Freddie Sears second half spot kick was the difference between MK Dons and Championship Ipswich Town on Tuesday night as football returned to Stadium MK.
A defensive mix-up saw George Williams bring down Ellis Harrison on 59 minutes, allowing Sears to roll home the only goal of the game ahead of Dons' final friendly of the summer this Friday.
After a draw and two defeats in their last three pre-season games, Dons held firm for the first half against their Championship opponents despite being on the back-foot for the most part.
Jordan Moore-Taylor continued to impress at the heart of the defence, keeping new Ipswich signing Ellis Harrison in hand, preventing the £750,000 man to a wayward effort from range.
Alex Gilbey was given another 45 minutes in his return from injury, putting in a lively shift in the centre of the park in both attack and defence.
Lee Nicholls was called into action five minutes into the second half when Harrison managed to worm himself some space away from George Williams, bending it goalwards, bringing out a top stop from the keeper.
There was an air of luck and calamity - both synonymous with Dons defending in recent years - involved in Ipswich's opener on 59 minutes though. Callum Brittain did not spot his keeper chasing after the same ball, so his header back towards goal threatened to leave Grant Ward with a tap-in. But Williams' challenge at the death caught the striker, bringing him down offering referee Scott Duncan no choice but to award the penalty, which Freddie Sears duly slotted home.
Going a goal behind seemed to spark Dons into a bit more life. Peter Pawlett raced onto Kieran Agard's ball to test Bartosz Bialkowski in the Ipswich net before two substitutes Liam Sole and Aidan Nesbitt combined for the Scot to fire low, forcing another save from the keeper.
More changes saw for both sides saw the game typically stall, but there was an air of concern when Sam Nombe had to hobble off before the end despite only playing 16 minutes, replaced by Dylan Asonganyi.
Dons welcome a familiar face back to Stadium MK for their final pre-season game on Friday night as they take on Karl Robinson's Oxford United.
Attendance: 2,639 (511)