Dons end Burton's run with hard-fought victory

Burton Albion 1-2 MK Dons

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:07 pm

MK Dons made it three wins in a row on Saturday as they won 2-1 at the Pirelli Stadium, ending Burton Albion's seven-game unbeaten run in the process.

Scott Fraser netted his second penalty of the season against Burton after 15 minutes before Warren O'Hora doubled their advantage on 61 minutes. But Lucas Akins' penalty with quarter of an hour remaining made for an uncomfortable finale.

Unable to make the breakthrough though, Dons held on to climb to 13th in the table.

For the fourth game of the season, Russell Martin named the same team as Dons made the relatively short trip to the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, as both Ethan Laird and Josh McEachran shook off the injuries which prematurely ended their games on Tuesday night against Plymouth.

It was a return to the Pirelli Stadium for the first time for Scott Fraser after he left the Brewers last summer to sign for Dons. Having scored the equaliser against them in the reverse fixture back in December from the spot, it was his seventh penalty of the season which saw him give Dons the lead after quarter of an hour. Looking to latch onto Matt O'Riley's ball into the box, Fraser was beaten to the ball by Tom Hamer, but the defender used his arm, leaving referee Joyce with no option.

Cameron Jerome felt his goal should have stood six minutes later when he got on the end of a ball over the top, poked it around the on-rushing keeper Ben Garratt before rolling it home, but the referee deemed a high-foot as he brought the ball down.

Despite some set-pieces from Burton, Dons were in control for the opening half. The defensive unit looked like they were reading from the same hymn sheet and never missed a beat as they passed Burton in circles, but chances at both ends were few and far between.

The home side were a different prospect in the second half though, and began to hem Dons into their own half. Fisher made two brilliant point-blank saves – even though the flag made them irrelevant – to keep Burton at bay.

And it proved to be vital when, on 61 minutes, Warren O'Hora headed home from inside six yards after both Harry Darling and Ethan Laird won headers at Matt O'Riley's corner.

Though the scoreline looked comfortable, things would get uncomfortable with 15 minutes to go when Laird downed Hamer for the second spot-kick of the afternoon, which Lucas Akins dispatched to make it 2-1.

Burton, who came into the game off the back of a seven-game undefeated streak, and they threw everything they had at Dons in the closing stages, but only Hayden Carter's effort, a volley well over the bar, was of any note. Big headers in the closing stages from Lewington, Darling and Harvie all helped get Dons out of trouble in stoppage time, but they held on to claim their third win on the spin and move up to 13th in the table.

Referee: Ross Joyce

Burton Albion: Garratt, Brayford, Edwards, Hemmings, Akins, Smith, Carter, Clare (Powell 66), Hamer, Mancienne, Taylor (Fondop 90)

Subs not used: O'Hara, Powell, Parker, Earl, Broom, O'Toole

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, O'Hora, Darling, Laird (Harvie 75), Sorinola (Jules 90), Surman (Brown 90), McEachran (Thompson 66), O'Riley, Fraser, Jerome (Grigg 75)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Mason

Booked: Clare, McEachran, Carter, Hemmings, Harvie