There were a lot of smiling faces leaving Stadium MK on Saturday night, but one was broader than any other - that of Chuks Aneke.
After a frustrating year on the sidelines with a knee injury, a handful of substitute appearances and match minutes aiming at getting his fitness back more than anything else, the 23-year-old finally got what he wanted in the 5-3 win against Northampton Town – goals.
“I’m taking all the goals!” he said after the game.
“Two goals and an assist - I’m taking that for today! My game is about goals and assists, so that’s why I’m taking it. I feel like I’ve done that.
“It hasn’t been a quick process, but I’m keeping my head down. This is just two goals, and three points.
“We’ve got so many more games to play and I’m just focused on the next game. We’ll go into the next game looking to win.
“My knee is fine, but I’m getting other knocks that I have to nurse.
“I’m just trying to keep on top of them all now, I just want more days like this.”
While he hopes his goals are the first of many more to come, Kieran Agard moved alongside Dean Bowditch as the club’s leading scorer, while boss Robbie Neilson handed a debut to new striker Robbie Muirhead, who signed from Hearts last Thursday.
It is the second time the 20-year-old has been signed by Neilson, who took him to Tynecastle from Dundee United last summer.
What Dons need now though is a consistent scorer. Agard and Bowditch are level on nine goals in all competitions, and have found the net at vital times this season, but at times it has felt like no-one else would step up to the plate.
Nicky Maynard’s troubles in front of goal were finally eased when he got his first of the season against Swindon before the turn of the year, but he has barely had a sight of goal since.
Now though, with Aneke getting the monkey off his back, and with Muirhead joining the ranks on a two and a half year deal, Dons certainly aren’t short of threats going forwards.
And with a change in formation to play Aneke, Agard and Maynard as a front three, Neilson showed he isn’t frightened of breaking away from what Dons fans have become accustomed to in the last few years.
“It’s important we have different ways of playing,” said boss Neilson.
“It’s important to give the fans some excitement and get more into the ground.”
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