MK Dons continued their pre-season campaign by making it three wins from three at Hemel Hempstead Town.
Dylan Asonganyi scored the decisive goal on 53 minutes - a terrific solo effort which began with him collecting the ball midway inside the Hemel half.
More important than the result, however, was another 90 minutes in the bank for Paul Tisdale’s squad, including a short cameo for defender Baily Cargill - his first appearance since injuring his foot back in March.
Tisdale’s starting XI was similar to the one which began the friendly with Brackley Town a week ago, with the exception of Joe Walsh and Sam Nombe.
The Dons made a positive start with Hiram Boateng working himself into space early on the edge of the Hemel Hempstead box. His low cross was blocked and the resulting corner almost led to a chance for George Williams, though the defender couldn’t meet Jordan Houghton’s cross.
It was Dean Lewington who produced the first effort on target of the game. Finding himself on the right side of the penalty area, the captain cut back on his left and sent a curling effort towards goal which goalkeeper Sam Beasant saved.
Hemel threatened for the first time on the quarter hour mark through an acrobatic effort from Tyrone Sterling which flew just over Stuart Moore’s goal. The Dons then broke up the other end with Sam Nombe but he was dispossessed as he made his way into the area.
Nombe had another opportunity moments later from a Houghton corner. However, teammate Agard inadvertently got in the way of his drive towards the bottom left corner.
The Dons had another set-piece chance soon after - a low corner taken by Houghton, which led to an off-target effort from Russell Martin.
On 23 minutes, Kieran Agard headed wide from a Regan Poole cross. Poole then had a shooting opportunity of his own but couldn’t keep his right-footed half-volley down.
Moore was forced into his first save shortly after the half-hour mark as he denied Alex Wall at his near post. The Dons then went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock but Agard’s low strike just flew wide of the far right post.
Hemel Hempstead had the final opportunity of the first half after Houghton was adjudged to have blocked an Alex Wall shot with his hand. Wall took the free-kick but saw his effort bravely blocked by the Dons wall.
The second half took some time to get going but eventually Tisdale’s Dons kicked into gear and they took a deserved lead on 53 minutes - and in some style.
Young striker Asonganyi, who replaced Nombe late in the first half, collected a ball midway inside the Hemel half and drove towards goal. He did brilliantly to create space with a neat move away from the defender before finding the net with a left-footed finish. 0-1.
Agard almost doubled the lead straight from kick-off but he was dispossessed by a well-timed slide tackle from a Hemel defender as he went to pull the trigger. Asonganyi then threatened a second but saw his close-range effort saved at point-blank range by Beasant.
Walsh glanced a header wide with the Dons’ next chance before Tisdale made his first changes of the evening - Ryan Harley and Callum Brittain replacing Lewington and Martin.
Hemel teased an equaliser shortly after the hour but Liam Nash’s curling effort was deflected just wide of the left upright. Joe Mason, Jordan Bowery and Ben Reeves then entered the fray with just over a quarter of an hour left to play.
The former of those three went close to getting on the scoresheet from a Brittain cross but saw his effort deflected wide of the post.
With 10 minutes to play, the Dons supporters who had travelled to Vauxhall Road were treated to a welcome sight - that of Baily Cargill returning to action following the foot injury which cut short his 2018/19 season. The centre-back entered the pitch alongside the Dons’ young pros.
Also getting in on the action was goalkeeper Laurie Walker, who made his first appearance of pre-season off the bench against his former side. He, Cargill and Tisdale’s young side helped see out the remainder of the game to ensure the Dons continued their pre-season preparations with another win.
Starting XI: Moore (Walker 88), Williams (Sorinola 81), Lewington (Harley 60), Walsh (Cargill 81), Poole (Kasumu 81), Martin (Brittain 60), McGrandles (Pattison 81), Houghton (Reeves 74), Nombe (Asonganyi 41), Boateng (Bowery 74), Agard (Mason 74).
Unused subs: None.
Goal: Asonganyi (53)