It would be another case of patience paying off for MK Dons as two second half goals saw them ease to victory over Carlisle United 2-0 on Saturday.
Despite dominating in the opening period, Dons went in level at the break, though Carlisle's Hallam Hope did hit the post in a rare Carlisle attack. But Jordan Houghton opened the scoring just five minutes into the second half, before Kieran Agard netted his 11th of the season 15 minutes later to complete Dons' sixth consecutive home win, keeping them on top of League 2.
Both Jordan Moore-Taylor and Chuks Aneke hobbled out of the 2-0 win against Morecambe last time out, and neither were able to make the start against Carlisle 10 days later, prompting Paul Tisdale to make two changes to the side – bringing in Lawson D'Ath and Ouss Cisse, with Jordan Houghton taking over in the centre of the defence. Osman Sow and Peter Pawlett were surprise inclusions on the substitutes bench.
The home side dominated the opening half hour but could not make the breakthrough. Rhys Healey, Alex Gilbey, Lawson D'Ath and Kieran Agard all had fierce efforts denied by the Carlise defence, while Conor McGrandles fizzed one just over the bar as Dons pinned the visitors in their own half for lengthy spells.
But while Carlisle barely had the ball though, they actually had the best chance of the opening half when, catching Dons on the break, the rapid Ashley Nadesan managed to escape the attentions of George Williams and cross for Hallam Hope. But a combination of Lee Nicholls, Baily Cargill and the post denied them.
Dons though should have been ahead at the break but for a remarkable block from Jack Sowerby denying Healey what appeared to be a routine tap in on the stroke of half time.
After the hard graft of the opening 45 minutes, it took Dons just five second half minutes to find the net. On corner duty, Jordan Houghton remained high up the field as Carlisle only half cleared the initial set piece, and drilling the ball low through a crowd of players, surprising Collin and beating him at his far post.
And they made it 2-0 13 minutes later when Dean Lewington raced clear up the left flank, and with a first time cross picked out Agard to tap home their second.
Dons were dealt another injury blow though as they chased a third. In throwing himself at McGrandles cross at the far post, Healey stayed down and was eventually replaced by the returning Peter Pawlett for only his third appearance of the season.
Another man making his third appearance was Osman Sow, who replaced the industrious Lawson D'Ath, who put in his best game in an MK Dons shirt in the centre of midfield. Sow would prove a handy addition too, pulling the Carlisle defence around in the latter stages to keep them from launching anything significant at the other end.
While Carlisle rallied late in the day, there was never enough to really to challenge Dons as they cruised to their sixth straight league win at Stadium MK.
Referee: Scott Oldham
Attendance: 6,849 (343)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Cargill, Houghton, Williams, Lewington, McGrandles, Cisse, Gilbey, D'Ath (Sow 81), Agard (Watson 90), Healey (Pawlett 71)
Subs not used: Moore, Hancox, Simpson, Jackson
Carlisle United: Collin, Liddle, Gerrard, Jones, Hope, Gillesphey, Slater (Devitt 60), Yates (Parkes 11), Sowerby, Etuhu, Nadesan (Bennett 62)
Subs not used: Gray, Miller, Grainger, Campbell
Booked: Slater, Gillesphey