Win over Forest Green was harder than it looked for MK Dons

Mike Williamson and Ian WatsonMike Williamson and Ian Watson
Mike Williamson and Ian Watson | Jane Russell
The MK Dons head coach reacts to their 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers to move into the automatic promotion spots

It may have looked a routine 2-0 win against the team bottom of the Football League on Saturday, but Mike Williamson insisted Dons’ victory over Forest Green Rovers was harder than it looked.

Goals either side of half-time from Max Dean and Alex Gilbey secured the points for Dons as they climbed into the top three, capitalising on Mansfield Town’s surprise 4-1 defeat to Crawley Town ahead of their meeting at Stadium MK on Saturday.

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Forest Green threatened to make life harder for Dons with a decent 20 minute spell at the New Lawn, but when Dean pounced on a Dom Thompson mistake five minutes before the break to put home his fourth goal in three games, it put the visitors in control. Gilbey’s 12th of the season five minutes into the second-half effectively killed off the home side, who kept fighting for a lifeline, never allowing Dons to ease off.

“We had a lot of control, but the score line never really allowed for any enjoyment to come,” said Williamson afterwards. “I thought the goals were going to come from mistakes, and that it would be organised chaos. I didn't think it would be a day we could cleanly play through and that it would go the way we wanted it to.

“I don't think you can underestimate how hard the game was. The lads deserve a lot of credit, because it was a real battle.

“It's a tight pitch, and Forest Green were organised and disciplined so it was going to come down to fine margins. It could have come down to mistakes, but we have players who can capitalise.

“Max still had a lot to do, and he showed his quality.”

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With Dons in the top three, at least until Mansfield take on Forest Green with one of their two games in hand on Tuesday night, Williamson said the nature of the league shows anyone can still beat anyone on any given day, but that next Saturday’s clash against the Stags will be the biggest of the season yet.

He said: “It's a testament to the standard of the league, and especially Crawley. We've experienced first-hand when you don't get your press right, they can cut straight through you.

“For us, we'll dust ourselves down and go onto the next one.

“We've had some really good away wins, but some tough away defeats too. We'll look at the stats, performances and we'll keep working towards the biggest game coming on Saturday.”

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