Two goals in the opening 247 seconds were enough for MK Dons to see off Scunthorpe in comfortable 2-0 win at stadium:mk.
Will Grigg scored his fifth and sixth goals in three matches in a lightning start from the home side - one a header from close range, the other a smash down the middle from the penalty spot.
It could have been a rugby score in the opening 20 minutes as Dons’ midfield looked in untouchable form, though only Luke Daniels’ fingertips prevented it from being 3-0 as he poked Lewis Baker’s shot onto the bar.
Scunthorpe barely raised an eyebrow of concern for the home side, with more pressing matters at Ashton Gate as Swindon went down to Bristol City.
After the stunning 3-0 win at Swindon on Saturday, Karl Robinson made two changes to the starting line-up, replacing Dean Bowditch and goal-scorer Daniel Powell with Lewis Baker and Rob Hall.
And it was the latter at the heart of Dons taking the lead after a little over a minute. Dancing through the Scunthorpe defence, Hall’s shot was blocked by keeper Luke Daniels, but only popped up as far as Will Grigg who routinely poked home his 18th goal of the season into the empty net.
Dons had to wait barely three minutes before they were two to the good, and it came from the penalty spot. Slid in by Samir Carruthers, Dele Alli looked to round Daniels, but was tripped by the stopper leaving referee Graham Scott with no doubts but to point to the spot. After a swift battle with Alli for the right to take the kick, Grigg made no mistakes in rattling home his third brace in as many games.
It could have been all done and dusted by the ninth minute, had Daniels not got his finger tips to a fierce Hall shot from the edge of the box.
The first half was as one sided as a half could be. Dons, in total control, looked like they could score whenever they wanted but didn’t in the spirit of fairness. Between the unplayable Hall, Lewis Baker coming more and more out of his shell, the rejuvenated Samir Carruthers and the arrogant swagger of Dele Alli, the midfield wall of white was too much for Scunthorpe to even get near, let alone think about interfering with it.
Such was the confidence of the Dons side, they were trying their luck from all over the field in a bid to get the third. Lewis Baker, who already has two cracking goals to his name in Dons colours, nearly added a third when he crashed one goalwards, only to see it tipped onto the bar by Daniels.
The second half continued in a similar vein, though Scunthorpe showed a little more backbone after a grilling from manager Mark Robins. It didn’t lead to a chance though as Martin kept his powder dry. There was certainly less of the action and fireworks of the first period, but against a team who offered little threat going forwards, Dons barely needed get out of second gear.
With the game effectively wrapped up with 25 minutes to go, the influential duo Hall and Carruthers were withdrawn for Daniel Powell and Dean Bowditch. Hall’s last involvement was to tee up Grigg 15 yards out after a deft touch played him in behind, but Daniels was a match for the strike.
The game dripped over the line rather than burst over it with any force, but it was as comfortable a 2-0 as Robinson’s side have ever picked up. While reducing the gap to Preston back to five points, it also moved Dons five clear of Swindon in fourth, courtesy of the Robins’ 2-0 defeat to Bristol City.
Referee: Graham Scott
MK Dons: Martin, Hodson, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington, Potter, Alli, Hall (Powell 65), Baker, Carruthers (Bowditch 65), Grigg (Hitchcock 90).
Subs not used: Burns, Spence, Green, Cole
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Davey, Boyce, Williams, Lundstram, Osbourne (Evans 85), McSheffrey (Syers 68), Robinson, Madden, van Veen (Wootton 68)
Subs not used: Anyon, Evans, Adelakun, Townsend