There was a thrilling comeback at Stadium MK, in the snooker, but there was no such drama at Sixfields as MK Dons cruised to victory at the home of their rivals, Northampton Town. This win sends them into the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy and Cowshed goers may be daring to dream of a Wembley trip in 2021.
Neither side came flying out of the traps: understandable for the Dons, given their two-hour slog at Turf Moor just three days before. Russell Martin was unable to make wholesale changes to the side either, given the number of players out with injury or illness.
Neither side created any noteworthy chances until the 24th minute when Scott Fraser worked some space in the Cobblers box before his weak-footed effort went straight down the throat of Jonathan Mitchell.
Northampton should have heeded this warning as the Dons were ahead just minutes later. Fraser fed Stephen Walker and the Middlesbrough loanee finished impressively with a weak-footed attempt of his own.
The home side responded well to going behind and created a half-chance for Danny Rose. Following some excellent work down the MK Dons’ right-hand side, the former Mansfield Town striker could only head wide of Lee Nicholls’ post.
Half-time: Northampton Town 0-1 MK Dons
The second half had a quiet start despite Keith Curle’s half-time changes, both in terms of personnel and shape. The first opportunity of the half fell to Daniel Harvie but his effort went well wide after Lasse Sørensen’s pullback.
Cameron Jerome was introduced after the 70th minute and he nearly made an instant impact. Following a mix-up outside the home penalty area, Harvie seized upon this and fed Jerome but the Dons’ top scorer was denied by Mitchell.
Jerome’s next involvement was much more tangible as his incredible run was ended by an illegal challenge by Cian Bolger in the Cobblers penalty area. Walker added a second to his tally as he stroked his spot-kick home to crush the notion of a comeback.
Full-time: Northampton Town 0-2 MK Dons
Man of the match: Regan Poole