Report: MK Dons 3-2 Spennymoor Town
The men from MK1 raced into a three-goal lead inside the first 15 minutes thanks to Ben Reeves, Brandon Thomas-Asante – his first for the Club – and Kieran Agard.
Spennymoor pulled one back almost immediately and then rode their luck before finding a second late on, however, the Dons comfortably held on to bag a place in the draw on Monday night.
There were five changes from last weekend’s Sky Bet League One fixture at Sheffield United but Richie Barker pretty much named the strongest side at his disposal.
Darren Potter and Samir Carruthers missed out due to injury while George Baldock was suspended and George C Williams was ineligible as part of his loan agreement from Fulham.
The Dons capped a strong start with an impressive opener on eight minutes when Ben Reeves made room for himself on the edge of the box and fired a superb 20-yard strike into the opposite corner.
Brandon Thomas-Asante, in the team after his FA Youth Cup hat-trick in midweek, doubled the Dons’ lead four minutes later, smashing home from close range after Dean Lewington had initially done well to keep the ball alive.
Things got even better as Kieran Agard turned home Reeves’ cross from the right to make it 3-0 Dons inside the opening 15 minutes.
The Spennymoor supporters, who had been great from the first whistle, had something to cheer on 19 minutes after Joseph Tait powerfully headed Craig Gott’s free-kick into the back of the net.
Barker’s side responded and almost restored their three-goal lead immediately but Nicky Maynard’s effort was cleared off the line by Kallum Griffiths.
Maynard was again denied by a superb challenge shortly afterwards while, at the other end, Robert Ramshaw glanced a header wide before Gott forced a save from Lee Nicholls, albeit a comfortable one.
Opposite keeper Daniel Lowson was alert to deny Joe Walsh from distance before Maynard was twice thwarted in a matter of minutes – the second of which was a magnificent close-range stop.
Spennymoor enjoyed a good spell at the second start without really threatening while, at the other end, Maynard had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Nicholls was off his line quickly to deny substitute Andrew Johnson on 65 minutes, just a minute before Thomas-Asante was set free down the left but he was stopped in his tracks.
Shortly afterwards, Reeves fired over the top before substitute Kabongo Tshimanga was denied and Agard blasted over from 12 yards.
Agard curled an effort just wide of the top left-hand corner with 10 minutes to go as the Dons kept on pushing for further goals.
However, Johnson pulled one back on 84 minutes to make things interesting, finishing superbly into the bottom right-hand corner.
Nicholls gathered a long-range effort with ease while, at the other end, Lowson saved from Bowditch as the Dons relatively comfortably saw out the tie and earned a first win of campaign at Stadium MK in the process.
Starting XI: Nicholls; GB Williams, Hendry, Walsh, Lewington (c); Upson, Reeves; Agard, Bowditch, Thomas-Asante (Colclough 70); Maynard (Tshimanga 70).
Unused subs: Martin, Downing, Brittain, Tilney, Rasulo.
Goals: Reeves (8), Thomas Asante (12), Agard (14).