Dons' run in the Papa John's Trophy ended by Sunderland

MK Dons 0-3 Sunderland

MK Dons were dumped out of the Papa John's Trophy at the quarter-final stage by a composed Sunderland side who ran out 3-0 winners at Stadium MK.

The threadbare Dons were unlucky to find themselves trailing after 12 minutes when Dean Lewington diverted Jack Diamond's cross past Lee Nicholls after 12 minutes, but there was little to tell between the sides in the opening 45 minutes.

Despite chances for Joe Mason, Matthew Sorinola and Scott Fraser going begging, it was another deflected effort, this time from Aidan McGeady who gave Sunderland a cushion 15 minutes from time before Charlie Wyke's header make it 3-0 with eight minutes to go.

The sides will meet again on Saturday in League One.

With Dons light on the ground for the visit of Sunderland, there were four changes to the side which beat AFC Wimbledon comfortably on Saturday. Lee Nicholls, Lasse Sorensen and Matthew Sorinola returned to the starting line-up while there was a first start for 17-year-old Lewis Johnson. Deadline day signings Will Grigg and Zak Jules were cup-tied, as was Harry Darling.

Sunderland came out of the blocks faster than Dons did but were fortunate to go ahead after 12 minutes as Jack Diamond's cross deflected in off the hapless Dean Lewington past Lee Nicholls, neither of which could do anything about it.

With the lack of defensive numbers available, Louis Thompson had to fill at centre back but did not look out of place and read the game well to break up Sunderland's attempts to break through the middle.

But they were few and far between as the first-half wore on as Dons settled and began to get the upper hand. Joe Mason came closest to levelling things up on 19 minutes when he was picked out by Scott Fraser, but his effort was well saved by Remi Matthews.

The sides fairly cancelled each other out during the opening 45 minutes though with precious little to tell between them at the interval.

Dons looked more likely to find an equaliser in the early part of the second half, and were beginning to push forward with real intent. Matthew Sorinola almost saw another deflected effort sail in but it landed just wide of the mark, but the best chance was created and fell to Fraser.

Winning the ball in midfield and shaking off two Sunderland bodies, he found Mason, before substitute Cameron Jerome laid it back to Fraser but Matthews gathered at the second attempt.

With 15 minutes to go though, Sunderland struck the killer blow. After bringing on the big guns from the bench, Lasse Sorensen's header fell kindly to Aidan McGeady on the edge of the penalty area and though his shot took a deflection off Warren O'Hora, Nicholls let it squirm from his grip as it found a way in.

From there, Sunderland sensed blood in the water and with a young Dons defence on for the final few minutes, Charlie Wyke rose highest to nod in Grant Leadbitter's cross to secure their spot in the semi-final.

Referee: Thomas Bramall

MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington (Davies 79), O'Hora, Harvie, Sorinola, Sorensen, Thompson (Gladwin 60), O'Riley (Freeman 79), Fraser (Smith 79), Mason, Johnson (Jerome 60)

Subs not used: Fisher, Walker

Sunderland: Matthews, Flanagan, Willis (Leadbitter 60), Power, O'Brien (McGeady 60), Gooch, O'Nien, Scowan (Wyke 60), Diamond, McFadzean (Neil 25), Jones (Younger 60)

Subs not used: Patterson, Maguire

Booked: Harvie, Gladwin