MK Dons booked their place in the semi-finals of the BBFA Senior Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win over Beaconsfield Town.
Jay Bird, one of four professionals in a young Dons line-up, opened the scoring courtesy of a terrific first-half free-kick, though Beaconsfield levelled things up just past the hour.
The Dons, however, restored their lead with a quarter of an hour left to play - Brooklyn Ilunga's goal enough to secure MK Dons’ passage through to the final four.
The first chance of the tie went the way of the home side but Nathan Minhas poked wide when through on goal. His teammate Oliver Sprague then flashed an effort wide from 20 yards out.
In response, Brooklyn Ilunga won a free-kick from which Tali Jallow had an effort saved. Another free-kick a minute later provided an opportunity for Bird and he took his chance, drilling home into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the D. 0-1.
Beaconsfield almost had an instant reply but Olly McCoy somehow failed to hit the target from close range after being picked out via a cut-back. Moments later, Minhas dragged a right-footed shot wide of the post.
With eight minutes to play in the first half, Bird teed up Jallow who hit a first-time effort wide. Jallow also fired over from range while Johnson had a late effort skim the post on its way wide, after a terrific pass from Tobi Ogundega played him through on goal.
Half-Time – Beaconsfield Town 0-1 MK Dons
Nine minutes into the second period, Ronnie Sandford was called into action to keep out a Sprague free-kick, which he did brilliantly. Sandford made another save shortly after and then had Jack Davies to thank for a goal-line clearance.
The MK Dons goalkeeper was beaten, however, just past the hour mark when Lewis Sinclair converted from a deflected cross. 1-1.
Johnson produced an important block to prevent Dan Bradshaw putting the home side in front almost straight from the re-start. Davies then got in the way of Scott Donnelly’s goal-bound strike as the hosts threatened again.
Just as the hosts seemed to be getting on top, the Dons hit back and restored their lead through Ilunga, who raced onto a through pass and drilled a left-footed shot across goal and into the bottom corner. 1-2.
Sandford kept the lead intact on 77 minutes by producing a terrific one-on-one stop to deny Sinclair while Johnson went close to doubling the advantage with an effort saved following a mazy run through the Beaconsfield defence.
The MK Dons goalkeeper was forced into another save late on to keep out a low, long-range drive from the hosts. Ogundega came up with an important block to keep out the follow up.
Sandford made one final save to keep the hosts at bay, denying Callum Webb in stoppage time at his near post. Sinclair had Beaconsfield's last opportunity, though, blazing over from the edge of the area.
Full-Time - Beaconsfield Town 1-2 MK Dons
MK Dons: Sandford, Johnson, Ilunga, Davies, Ogundega, Waller, Tripp (Bombo 75), Gyamfi, Bird, Anker (Blennerhasssett 62), Jallow.
Subs: Hayton, Daffern, Boyce.
Goals: Bird (26), Ilunga (75)