Dons suffer their first defeat of the season as Lincoln take the spoils

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MK Dons 1-2 Lincoln City

Tom Hopper's header 12 minutes from time resigned MK Dons to their first defeat of the League One season, going down 2-1 to Lincoln City in a game marred by refereeing howlers.

Brett Huxtable was almost 30 yards from play when he awarded a penalty against Baily Cargill after just 10 minutes, which replays have shown was a more than fair challenge. Jorge Grant made no mistakes from the spot to give Lincoln the lead.

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Mr Huxtable and his officials would have been resoundingly booed off the Stadium MK pitch at the break had fans been allowed to attend, but they did their best to level things up when Joe Mason restored parity on 59 minutes despite looking very much offside.

They had little involvement in the winner though, with Hopper heading past a flapping Lee Nicholls as Michael Appleton's side snatched the win.

Dons made two changes to the side which started against Doncaster Rovers a week earlier, bringing in Callum Brittain and Joe Mason for Sam Nombe and Lasse Sorensen.

Scott Fraser was named on the bench for the first time since signing for the club two weeks ago, alongside returning Ben Gladwin too who missed the start of the season through injury.

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As the hunt for a striker continues for Dons, it was Mason who squandered the first opportunity on goal, somehow firing wide of the mark from inside the six yard box after just six minutes.

Three minutes later, Dons would be made to pay for the mistake when Baily Cargill was adjudged to have fouled Tom Hopper as he broke into the penalty area – even though it looked for all the world to be a clean tackle. Jorge Grant was on hand to coolly send Lee Nicholls the wrong way for the lead.

Lincoln were eager to exploit the spaces in behind Daniel Harvie and Regan Poole to counter-attack, but found little joy in their attempts at finding a second.

Dons meanwhile played some decent football in the first two thirds of the pitch, but had nothing to write home about in terms of chances before the interval.

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Lincoln had two glorious chances early in the second period to double their advantage, but for a key interception from David Kasumu and a fantastic save from Lee Nicholls to deny the Imps.

After a shocking decision in the first half gifted Lincoln the lead, it was some generous officiating which allowed Dons back in the game on the hour mark too. When a Lincoln clearance was fired into Brittain, Mason was a couple of yards offside to pick up the rebound and calmly roll past Alex Palmer in the Lincoln net to level things, much to the despair of the visiting defence.

It was one-way traffic as Dons sought out a goal which would take them in front, but in a rare venture forwards, Lincoln won it with 12 minutes to go. Callim Morton, who had been a thorn in Dons' side since coming on, played a teasing cross into the box which Nicholls only half committed to, leaving Hopper an empty net to head into.

Referee: Brett Huxtable

MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, O'Hora, Cargill, Poole (Fraser 86), Harvie (Sorinola 64), Houghton, Kasumu (Gladwin 73), Brittain, Mason, Morris

Subs not used: Walker, Sorensen, Nombe, Freeman

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Lincoln City: Palmer, Montsma, Jackson, Jones, Hopper, Grant, McGrandles, Eyoma, Bridcutt (Morton 66), Anderson (Archibald 90), Roughan (Melbourne 66)

Subs not used: Ross, Edun, Scully, Walsh

Booked: Harvie, Houghton, Jones, Cargill, Morton, Brittain, Kasumu, Eyoma

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