Two goals in two first half minutes saw MK Dons lose 2-1 to relegation battlers Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
Chris Stokes and Dominic Samuel capitalised on some uncharacteristically nervous Dons defending to leave the visitors 2-0 down after just 12 minutes.
Daniel Powell pulled one back in the second half, but despite pouring forward, Dons couldn’t carve out an equaliser, but remain second in the table.
There was only one chance to the side which dismantled Peterborough in convincing fashion last Saturday, with Devante Cole coming in to replace Will Grigg up front. New loan signing Lewis Baker was included on the substitutes bench for the trip to the Ricoh Arena.
While the two sides are at opposite ends of the table, it was relegation battling Coventry who took the lead in the 10th minute. Ian McLoughlin made a vital stop to deny Dominic Samuel as he broke the offside trap but from the resultant corner, Chris Stokes headed in to put the home side 1-0 up.
And it was 2-0 barely two minutes later when Antony Kay gave the ball away to John Fleck 40 yards out, and as City raced forwards, Samuel made no mistakes as he went through on goal again, firing the Sky Blues further ahead.
Now two behind, Dons faced a mountain but were almost given a life line after 18 minutes, but Devante Cole was inches away from Jordan Spence’s ball across the face of goal after a great ball from Ben Reeves to get the full back in around the back.
Dons were the side playing the more attacking football for the majority of the first half as City looked content to defend their lead, though they looked very dangerous on the counter. Playing up front on his own, Cole struggled to make a positive impact on proceedings. Twice he failed to capitalise as the ball unexpectedly fell to him in the box, and all too often found himself watching decent crosses sail over his head.
The visitors looked like a much fiercer prospect in the second half but couldn’t capitalise on two great chances early in the half, both falling to Antony Kay. First, as Coventry failed to clear a corner, the defender saw his shot blocked by Matthew Pennington. And from the resultant corner, snuck in at the far post but was denied by a combination of post and keeper.
But with 10 minutes played in the second half, it was game on again as Dons pulled one back. Brilliant work from former Coventry man Carl Baker teed up Daniel Powell for a routine tap in to make it 2-1.
With the neigh-on 1,700 travelling supporters now in full voice, it was one way traffic as Dons sought out the equaliser. Substitute George Williams, who came on to replace Reeves, was inches away from giving them the goal they wanted as Carl Baker again whipped a dangerous ball in from wide.
But as both sides made changes, the game lost it’s pace and flow especially with the home side intent on killing the clock. Williams did have one cleared off the line though with 10 minutes to go, but it wasn’t to be.
The result sees Dons remain second, but with Preston’s victory over Oldham, Simon Grayson’s side move level on points with a game in hand.
Referee: Richard Clark
Attendance: 9,934 (1,689)
Coventry City: Burge, Stokes, Martin, Pennington, Phillips, O’Brien (Finch 80), Fleck, Barton, Williams (Thomas 45), Tudgay (Proschwitz 57), Samuel
Subs not used: Charles-Cook , Haynes, Turgott, Nouble
MK Dons: McLoughlin, Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington, Potter, Carruthers (L Baker 70), Powell, Reeves (Williams 64), C Baker, Cole (Grigg 64)
Subs not used: Burns, Hodson, Green, Andrews
Booked: Carruthers, McFadzean, Burge