Two goals from Will Grigg inside the opening four minutes secured a 2-0 victory for MK Dons over the Iron at stadiummk.A tap in from close range and a penalty from the Northern Ireland international was enough to settle the game in Milton Keynes, as Scunthorpe couldn't build on Friday’s much needed win over Peterborough United in the SkyBet League One.
There was a late change to the Iron starting line-up after Niall Canavan was replaced by Andrew Boyce in the heart of the defence. Apart from those changes, Mark Robins otherwise named an unchanged XI and bench from the side that ran out 2-0 winners against the Posh, proving a vote of confidence to his players after their promising display.
With just 83 seconds on the clock, Rob Hall produced the skill and driving run to assist the game's first goal.
Hall jinked his way in to the box after a tidy passing move which saw him break through on goal. Daniels got low to make the initial save from the Bolton loanee, but the backspin on the ball took it over the ‘keepers head with Will Grigg on hand to stab home.
The deadlock was broken, and it was stretched to two by the fourth minute of the game. Carruthers slipped in Alli who ran clear in to the box before being clattered by Daniels. The referee pointed to the spot, and Grigg stepped up to double the lead for the Dons with his second of the day.
Hall was the next to try his luck for the hosts from distance as his fierce drive from 20 yards was finger-tipped wide by Daniels.
Baker was next to be involved in the thick of it after his corner was cleared straight back to him by Andrew Boyce, and after a quick one-two he bore down on goal, with his low shot saved by the feet of the United goalkeeper once again.
Grigg was hungry to add to his brace as he wriggled free before pulling his shot across goal, but he got his angles slightly off as it whistled past the right hand post and safely out for a goal-kick. On the half an hour mark he was at it again, this time heading a Dean Lewington cross in to the hands of Daniels after jumping highest to direct a bullet header towards goal from some 12 yards out.
In the next attack, Baker was again in the thick of it, he wormed his way past Boyce before linking up neatly with Carruthers, eventually receiving the ball back and letting fly from 25 yards out, and his sizzling strike was superbly flicked on to the cross-bar and away from Daniels. A truly terrific save.
The Iron tried to battle back as the half petered out, but failed to produce anything to trouble David Martin with as referee Graham Scott blew for half-time.
The claret & blues kicked off the second interval looking for a route back in to the game, and immediately they set about the task of reducing the arrears. McSheffrey played a smart one-two with Theo Robinson, collecting the ball back from the Doncaster loanee before rifling his effort in to the side netting.
The game was starting to level out, as Scunthorpe grasped a far greater percentage of possession than they managed to attain in the first half. MK Dons still posed a great threat though on the counter-attack, as Dele Alli produced another great save out of Daniels as he dived low to hold a slick pull back on the by-line.
Both sides made double changes as we entered the halfway point of the second period, with Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell replaced Carruthers and Hall, while the Iron threw on Dave Syers and Kyle Wootton for McSheffrey and van Veen.
A stark contrast to the first half, chances were coming very few and far between for both sides, as the ball spent the majority of the time being contested in the centre circle, as neither team could forge the ascendency for the remaining 20 minutes.
Theo Robinson had a good chance to test Martin after a pin-point pass from Syers picked out the big front man, but a last-ditch tackle by the Milton Keynes defender thwarted him from unleashing a shot.
With five minutes to go of normal time United made their final change of the game, with George Evans replacing Osbourne in the heart of the midfield.
Madden mustered a strike from distance in a bid to cause ‘keeper Martin a problem, but the ball sliced wayward and harmlessly over the bar.
Two minutes of additional time was signalled by the fourth official, shortly before MK’s match winner Grigg was recalled to the bench to take his applause from the fans, with Tom Hitchcock entering the fray.
The full time whistle blew on an evening where a strong, resilient second half performance ensured the score would remain no more than 2-0, but unfortunately the damage had already been done in the opening minutes of the match.
Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Hodson, Lewington ©, McFadzean, Kay, Potter, Grigg (Hitchcock, 90), Alli, Carruthers (Bowditch, 65), Baker, Hall (Powell, 65).
Substitutes not used: Burns, Green, Spence, Cole.
Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Davey, Boyce, Williams, Lundstram, Osbourne (Evans, 85), McSheffrey © (Syers, 67), van Veen (Wootton, 67), Robinson, Madden.
Substitutes not used: Anyon, Townsend, Llera, Adelakun.
Attendance: 8,087 (247 away).