Report: Scunthorpe Utd 2-1 MK Dons
Kieran Agard scored his fifth goal of the campaign to cap a strong spell of pressure and send the men from MK1 1-0 ahead at the break.
However, the hosts hit back in the second half and won it courtesy of a brace from substitute Paddy Madden.
Ben Reeves and Nicky Maynard replaced the suspended Ed Upson and Ryan Colclough, who was only well enough to make the bench after illness.
The hosts started brightly and almost went ahead inside the opening minute but David Martin managed to get enough on Duane Holmes’ effort to push it on to the bar.
Karl Robinson’s men responded and following a clever dummy by Dean Bowditch, Samir Carruthers drove forward and missed the top right-hand corner only by inches from 25 yards.
Iron skipper Stephen Dawson then sent an effort from a similar distance over the top while, at the other end, Bowditch struck wide as the game began in a lively fashion.
The Dons enjoyed their best spell of pressure as the game ticked past the midway point of the first half, which included dangerous Reeves, GB Williams and Carruthers crosses all having to be dealt with.
Reeves then scooped an effort over the bar before teeing up Bowditch, who was denied a certain opener at close range by a brilliant block from Murray Wallace.
The pressure was building and the goal arrived on 37 minutes when, despite being fouled numerous times, Reeves battled past Scott Wiseman and picked out Kieran Agard, who coolly slotted home his fifth goal of the campaign.
Robinson’s side went in at half-time ahead and also started the second half in a strong manner, with Reeves drawing a smart stop from Luke Daniels on 51 minutes.
However, the Dons defence, and David Martin in particular, had to be alert four minutes to gather after Josh Morris’ free-kick had come off GB Williams.
Shortly afterwards, the impressive Reeves forced Daniels into a top stop but it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the flag was up for offside.
The temperature began to rise as the hosts grew more frustrated with the Dons’ resilience, while they almost caught the Iron on the break but Wallace was in the right place at the right time.
But the visitors’ stubborn defence was broken down midway through the second half when Paddy Madden turned home after Martin had parried fellow substitute Kevin van Veen’s initial effort.
The Dons reacted well to being pegged back and Maynard forced Daniels into a smart save away to his right – Carruthers made an honest attempt to turn home the rebound but caught the keeper and he had to be replaced.
Darren Potter then saw an effort deflected wide after good build-up play from Agard as the men from MK1 looked to regain their lead.
However, Scunthorpe took the lead on 81 minutes following a swift counter-attack, which saw Madden sweep home Morris’ cross from the right.
Back came the Dons, who went so close to an equaliser five minutes later but Joe Anyon tipped Reeves’ effort round the post.
Substitute Colclough then had a shot blocked before, from the resulting corner, Joe Walsh couldn’t get enough on Carruthers’ corner at the back post.
Kabongo Tshimanga was also introduced as the Dons continued to look for a leveller but their efforts, which included a good strike from Colclough, went unrewarded as they fell to a narrow defeat.
Starting XI: Martin; GB Williams, Walsh, Downing (Tshimanga 90+3), Lewington (c); Potter, Carruthers; Agard, Reeves (Powell 87), Bowditch (Colclough 71); Maynard.
Unused subs: Nicholls, Hendry, GC Williams, Thomas-Asante.
Bookings: Potter, Bowditch, Reeves, Walsh, Carruthers, Downing, Colclough, Maynard.
Goal: Agard (37).
Attendance: 4,238 (210 away)