Super sub Daniel Powell scored within three minutes of his introduction as MK Dons picked up their first home win of the season, beating Bolton 1-0 at stadium:mk on Tuesday night.
Things appeared fairly evenly matched until the introduction of the enigmatic Powell for the home side 11 minutes into the second half. And after a couple of threatening runs, he latched on to Samir Carruthers’ ball in behind and beat keeper Ben Amos for the only goal of the game.
While the table remains very much in it’s infancy, the win moves Dons up to third.
Cristian Benavente was handed his first Championship start for MK Dons as he stepped into the boots left by injured Ben Reeves, who missed out on Tuesday night. Simon Church too was handed his first league start at the expense of Sam Gallagher, who dropped to the bench.
There wasn’t much to split between the two sides in the opening half. While Dons looked better on the ball as they patiently stroked it around, Bolton were keen to unleash the pace of Liam Feeney with long balls over the top, hoping to exploit the height of Gary Madine in the centre. But for their string of corners, only a Dean Moxey effort from the edge of the box had David Martin troubled.
For Dons, Baker looked the most likely to carve an opening, but cutting in from the right, found himself on his weaker left foot and had to cut back every time, allowing the Bolton defence to reorganise and get back into position. Keeper Ben Amos was comfortable in rocking to his left to keep out any attempts Baker did have.
As the half wore on, so did Bolton’s influence flowing forward. Having shrugged off the attentions of Antony Kay on the lefthand side, Feeney picked out Madine in the centre. But rather than head on goal, he nodded it down to Zach Clough, and though his strike was clean, it was straight at Martin who made it look spectacular in tipping it over.
With the status quo resumed in the second period, it didn’t take Robinson long to ring the changes, and it paid dividends almost immediately. Daniel Powell replaced Benavente, and a reshuffle of the pack saw the new man out wide. Playing off the shoulder and lurking, Powell pounced when Lawrie Wilson committed himself early and missed out, allowing the substitute to get in on goal. With Church screaming for a square ball and an open new, Powell went it alone and bent it around Amos to open the scoring.
While the goal lifted the home crowd, it also kick started Bolton’s second half drive. Dorian Dervite was unlucky to head just wide of the upright, with Martin looking well beaten. It also promoted Bolton boss Neil Lennon to introduce Emile Heskey to the mix at the expence of the dangerous looking Feeney, adding yet more height to the big Wanderers presence up top.
But other than a half chance for the former England international, Bolton never really capitalised on their territory as Dons held on for their second win of the season.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Kay, McFadzean, Spence, Potter, Carruthers, Baker, Bowditch (Upson 82), Benavente (Powell 56) , Church (Gallagher 67)
Subs not used: Cropper, Hodson, Aguza, Jennings
Bolton: Amos, Desire-Gouano,Moxey (Dobbie 79), Dervite, Vela (Walker 90), Feeney (Heskey 68), Clough, Madine, Davies, Danns, Wilson
Subs not used: Fitzsimmons, Spearing, Twardzik, Holding
Booked: Vela, Carruthers, Wilson, Dobbie, Potter