Two goals from Alex Gilbey proved decisive as MK Dons beat Morecambe 2-0 at stadium mk.
It had been a tough evening for the Dons, who lost Chuks Aneke and Jordan Moore-Taylor to injuries and who struggled to find a way through.
But two fine long range efforts from Gilbey saw him register his first goals since returning from injury, and in the process help the Dons bounce back from their weekend defeat at Stevenage.
With Lincoln held at Oldham, it was also good enough for the Dons to move back to top spot.
After the Dons’ unbeaten run in League 2 was ended by Stevenage at the weekend, Paul Tisdale’s side looked to maintain their unbeaten home record in league competition. They took on Morecambe, who arrived just outside the relegation zone but on a run of three League 2 games without losing.
MK Dons did get the ball in the back of the net early on, however the referee had long before blown for a foul by Chuks Aneke on away goalkeeper Mark Halstead long before the ball was put in.
The home side did make the early running, with Rhys Healey seeing a deflected drive gathered by Halstead and Aneke blasting over. But the best chance fell to the returning Baily Cargill, who was picked out by Jordan Houghton’s corner but hit the side-netting.
While the home side had most of the ball, the visitors did have a few forward moves of their own. Their best early chance fell to captain Andrew Tutte, whose long-range free-kick stayed out due to a combination of post and Lee Nicholls.
The Dons then had a blow to their cause when Jordan Moore-Taylor was forced off injured following a collision with away striker Jason Oswell.
Despite this, a few half-chances did fall the home side’s way, with the best seeing Kieran Agard inadvertently block Aneke’s shot before his own later strike was blocked, and a defensive intervention thwarted Healey from having a tap-in.
Morecambe then had an injury blow of their own as Tutte left the field injured, but had a decent opportunity in the final moments of the first half as A-Jay Leitch-Smith had a shot beaten out at the near post by Nicholls.
Healey had a quick double chance just after the break, with his first blocked and his second going over. But the Dons then suffered a blow as Aneke pulled up with an injury while chasing a loose ball and had to leave the field of play, with his departure coming moments after Agard was substituted.
Within moments of that, however, the Dons had a breakthrough. Gilbey provided it, with his perfectly placed shot from range going beyond Halstead and into the bottom corner.
It remained the home side who were creating the game’s better opportunities. A first time snapshot from Healey ruffled the side-netting before a spectacular attempt nearly came off for Dean Lewington. The home side skipper was able to control with his chest before firing a fine volley that Halstead did well to tip over the bar.
As the second half wore on, Morecambe began to press to try and find their way back on level terms, but struggled to create full opportunities on target. The away side saw the ball and had some nice moves, but little in the way of end product to trouble Nicholls.
Gilbey then came in to grab his second. With a similar strike to his opener, the midfielder was able to take aim from range and hit a fine strike into the bottom corner as he picked up his second goal of the fixture.
There was still time for Leitch-Smith to fire a shot straight at Nicholls and Healey to come close to a superb solo goal only to hit the side netting. But the home side had done enough to add to their points total.
MK Dons: Nicholls – Williams, Moore-Taylor (Cisse 24), Cargill – McGrandles, Gilbey, Houghton, Lewington – Agard (D’Ath 53), Aneke (Simpson 57), Healey
Subs not used: Moore, Watson, Hancox, Asonganyi
Goal: Gilbey (58, 84)
Morecambe: Halstead – Cranston, Lavelle, Old, Conlan – Thompson (Mandeville 66), Tutte (Yarney 36), Kenyon, Ellison – Leitch-Smith, Oswell (Oliver 74)
Subs not used: Roche, Mendes-Gomes, Piggott, Hedley