Dons dumped out of the Leasing.com Trophy after thumping defeat to Newort County
A dismal first half showing saw MK Dons unceremoniously crashing out of the Leasing.com Trophy at the hands of Newport County, losing 3-0.
With just three games separating them from Wembley, Martin made wholesale changes to his side but quickly saw how threadbare his second string looked when, after four minutes, Tristan Abrahams tapped Newport into the lead. The first half would not get any better, with Padraig Amond lashing in a brilliant free kick on 25 minutes before a messy third 10 minutes later put an end to Dons changes before the interval.
The second half did little to add gloss to Dons' trip, though substitutes Rhys Healey and Alex Gilbey both came close to testing keeper Nick Townsend when they were introduced late in the day.
Though not the biggest disaster of the season so far, it was a disappointing end to a competition the manager had earmarked as one he wanted to win.
Martin made seven changes to the side which started against Bristol Rovers for the game with Newport. Only George Williams, Jordan Houghton, David Kasumu and Sam Nombe retained their places, with starts handed to Stuart Moore, Matthew Sorinola and Baily Cargill amongst others.
And it was the backline who were weak just four minutes into the game as they conceded yet another sloppy goal from a set-piece as Newport took the lead. A deep corner to the far post was flapped onto the bar by Moore, leaving Tristan Abrahams unmarked and alone in the six yard box to tap in the opener. But it would only get worse from there in the first half.
In truth, there was little Moore could have done to deny Padraig Amond's superb free kick as it arrowed into the top corner to make it 2-0 after 25 minutes, but he had to do better when Amond got his head to another set piece, this time it bobbled around before eventually crossing the line 10 minutes later.
It was without question the worst 45 minutes seen during Martin's short time in charge, and it looked, early in the second half, as though it would get worse when Cargill gifted the ball to Amond to race clear for his hat-trick, but Moore redeemed himself somewhat and got a block on the effort to deny him.
It was a better second period for Dons in terms of their performance, but even bringing on Rhys Healey, Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh did not change their fortunes.
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 767 (102)
Newport County: Townsend, Haynes, Dolan, Amond, Sheehan, Abrahams, Nurse, Bennett, O'Brien (Howkins 75), Innis, Jefferies (Collins 84)
Subs not used: King, Labadie, Matt, Woodiwiss
MK Dons: Moore, Williams, Poole, Cargill, Sorinola (Walsh 73), Houghton (Healey 63), Kasumu, Boateng (Gilbey 71), Reeves, Nombe, Agard
Subs not used: Nicholls, McGrandles, Mason, Brittain