Fraser fires Dons to victory over Portsmouth
MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth
Scott Fraser's 12th goal of the season saw Dons return to the top half of League One with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth on Saturday.
The Scot slotted home five minutes before half time at Stadium MK - his eighth penalty of the campaign - to ensure Dons picked up their first win in four in a thrilling encounter with promotion chasing Pompey.
Both sides hit the frame twice, but Dons looked in total control throughout, despite the narrowest of scorelines. The result sees them climb to 12th in the table ahead of their midweek trip to relegation battling Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
After four months sidelined through injury, David Kasumu was back in the starting line-up for MK Dons as their only change from the 4-0 hammering at the hands of Lincoln City in midweek.
Dons came into the game without a goal in their last three, but it would be a thrilling encounter for the opening 45 minutes as both sides chased the opener. Matt O'Riley hit the post with an excellent effort from the edge of the penalty area before John Marquis went for the spectacular overhead kick but was denied by an equally fine save ffrom Andrew Fisher.
O'Riley would head wide as Dons began to get on top, but the visitors looked a continuous threat when pinging balls forwards for Marquis to bring in the likes of Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis, who hit the post after Ethan Laird was given some physical treatment by the Pompey defence in the build-up.
Laird would get his revenge five minutes before the break though, poking the ball past Charlie Daniels as he was upended by the Portsmouth man earning Dons a penalty. Scott Fraser made no mistakes from the spot for his 12th goal of the season to give Dons the lead.
Will Grigg had not scored in his last eight outings for Dons prior to kick-off but he went in at the break wondering what he had to do to end that drought, twice having efforts cleared off the line before half-time.
The second half continued in similar fashion, and remarkably both sides managed to hit the frame of the goal again within three minutes of the restart as first Fraser and then Tom Naylor hit the crossbar.
Dons looked more than comfortable against Portsmouth's long-ball approach in the second half, neatly zipping the ball around Stadium MK, aiming for the industrious Grigg who would once again come away without a goal for his troubles.
The visitors would have flurries of opportunity, but rarely tested Fisher with anything more than a few crosses which he dealt with routinely.
There was a flashpoint nine minutes from time when Jack Whatmough launched into an awful two-footed challenge on substitute Charlie Brown, who was really lucky to avoid any serious contact, but rightly saw the Portsmouth man sent off.
Referee: Martin Coy
MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Jules, Darling, Laird, Sorinola, Surman (Houghton 85), Kasumu (McEachran 66), O'Riley, Fraser (Brown 66), Grigg
Subs not used: Nicholls, Sorensen, Mason, Houghton, Bird
Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Johnson, Naylor, Whatmough, Williams (Nicolaisen 59), Marquis, Curtis, HArness, Raggett (Cannon 76), Daniels, White (Byers 59)
Subs not used: Ward, Downing, Bolton, Stanley
Booked: Daniels, Lewington, Byers
Sent off: Whatmough