MK Dons begun their Checkatrade Trophy group stage with a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Peterborough United after a 3-3 draw in normal time.
Two goals from Chuks Aneke sandwiched a further strike from Rhys Healey, as the home side swept into a 3-0 lead at half-time.
But the visitors responded with a second-half run of their own. George Cooper scored a goal back for the visitors, before two late goals from substitutes Jamie Walker and Matt Godden forced penalties.
In the shoot-out, both sides scored their opening 5 penalties before Stuart Moore denied Alex Woodyard in the first sudden death kick. This allowed Sam Nombe the chance to decide the contest, which he did, and ensured MK Dons began their entry into the tournament with 2 points.
The two sides looked to take this match as an opportunity to rest players. MK Dons made 9 changes to the side who drew with Swindon, while the League One visitors made 10 alterations to their most recent league 11.
The first major chance saw Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison have a strike touched wide by Dons debutant goalkeeper Stuart Moore. The Dons pressed in response, with away keeper Conor O’Malley denying Aneke before Callum Brittain put the follow-up wide.
Aneke then scored with the Dons’ next attack. The attacker leapt highest to meet Ryan Watson’s cross and glanced it home.
The first half was something of a lively affair, with both sides pressing. The Dons saw Healey’s drive denied by O’Malley, before Ivan Toney hit one effort wide when found at the back post, and saw another well saved by Moore.
The Dons would grab the game’s second goal after half an hour. A free-kick was played into the penalty box by Watson and Healey dove in ahead of everyone else to grab his first goal for the club.
Louis Reed cracked a drive against a post and Isaac Buckey-Ricketts saw a strike go wide as Peterborough looked for a goal back.
But shortly after the game moved into first half stoppage time, the Dons would grab themselves number 3. Mitch Hancox’s delivery was dummied by Healey and landed nicely for Aneke, who controlled the ball before hitting a drive into the bottom corner.
Peterborough had shots to get back into the game in the opening period of the second half, with Toney heading wide and substitute Jamie Walker having a drive stopped by Moore.
Cooper than bought the visitors back to within two. A free-kick was given some 25 yards out for a foul by Ouss Cisse, and the Peterborough midfielder’s free-kick duly flew straight in.
A couple of chances then came the way of the Dons. Watson saw one flicked effort go wide, before a second went wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Peterborough’s Walker then nearly scored when a fizzing long-ranger bounced off the base of the post and flew away from goal. Similarly close was Aneke, who was found by a fine flowing move and did well to chip O’Malley but put the ball wide.
The visitors then reduced the margin to one. A solo strike from Walker saw him evade a handful of MK Dons defenders, before flicking a low finish beyond Moore.
MK Dons did have chances to wrap things up, with Brittain having a strike fly over the top and Watson seeing a snapshot pushed away by O’Malley.
But Peterborough then grabbed themselves the goal to force the tie to penalties, as a fast break down the right released Toney, who in turn crossed for substitute Godden to level the game up.
Peterborough then saw Moore deny a shot for a late winner, but there was no winner in the final minutes of the game and penalties were duly required.
The shootout ultimately went to sudden death, and with the 6th Peterborough penalty, Moore denied Woodyard, before Nombe scored the penalty to ensure MK Dons get the bonus point.
MK Dons: Moore – Tapp (Paittson 85), Cargill, Jackson – Brittain, Kasumu (Nesbitt 85), Cisse, Watson, Hancox – Aneke (Nombe 70), Healey
Subs not used: Sietsma, Nesbitt, Thomas-Asante, Sole, Asonganyi, Pattison
Goals: Aneke (5, 45+1), Healey (33)
Peterborough: O’Malley – Lyon, Yorwerth, Tafazolli, Denton – Cooper, Reed (Godden 82), Cooke (Woodyard 37), Maddison – Buckey-Ricketts (Walker 45), Toney
Subs not used: Champan, Dembele, Bennett, Cummings
Goal: Cooper (55), Walker (87), Godden (90+3)