REPORT: MK Dons 2-1 Notts County: Dons come from behind to beat County
MK Dons staged a second half comeback against 10-man Notts County to make it five wins in a row and climb up to second in League 2.
Trailing 1-0 at the break, courtesy of Lewis Alessandro's deflected strike on 23 minutes - their first goal conceded in over 400 minutes - Dons were handed a huge slice of luck on the hour when Jamie Turley bundled over Rhys Healey to give the home side a penalty and earn himself an early bath. Chuks Aneke converted from 12 yards before Healey scored a wonderful goal from the tightest of angles to complete the comeback.
The result, Dons' fifth straight win, sees then climb above Exeter City into second spot in League 2.
Off the back of four straight wins in the league, Paul Tisdale named an unchanged side again for the visit of Notts County, with Kieran Agard and Rhys Healey leading the line. The on-loan Cardiff City man was proving to be a real handful in the opening stages, zipping an effort just wide of Ross Fitzsimons' upright, while Chuks Aneke fizzed one in towards the near post which the keeper also dealt with.
County, who had lost at the weekend for the first time in four, started brightly too though and a glorious chance to end Dons' clean-sheet streak when Enzio Boldewijn got in behind Baily Cargill, but he fired straight at Lee Nicholls, forcing a routine save from the keeper.
There was little Nicholls could do though about Lewis Alessandra's strike on 23 minutes though. After taking one of the worst penalties seen at Stadium MK, he picked the ball up 20 yards out and fired low through a crowd of players, and it took a deflection on it's way through to the bottom corner, ending Dons' run of more than 400 minutes without conceding.
Alessandra nearly made it 2-0 10 minutes later, drawing a fine stop from Nicholls from a similar range – a shot he probably struck a bit sweeter than his goal, arrowing for the top corner.
Where, on Saturday, Dons were potent and dangerous in front of goal, they struggled to create anything as clear cut in the opening half. Agard and Aneke were both guilty of springing the offside trap, though three County defenders threw themselves at Agard's strike from just inside the box to deny him an equaliser shortly before the interval.
Alessandra should have doubled County's advantage early in the second period but failed to capitalise on a poor clearance from Nicholls, delicately lobbing the ball back to the keeper when he had options either side of him.
And County would be made to pay severely for his miss as Dons were handed a vital lifeline on the hour mark. Healey raced clear of the defence, but fell under pressure from Jamie Turley which referee Michael Salisbury deemed not only to be a penalty, but a red card offence for the County man. Aneke rolled home the penalty with aplomb to draw Dons level.
Nine minutes, later the comeback was complete when Healey found the net from the tightest of angles, beating Fitzsimons at his near post to find the roof of the net.
Dons thought they had their third with five minutes to go when Aneke headed home from six yards, but he had pushed Keston Davies in the build-up, chalking it off.
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 6,501 (403)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Cargill, Walsh, Lewington, Williams, Gilbey (D'Ath 66), Houghton, Aneke (Simpson 85), Healey, Agard (Brittain 46)
Subs not used: Moore, Watson, Hancox, Thomas-Asante
Notts County: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Hewitt, Alessandra, Vaughan (Davies 63), Boldewijn, Hemmings (Thomas 74), Ward, Evina, Turley, Stead
Subs not used: Pindroch, Dennis, Brisley, Hawkridge, Dunn
Booked: Bilbey, Hemmings, Ward, Evina
Sent off: Turley