MK Dons 2-3 Chesterfield (report)
Chesterfield finally stopped the rot as they beat MK Dons in a five-goal thriller.
Despite the trials and tribulations off the pitch over the last week or so, the spirited Spireites put it all behind them to down their fellow strugglers 3-2 at stadium:mk.
After going 2-1 behind with less than 15 minutes left, goals from supersubs Kristian Dennis and Dan Gardner ended an agonising run of eight straight league defeats - to move Danny Wilson’s side off the foot of the Sky Bet League One table.
Jay O’Shea opened the scoring with his second penalty in as many games before Daniel Powell and Ryan Colclough netted for the hosts.
Manager Wilson had named two changes to his injury-stricken Spireites.
Goalkeeper Lloyd Allinson, who made his full league debut at the weekend, was replaced by Ryan Fulton whilst teenager Jake Beesley came in for his full debut at Dennis’ expense.
The Spireites’ awful run on and off the pitch looked to have continued in minute 10 as Powell rounded Fulton and tapped in, before the flag was raised for offside.
Gary Liddle put in a timely block to deny Powell before the Dons’ midfielder struck into the side netting.
Youngster Beesley almost broke the deadlock against the run of play as he poked Tom Anderson’s header wide from five yards out.
Minutes later the visitors were handed a freebie in the 33rd minute as Reece Mitchell was brought down as he took the ball round David Martin.
Just like on Saturday O’Shea stepped up and fired home from 12 yards, into the bottom right corner.
Three minutes later Connor Dimaio came within a whisker of doubling the Spireites’ lead as his effort flicked the post.
Down the other end Kieran Agard smashed his shot across the face of goal and wide from a tight angle.
With 23 minutes to go the game sprung into life with four goals in 13 minutes.
Powell finally got the better of Fulton by tapping in after his initial shot was parried straight back into his path.
Six minutes later and the chances of Wilson’s men finally getting a point looked to be dashed as substitute Colclough’s deflected shot left Fulton wrong footed.
Dennis took advantage of the sleeping Dons’ defence to slam home the equaliser from close range.
With just 10 minutes left Gardner sent the 207 travelling supporters into scenes of jubilation by tapping in from close range after Gboly Ariyibi ran half the pitch to leave the sub an unmissable chance.
*Wilson hailed his side’s spirit saying: “Our recent form is well documented so I’m really pleased with the fight the boys showed,” revealed Wilson, who was at the helm when the Dons were relegated to League Two a decade ago.
“We showed real guts to win that game.
“We kept our heads after going behind and the players showed their ability to come back from that and showed what they can do.
“Hopefully that can be a stepping stone for us now because I don’t feel like we’ve been turned over in games this season.
“Football’s about fine margins and hopefully we can get a bit of that [luck] now.”
Young goal-keeper Lloyd Allinson was on the bench after being handed his full league debut on Saturday.
And Wilson revealed he had a slight strain to overcome.
He added: “Lloyd had a slight thigh strain but I thought Ryan [Fulton] would excel after a rest on Saturday.
“We still have a lot of players out injured so we have to be careful with what we’ve got.”
MK Dons: Martin, Baldock, Lewington, Walsh, Hendry, Upson, Carruthers, Reeves, Agard, Powell, Bowditch.
Unused subs: Colclough, G.C. Williams, G.B. Williams, Nicholls, Downing, Aneke.
Chesterfield: Fulton, Liddle, Evatt, Donohue, Anderson, O’Neil, Dimaio, O’Shea, Ariyibi, Mitchell, Beesley.
Unused subs: Allinson, Maguire, Gardner, Nolan, Dennis, Simons, German.
Attendance: 7,429 (207)
Referee: Gavin Ward