The power of five is very much alive

Will Grigg has scored six in three for Dons.
Will Grigg has scored six in three for Dons.

Five points are all that stand between Dons and Preston in the final automatic promotion spot - but is it a mountain or a molehill?

Ahead of Saturday’s game against Swindon, Karl Robinson’s side trailed Swindon by a single point as they sat in fourth spot.

Fast forward three days, two victories for Dons and consecutive 3-0 defeats for Swindon see the former now five clear of their rivals, safely in third spot while the Robins trail behind.

The landscape has changed significantly as a result of the Easter weekend, with Dons only looking in one direction, and it’s not towards recently departed boy-band members.

The two wins were both very different, and yet very similar all the same.

Balanced on a knife edge, Saturday’s match with Swindon was a clash of the titans.

With so much riding on the game - the right to mount a significant challenge to Preston - the first goal was always going to be crucial.

Quite how the first half remained goal-less was anyone’s guess, but when Daniel Powell headed in after Wes Foderingham palmed Lee Hodson’s shot into his path, all the momentum swung the way of Dons.

From there, Robinson’s side never looked in doubt as to how many points they’d be taking home with them. A dominant defence made Swindon’s usually potent attack look utterly toothless, while at the other end, Dons ran wild.

Will Grigg’s brace put the icing and a cherry on the cake as Dons left the County Ground with their heads held high, carrying with them a 3-0 victory.

Three days later, Dons welcomed Scunthorpe to stadium:mk, and within 247 seconds, had the game done and dusted.

Grigg again was the key protagonist, showing his poacher’s instinct to follow-up Rob Hall’s shot after it was half-saved by keeper Luke Daniels - similar in many ways to Powell’s opener on Saturday - after just a minute.

And 180 seconds later, he had his second, and a hat-trick of braces. Dele Alli, in just his second appearance since an ankle ligament injury had ruled him out for six weeks, was hauled down by Daniels, leaving referee Graham Scott no choice but to point to the spot.

Grigg made no mistakes, 2-0.

While the following 86 minutes didn’t bring about another goal, nor did it bring about any fear whatsoever that Scunthorpe may get back into the affair.

Between the unplayable Hall, Lewis Baker coming more and more out of his shell, the rejuvenated Samir Carruthers and the arrogant swagger of Alli, the midfield wall of white was too much for Scunthorpe to even get near, let alone think about interfering with it.

Baker, who has a penchant for the spectacular, almost added a third to his Dons collection with a screamer from the edge of 18, though Daniels’ fingertips were enough to divert it’s course onto the crossbar.

Robinson urged his side to take the sting out of the game in the second half, and it resembled a disciplined game of ‘keep ball’ for much of the 45 minutes as the Iron patiently waited for the final whistle.

Bristol City visit Deepdale on Saturday with their eyes firmly on the League 1 title prize at the end of the rainbow. In a clash that pits first against second, two of the possible three results will play into Dons’ hands as the season enters it’s final furlong.

And with another full round of fixtures next Tuesday, who knows where Dons could be sitting with four games remaining.