MK Dons delivered a first win of the new League One season after seeing off Gillingham with a 2-0 win at stadium mk.
Cameron Jerome opened the scoring with his first goal after arriving at the club. The lead would then be doubled by Carlton Morris shortly after the restart, and the Dons were able to largely control the contest from there.
Victory in Saturday’s early kick-off means the Dons won their first match in the third tier this season, and a first since February thanks to the six month pause in competitive action.
The Dons manager Russell Martin stated of his frustration that his side had failed to win any of their opening five of the new League One season, and made a few changes as they looked to translate dominant possession statistics into points.
Jerome would be given a full debut in one of 3 changes from defeat by Portsmouth in the previous game, and he would be involved in 2 early opportunities. The first saw him set up Morris to fire wide, while the second saw his own low drive saved by Jack Bonham.
Dominic Samuel prodded Gillingham’s first major chance wide, but the Dons had the best of the early play and would eventually find a way through.
A passing move involved Louis Thompson and Regan Poole ended with the Welsh wing-back’s cross finding Jerome, who lashed it past Bonham and in the process scored his first Dons goal.
Morris placed a volley wide when well-placed a few moments later as the Dons attempted to find some way through for their own second goal.
Gillingham were however more positive in the minutes that followed, winning a number of set-pieces and seeing a consistent line of attack through their left flank.
That however struggled to set up proper chances, with a strange episode where Samuel handled the ball due to being so sure he’d won a penalty when he hadn’t and a dangerous cross that nearly struck Morris to go in being the closest the Dons got to conceding a first half equaliser.
Having rode their way to the break with a goal advantage, MK Dons wasted very little time in doubling it. A well worked move ended in Louis Thompson playing a one-two with Jerome before teeing up Morris, who held off a covering defender to fire past Bonham.
Gillingham threw on John Akinde to try and add more firepower and nearly got a goal back when Vadaine Oliver fired wide at the back post.
But as the second half continued, MK Dons looked likelier to add to the scoresheet, with Scott Fraser denied by Bonham before Daniel Harvie fired wide when well placed at the end of a positive passing play.
Samuel then put one wide but the Dons would see a good quantity of chances. Jerome had a shot crowded out by a covering defender, before Harvie hit one wide.
Morris then saw a shot well saved by Bonham, who rushed out to deny the Norwich loanee his second, with the keeper also denying sub Joe Mason a few minutes earlier.
MK Dons: Nicholls – Williams, Keogh, Lewington – Poole, Thompson, Fraser (Houghton 79), Thompson, Harvie – Morris, Jerome (Mason 69)
Subs: L. Walker, Cargill, Gladwin, O’Hora, Sorensen
Goal: Jerome (19), Morris (47)
Booked: Thompson, Williams, Kasumu
Gillingham: Bonham – Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Oglivie – Demspey, Drysdale (Akinde 49), Robertson (Eccles 67) – Samuel (Coyle 67), Oliver, Graham
Subs: Walsh, McKenzie, MacDonald, Maghoma