REPORT: Bury 0-2 MK Dons: Dons unbeaten in four after Gigg Lane victory
MK Dons extended their undefeated streak to four games with a work-horse performance to see off struggling Bury 2-0 on Saturday.
Osman Sow gave Dons an ideal start when he fired Dons ahead after just six minutes before Ethan Ebanks-Landell doubled the lead midway through the second half to see Dons up to 10th in the table.
Ebanks-Landell returned to the starting line-up for the first time in a month after a foot injury, meaning George Williams dropped to the substitute's bench - only the second league game he missed under Robbie Neilson. The other was due to suspension. Ebanks-Landell was one of three changes to the side which started against Northampton Town on Tuesday night, with Kieran Agard and Ed Upson returning to the side, forcing out Ryan Seager and Ouss Cisses. Chuks Aneke was named on the bench for only the second time this season as his return from injury nears an end.
Heading into the game, Dons had never lost a match at Gigg Lane, and with Lee Clark's men only winning twice all season, it was of little surprise when Osman Sow put the visitors into the lead after just six minutes. Scott Golbourne's low ball through the channel allowed Sow to chase in behind the defence, and faced with Leonardo Fasan, he coolly rolled the ball under the encroaching keeper.
The opening 15 minutes were comfortable for Dons, with Gboly Ariyibi, Aaron Tshibola and Ethan Ebanks-Landell all getting efforts in on goal, but didn't hit the target, but they were almost made to pay. Tom Aldred's smart flick over the defence found Michael Smith on the edge of the six yard box and he really should have done better, instead firing at Lee Nicholls.
After being let off the hook, Agard really had to hit the target when he was gifted a free header after good work from Ariyibi on the left, but couldn't direct his attempt and glanced it wide of the mark.
Agard had another decent effort nine minutes before the break when he was on the end of Sow's clever flick, but it was only poor finishing from the home side that ensured they would go in in front at the interval.
Josh Laurent hit the side netting when he spearheaded a counter-attack from a Dons corner, while Smith twice headed efforts off target as Bury carved themselves good opportunities before the break.
It was a balanced start to the second period, with both sides going after the next goal. For Dons, Sow was playing a much bigger role than he did in the first, but a lot of his excellent hold-up play went unrewarded.
At the other end, having teed up Sow for the opener, Golbourne almost handed an equaliser to Bury on a plate when his tame clearance found Jermaine Beckford, but Smith fired the resultant chance well wide.
Golbourne would make amends though when his corner found Ebanks-Landell, who headed past Fasan to double Dons' lead midway through the second period. It would be his final involvement though, with the full back hobbling off, replaced by George Williams.
Looking to comfortably see the game out in the latter stages, Chuks Aneke made his long awaited return from injury for the remaining six minutes of the game, replacing Sow. And he nearly capped his first appearance in six months with a fabulous goal, brushing Joe Skarz aside before seeing his low drive saved by Fasan.
Referee: Michael SalisburyAttendance: 3,165 (166)
Bury: Fasan, Leigh, Maguire, Beckford, Edwards, Aldred (Skarz 48), Humphrey, Laurent, Whitmore (Dobre 71), Smith, Danns (Ince 54)Subs not used: J Williams, Reilly, Bunn, Moloney
MK Dons: Nicholls, Brittain, Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Golbourne (G Williams 76), Upson, Tshibola, Gilbey, Ariyibi (Cisse 72), Agard, Sow (Aneke 84)Subs not used: Lewington, Sietsma, Seager, Nesbitt
Booked: Nicholls, Gilbey, Humphrey, Brittain