REPORT: MK Dons 2-0 Macclesfield Town: Dons go top with win over Shakers
MK Dons took over at the top of League 2 with a solid, if unspectacular 2-0 win over bottom of the table Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
Following a huff-and-puff first half, Chuks Aneke's wonderful finish fired Dons into the lead on 53 minutes, before Kieran Agard made sure of the win 12 minutes later.
With leaders Lincoln not playing, Dons take over at the top of the table by a point, with a game in hand over Imps.
After Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Brighton U21s, Paul Tisdale reverted to a more recognised system. Joe Walsh's injury picked up against the Seagulls was severe enough for him to miss out at the heart of the defence, but it meant Jordan Moore-Taylor returned at the heart of the defence.
Coming into the game nine undefeated in the league, but with two defeats in a week in cup competitions, Dons looked cagey in the opening half. Despite being afforded time and often space by Macclesfield, who had just one win to their name all season, Kieran O'Hara barely had anything to do. He was twice at full stretch to watch Rhys Healey and Chuks Aneke efforts zip just past his goal, but it would be his opposite number Lee Nicholls who would be called upon at the other end, twice by Ben Stephens, and though on target, both efforts were tame.
Twice Dons had the ball in the net though, first Kieran Agard was adjudged offside before he fouled O'Hara, with Moore-Taylor converting to no avail.
Chuks Aneke had gone no more than one game without a goal since his return to the side in September, and after failing to find the net against Grimsby last Saturday, fired Dons into the lead eight minutes into the second half. Picking the ball up inside the box, Aneke bent a wonderful left-footed effort around O'Hara's despairing dive and into the far corner.
And it wasn't long before the second followed when Kieran Agard beat the offside trap to get on the end of Alex Gilbey's ball, shrugged off Fiacre Kelleher before firing past O'Hara.
Both goal-scorers were then taken off as Tisdale consolidated his side's position, while the industrious Healey was withdrawn later in the day.
While it lacked the glitz and glamour, Dons took over top spot all the same.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 7,087 (287)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Cargill, Moore-Taylor, Lewington, Brittain, Houghton, Gilbey, Aneke (Asonganyi 71), Agard (D'Ath 67), Healey (Simpson 87)
Subs not used: Moore, Watson, Hancox, McGrandles
Macclesfield Town: O'Hara, Hogkiss (Pearson 34), Fitzpatrick, Keeleher, Durrell (Arthur 70), Smith, Lloyd, Stephens (Maycock 74), Whitaker, Rose, Cameron
Subs not used: Taylor, Grimes, Blissett, Vincenti
Booked: Cargill, Lewington