Gleeson could be right for Dons

Kettering 1 MK Dons 4

Stephen Gleeson could be the best right-back in League One this season, according to Dons manager Karl Robinson.

The 21-year-old Irishman scored the pick of the goals in Dons' 4-1 victory over Kettering Town on Tuesday night, proving his worth in defence and when he moved up to midfield.

Angelo Balanta opened the scoring after former Don Sol Davis had earlier cleared off the line from the Colombian. James Dance then scored a spectacular equaliser for Kettering, curling the ball past David Martin at full stretch, with the sides going in level at half-time.

The second half proved too much for the Poppies though, with Dons controlling the play, and a quick exchange between Balanta and Luke Chadwick saw Sam Baldock score from close range.

And Gleeson's 25-yard effort left another former Dons player, Nathan Abbey, with no chance in the hosts' net, before a header from an industrious Jermaine Easter completed the rout, Dons leaving Rockingham Road with a third pre-season win in as many games.

Robinson praised the efforts of Gleeson in particular, who he thinks has all the attributes to be the perfect right-back.

"Stephen has been immense since he has come back from summer," said the Dons boss. "I think he could be the best right back in the league.

"He's a good height, he's quick, he's fit, plus he can get up and down the pitch and can get the ball down and play it."

Robinson was also delighted with the performance of Easter, saying it was the best he had seen in a long time from the Welsh striker, and that he was pleased with Dietmar Hamman and Sean O'Hanlon who both got an hour on the field.

Two trialists featured in the centre of defence and Robinson admitted that was an area he was looking at strengthening, but only if all the pieces fit.

"If the right one doesn't turn up, I'm not going to sign him," he said. "If the right player turns up, we will be in the mix to sign him."

Johnson in second Dons exit

Jemal Johnson's second spell at Dons looks to have come to an end after he was allowed to go out on trial.

The 25-year-old has been granted permission to explore opportunities in the United States, with a trial planned at Major League Soccer side DC United.

Johnson was released by Roberto Di Matteo in the summer of 2009 after he and the club failed to agree terms on a new contract. But he was re-signed by returning manager Paul Ince a couple of weeks later.

However, the American failed to hold down a first-team spot and disappeared from the squad all together, before he was loaned out to Stockport County where he was a regular in the side that was relegated from League One.

Manager Karl Robinson said: "I want good people at the club. Jemal has been a magnificent servant but I don't feel he will take us to where we want to be.

"He has come back to us and he has been professional and hopefully he does himself justice. He is an extremely gifted player. It's a decision I did not take lightly but he was not in my plans," added the Dons boss.