mkdons.com takes a month-by-month look back at the promotion winning campaign, with the month of October the next to be reviewed.
After a tricky September period, in which the Dons picked up four points from a possible 15, Paul Tisdale's side bounced back in dramatic fashion as they went unbeaten in the month of October. The spell of successful results was a catalyst to getting the Dons promotion push back on track as they were unable to pick up maximum points just once, winning five of their six games.
The wins were a result of a resolute defence, composure in front of goal and hardworking, gritty performances. 10 goals were scored, with Lee Nicholls shipping just two goals in the league.
The month started with a Tuesday night win over Port Vale, before shutouts against Cheltenham and Cambridge United respectively. Shortly after, Northampton and Notts County were also overcome, before the month concluded with a draw against Mansfield Town.
The Dons Checkatrade Trophy campaign continued, as they travelled to Luton Town, but it was The Hatters who were victories on the night as they ran out 3-0 winners.
The success on the field was replicated off it, as Paul Tisdale was named Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for October, in the same month Dean Lewington was nominated for Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month.
SKY BET LEAGUE TWO TABLE
Port Vale 0-2 MK Dons - Sky Bet League Two (Tuesday 2nd)
First-half goals from Chuks Aneke and Kieran Agard saw MK Dons return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two with a dominant 2-0 victory over Port Vale.
Aneke put Paul Tisdale’s side ahead on 22 minutes, sweeping home from Baily Cargill’s pinpoint low cross for his fifth goal of the campaign. Agard then added a second nine minutes later - a fine solo finish into the bottom left corner of the net, which took his goal tally for the season to four.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams, Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington; Watson; Aneke (Healey 69), Agard.
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Brittain, Cisse, Simpson, Thomas-Asante.
Goals: Aneke (22), Agard (31)
Attendance: 3,399 (124 away)
MK Dons 3-0 Cheltenham Town - Checkatrade Trophy (Saturday 6th)
MK Dons made it back-to-back Sky Bet League Two wins with a dominant 3–0 victory over Cheltenham Town at Stadium MK.
The Dons, who beat Port Vale 2-0 in midweek, went ahead in the 34th minute through Chuks Aneke's sixth goal in six games before Rhys Healey headed home with six minutes left to play to double the lead.
Substitute Robbie Simpson then netted a penalty deep into stoppage time to seal the success, which moves Paul Tisdale’s men up to fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table and sees them close the gap on third-place to just three points.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams, Gilbey, Watson, Lewington (c); Watson (Thomas-Asante 71); Aneke (Simpson 71), Healey (Brittain 90+4).
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Cisse, Kasumu.
Goals: Aneke (34), Healey (84), Simpson (90+8)
Attendance: 6,503 (285 away)
Luton Town 3-0 MK Dons - Checkatrade Trophy (Tuesday 9th)
Goals from Alan Sheehan, Kazenga LuaLua and Jorge Grant gave Luton Town a win on Matchday Two in the Checkatrade Trophy. The defeat meant the Dons would have to overcome Brighton and Hove Albion Under-21s in their final Group Stage game to secure their progression into the knockout stages.
Starting XI: Moore, Hancox, Tapp, Jackson, Brittain; Lewington (Gilbey, 46), Cisse (Nesbitt, 46), Watson, Kasumu; Aneke (Thomas-Asante, 46), Simpson.
Unused subs: Sietsma, Nombe, Sole, Pattison
Booked: Aneke, Hancox.
Attendance: 875 (208)
Cambridge United 0-1 MK Dons - Sky Bet League Two (Saturday 13th)
Chuks Aneke’s 50th career goal - and a third-straight league clean sheet - earned MK Dons a third consecutive Sky Bet League Two success, as they beat Cambridge United 1-0 at The Abbey Stadium.
Aneke, making his 150th career start, put the Dons ahead with a cool finish past David Forde after latching onto Ryan Watson’s long ball forward.
Paul Tisdale’s men were put under pressure by the U’s in the second half but courtesy of excellent defending, they were able to ride the game out to climb back to fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Brittain, Houghton, Gilbey (Brittain 70), Lewington (c); Watson (D’Ath 90); Aneke (Simpson 84), Healey.
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Thomas-Asante, Agard.
Goal: Aneke (29)
Referee: D Whitestone
MK Dons 1-0 Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two (Saturday 20th)
Kieran Agard’s first-half strike saw MK Dons beat Northampton Town 1-0 at Stadium MK - their fourth straight Sky Bet League Two victory.
Agard struck 30 seconds before the half-time whistle to put his side ahead - his fifth goal of the campaign - and he and his teammates did the rest after that, seeing out the remainder of the contest to secure a fourth successive clean sheet and the three points.
The result lifted MK Dons to third in the Sky Bet League Two table at the time and closed the gap to leaders Lincoln City to five points.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams, Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington (c); Agard, Aneke, Healey (Watson 90).
Unused subs: Moore, Brittain, Hancox, D’Ath, Thomas-Asante, Simpson.
Goal: Agard (45)
Booked: Agard, Cargill
Attendance: 9,618 (2,186 away)
MK Dons 2-1 Notts County - Sky Bet League Two (Tuesday 23rd)
MK Dons came from behind at Stadium MK to beat Notts County and secure a fifth straight Sky Bet League Two success.
County led at half-time courtesy of Lewis Alessandra’s deflected finish but a penalty in the second half from Chuks Aneke and a stunning Rhys Healey strike saw Paul Tisdale’s men secure all three points.
The result lifted the Dons up to second in the Sky Bet League Two table at the time and within three points of leaders Lincoln City.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams, Houghton, Gilbey (D’Ath 66), Lewington (c); Agard (Brittain 46), Aneke (Simpson 85), Healey.
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Watson, Thomas-Asante.
Goals: Aneke (60 pen), Healey (69)
Attendance: 6,501 (403 away)
Mansfield Town 1-1 MK Dons - Sky Bet League Two (October 27th)
MK Dons picked up a hard-fought point away at courtesy of a 1-1 draw with the Stags.
Mansfield went into the match having lost just once at home this season and they took the lead courtesy of an excellent strike from Jacob Mellis.
However, Paul Tisdale's men equalised before half-time with Houghton equalling Mellis’ level of finish. The goal proved to be enough to see the Dons maintain their unbeaten run and stay second in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor (Brittain 46), Cargill; Williams, Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington (c); Agard, Aneke (Watson 84), Healey.
Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, D’Ath, Simpson, Thomas-Asante.
Goal: Houghton (24)
Booked: Brittain, Aneke, Watson
Attendance: 4,329 (294 away)
Dean Lewington - 7
Chuks Aneke - 7
Alex Gilbey - 6 (1)
Lee Nicholls - 6
George Williams - 6
Joe Walsh - 6
Jordan Moore-Taylor - 6
Baily Cargill - 6
Jordan Houghton - 6
Ryan Watson - 5 (1)
Rhys Healey - 5 (1)
Callum Brittain - 3 (2)
Kieran Agard - 4
Robbie Simpson - 2 (1)
Brandon Thomas-Asante - 0 (3)
Lawson D’Ath - 0 (2)
Stuart Moore - 1
Mitch Hancox - 1
Oran Jackson - 1
Finn Tapp - 1
Ousseynou Cisse - 1
David Kasumu - 1
Aidan Nesbitt - 0 (1)
Chuks Aneke - 4
Kieran Agard - 2
Rhys Healey - 2
Robbie Simpson - 1
Jordan Houghton - 1