Dean and Gilbey fire MK Dons to victory over Forest Green Rovers

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League Two: Forest Green Rovers 0-2 MK Dons

MK Dons moved into the top three with three weeks to go on Saturday with a routine 2-0 win over bottom club Forest Green Rovers at the New Lawn.

The goals came five minutes either side of half-time, Max Dean capitalising on a defensive lapse from the home side before Alex Gilbey rolled home his 12th goal of the season to double their advantage.

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Eyes were elsewhere thereafter, with results amongst their automatic promotion rivals looking favourable. While Wrexham came from behind to beat Colchester, Mansfield - who take on Forest Green in the week ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Stadium MK - were thumped 4-1 by Crawley Town.

It means Dons sit in the top three for the next few days.

The goalkeeping conundrum was one which was hanging over Mike Williamson after he swapped Filip Marschall and Michael Kelly on Easter Monday, but the Irishman was back in again for the trip to the New Lawn, as were Dean Lewington and Jack Tucker. Lewington was making his first start since mid-February when he was sent off against Wrexham. Tucker meanwhile had been out since November with an ankle injury, which required surgery. Their inclusions meant Dan Kemp and Cameron Norman dropped to the bench.

With Forest Green rooted to the bottom of the table and needing every point to salvage their Football League status, they allowed Dons to control the opening 15 minutes, but a loose Lewis Bate pass, which nearly resulted in chance, seemed to breathe life into the home side.

Mike Williamson warned ahead of kick-off it would be a scrap, and so the first-half would develop. Neither really created much clear-cut, though Rovers would threaten to threaten more so than the visitors.

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Dons looked the more likely to be the creators for Forest Green though in the first-half, with Lewington caught ball-watching, nearly letting Jordan Garrick in behind.

Forest Green though would also be the creator of their own problems, and when gifted with a sniff, Max Dean took it. Dom Thompson got it all wrong when he looked to play back to his goalkeeper, but miscued his ball, allowing the Dons striker to pounce, sliding the ball past Vincente Reyes to give Dons the lead five minutes before half-time.

And five minutes after the break, they had doubled their advantage. Alex Gilbey had seen a chance a couple of minutes earlier well saved by Reyes, but he bagged his 12th of the campaign when he fired in from close range after great work from Kyran Lofthouse to pull it across.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Forest Green, whose first-half threat effectively evaporated thereafter. Tensions in their own ranks threatened to bubble over between former Dons defender Richard Keogh and Emmanuel Osadebe, the pair twice having to be separated.

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Dons were able to cruise through the remainder of the game, not really troubled nor causing any real chances for themselves, though Gilbey should have put a seal on the win with four minutes to go but fired over the bar.

Referee: Andy Davies

Forest Green Rovers: Reyes, Inniss, McAllister (Jones 79), McCann (Maddox 79), Doidge (Omotoye 89), Garrick, Moore-Taylor, Thompson (Dabo 79), J Robson, Keogh, Osadebe (Bunker 89)

Subs not used: Searle, Bernard

MK Dons: Kelly, Lewington, Tucker (Norman 69), O'Hora, Harvie, Lofthouse, Payne (E Robson 74), Bate, Gilbey (Kemp 89), Wearne (Tezgel 74), Dean (Harrison 69)

Subs not used: Marschall, Williams

Booked: Moore-Taylor, Tezgel

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