MK Dons picked up their first Sky Bet League One victory of the season courtesy of a 2-0 win over Gillingham at Stadium MK.
Cameron Jerome, making his full debut, broke the deadlock with a first-time finish 19 minutes in, before Carlton Morris sealed the points in the second half with his first league goal of the campaign.
Jerome made his first MK Dons start as one of three changes to the side which suffered defeat to Portsmouth. Regan Poole and Daniel Harvie were the other two players who came into the side while there were
Two of those were involved as the Dons worked their way into the box three minutes in. Jerome carried Poole’s ball into the area before crossing for Morris. His initial effort was blocked and his follow-up was sent over the bar.
Scott Fraser then entered the Gills box from the other side but his cross was gathered by Jack Bonham. Five minutes later, he teed up Jerome for a right-footed shot which was saved by the Gills stopper.
The visitors first chance arrived soon after, as Jordan Graham dragged a shot wide. The Dons backline wanted an offside flag which was not forthcoming despite the Gills striker appearing to be an illegal position.
It was Martin’s men, though, who looked the more likely to break the deadlock and with 19 minutes played they did just that courtesy of their full debutant, Jerome.
A spell of possession down the right-hand side resulted in Louis Thompson threading a pass through to Poole. He pulled the ball back to MK Dons’ new number 35, who swept a first-time right-footed finish into the far corner of the net. 1-0.
Three minutes later, Daniel Harvie delivered a deep cross to Morris as the Dons went in search of a quick second. Morris met the ball in but couldn’t find the target from a tight angle.
Gillingham responded well, though, and a shout for penalty just before the half-hour mark – Graham went down in the area under pressure from Dean Lewington but referee Neil Hair was unmoved. Declan Drysdale later fired over the bar from the edge of the D.
At the other end, Jerome did brilliantly inside the area to fashion room for a cross, however wasn’t able to connect with Morris at the far post. Harvie later sent one in himself which was cleared away.
MK Dons took their lead into the break and immediately went about doubling the advantage – doing so just two minutes after the re-start.
It was another excellent attacking move from left to right. Thompson was the key architect, though, playing a one-two with Jerome before finding an unmarked Morris, who took one touch before slotting past Bonham. 2-0.
Gillingham almost fashioned an instant response but Vadaine Oliver failed to convert at the far post after latching onto a low Kyle Dempsey cross. Soon after the Dons almost made it three, but Fraser was denied by a diving save from Bonham.
On the hour, the Dons worked a great opportunity for Harvie to score his second goal in as many home games but he fired wide. Dominic Samuel then put wide for Gillingham five minutes later.
Within seconds, the Dons were back on the attack with Fraser playing an inch-perfect through ball into Jerome. He, though, was quickly closed down and his eventual shot was blocked.
That was Jerome’s final involvement as he was shortly replaced by Joe Mason. The Dons almost scored from the following re-start, but Harvie curled wide after a neat run into the area from the left flank.
Mason then had his chance, from another Fraser through pass, but he was denied by the feet of Bonham. Fraser was withdrawn shortly after, with Jordan Houghton coming on in his place.
With 12 minutes to play, Richard Keogh headed over from Poole’s corner. Morris then had a curling try deflected behind for another corner before an even better chance fell his way – a one-on-one with Bonham in which the Gills goalkeeper came out on top.
Entering the final five minutes, Gillingham’s Graham sent a free-kick over the bar. They had another late chance from a free-kick in stoppage time, but did nothing, in truth, to threaten the Dons’ clean sheet – and three points!
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Keogh, Poole, Kasumu, Morris, Fraser (Houghton 78), Harvie, Thompson (Gladwin 82), Jerome (Mason 69).
Subs: Walker, Cargill, O’Hora, Sorensen.
Goals: Jerome (19), Morris (47)
Booked: Thompson, Williams, Kasumu
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, Tucker, Medley, Dempsey, Samuel (Coyle 67), Graham, Oliver, Robertson (Eccles 67), Drysdale (Akinde 49).
Subs: Walsh, MacDonald, Mahghoma.
Referee: N Hair