back post following a teasing ball across the box while, at the other end, Reeves brought a fine save out of Lee from 25 yards on 41 minutes as the tempo of the game increased.
After Kay had to be alert to thwart Lavery in the opening two minutes of the second half, the Dons pushed forward for a second and Grigg saw a shot blocked from the edge of the box.
The visitors were level on 66 minutes when Roberts won the ball off Jordan Spence, beat McFadzean and coolly rolled the ball past McLoughlin. 1-1
Dons responded and Powell arrowed an effort over the top with just over 15 minutes remaining but, in truth, Robinson’s men were finding it difficult to breakdown a stubborn Spireites defence.
Their pursuit of victory was made even tougher when Dean Lewington was shown a harsh second yellow card and subsequently sent off on 80 minutes for a foul on Gboly Ariybi.
However, that didn’t deter them going forward and Grigg was denied a certain goal by a last-ditch challenge before Carl Baker saw a curling effort well saved by Lee.
Kay ensured the Dons remained level on 87 minutes, blocking a dangerous cross after Dariwka had got in down the right-hand side.
But Dons hearts were broken in the 90th minute when Lavery headed home from inside the six-yard box to claim the points.
MK Dons: McLoughlin; Spence (Hodson 72), Kay, McFadzean, Lewington (c); Potter, L Baker (Andrews 84); Powell, Reeves, Williams (C Baker 36); Grigg.
Unused subs: Burns, Carruthers, Green, Cole.
Bookings: Spence, Lewington.
Goal: L Baker (28).
Attendance: 7,335 (227 Chesterfield fans).