REPORT: MK Dons 3-0 Cheltenham - Two in a row as Dons climb again
MK Dons are into the top four after they made it back-to-back victories on Saturday, beating Cheltenham Town 3-0 at Stadium MK.
Chuks Aneke deservedly opened the scoring on 34 minutes as the home side controlled much of the play, but it was not until the final six minutes that they made sure of the result as Rhys Healey headed home George Williams' cross to make sure of the result. Robbie Simpson netted a stoppage time penalty to put a bow on it.
Picking up their first win in over a month on Tuesday night, Paul Tisdale was forced into one change from the side which beat Port Vale, losing goal-scorer Kieran Agard to a training ground injury. Rhys Healey came in to fill the gap up alongside Chuks Aneke, and the on-loan Cardiff City man should have opened the scoring within three minutes when he was put through on goal by George Williams, only to be denied by Scott Flinders in the Cheltenham net.
It was one-way traffic for the opening 15 minutes as Dons piled forwards. Chuks Aneke and George Williams were both denied by some last-ditch Cheltenham defending, while Jordan Houghton saw an effort bend wide of the far post.
But in miserable conditions, Cheltenham stemmed the tide and by the half hour were beginning to match Dons in the centre of the park. The home side though continued to look the better of the two sides, and winning corner after corner eventually made their pressure tell when Aneke fired home after 35 minutes.
It could have been 1-1 or 2-0 as the game drew towards the break, with first Joe Walsh bravely blocking Luke Varney's effort after Cheltenham's best move of the match. But from their corner, the excellent Healey sparked a counter attack, only for Ryan Watson's effort to be denied by Cheltenham captain Johnny Mullins.
The second half started at a rapid rate, with both keepers making vital stops in the opening exchanges. Flinders was at full stretch to his left to deny Alex Gilbey from making it 2-0, before Jacob Maddox forced Nicholls into a brilliant save, also to his left, to keep out the equaliser.
Desperately seeking a second to kill the game, Dons began to look frantic in front of goal as more chances went begging. Watson fired wide, while the hapless Healey missed a second one-on-one, and deflected Joe Walsh's wayward strike into Flinders' chest as his search for a goal continued.
The introduction of Brandon Thomas-Asante nearly paid immediate dividends as he sparked another Dons break, but was just out of reach of Gilbey's cross.
But following a lengthy stop in play after an injury to Town defender Aden Baldwin, Dons and indeed Healey got their reward as he met George Williams' cross to put the result beyond any doubt, though Robbie Simspon made sure in stoppage time as he converted from the spot after a foul on Callum Brittain.
Referee: Tom Nield
Attendance: 6,503 (285)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, Williams, Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill, Houghton, Gilbey, Watson (Thomas-Asante 71), Healey, (Brittain 90) Aneke (Simpson 71)
Subs not used: Moore, Cisse, Hancox, Kasumu
Cheltenham Town: Flinders, Tozer, Mullins, Atangana, Broom, Boyle, Maddox, Baldwin (Barnett 82), Clements, Field (Hussey 64), Varney
Subs not used: Lovett, Dawson, Lloyd, Forster, Jones