Tranmere Rovers were beaten 1-0 on the road by MK Dons in their second league game of the campaign, as a huge second-half push wasn’t quite enough to force an equaliser.
The hosts forged ahead on 7 minutes when Alex Gilbey’s free kick from 30 yards out was headed in by Mo Eisa.
As Rovers searched for an equaliser, Kieron Morris unleashed a powerful effort from the edge of the box which had to be palmed away by Craig MacGillivray in the home goal.
The hosts continued to threaten as Eisa was almost played in on goal for his second before Tom Davies got ahead of the attacker well to clear the danger.
Rovers were limited to little position in the first half as the hosts had the lion’s share of possession.
Despite a push from Tranmere going into the break, the half-time score was 1-0 to the hosts.
Ian Dawes made three changes at the break which saw Kristian Dennis, Connor Jennings and Lee O’Connor replace Josh Hawkes, Paul Lewis and Reece McAlear.
The changes gave Rovers a lift, with Harvey Saunders going close after Luke Norris nodded the ball to him just in front of goal, but the forward was caught offside.
The Rovers travelling faithful were on their feet for a minute’s applause in memory of our friend and Associate Director Ben Harrison in the 60th minute, and were kindly joined by MK Dons supporters.
Rovers began to get a spring in their step after the hour mark, with Connor Jennings going close from a header and Sam Taylor causing problems for the home defence on the right wing.
Rovers’ best chance of the game came on 76 minutes when Dennis played Norris in on goal. The striker lifted the ball over the keeper but against the crossbar, before Jennings headed narrowly wide.
The whites pushed hard for an equaliser as the game reached its closing moments, Norris going close again after a threaded ball through from Davies but MacGillivary got a hand to the ball just before it reached the top corner.
Despite a huge late push from Rovers, the hosts ultimately took the points.
MK Dons: Craig MacGillivray, Cameron Norman, Jack Tucker, Warren O’Hora, MJ Williams, Jonathan Leko, Alex Gilbey (C), Mo Eisa, Tommy Smith, Ethan Robson, Daniel Harvie.
Subs: Nathan Harness, Nathan Holland, Max Dean, Brooklyn Ilunga, Ashley Hunter, Phoenix Scholtz, Dawson Devoy.
Tranmere Rovers: Luke McGee, Reece McAlear (Lee O’Connor, 46), Tom Davies (C), Jordan Turnbull, Jake Leake, Paul Lewis (Connor Jennings, 46), Regan Hendry, Kieron Morris, Josh Hawkes (Kristian Dennis, 46), Luke Norris, Harvey Saunders (Sam Taylor, 59).
Subs: Lee O’Connor, Brad Walker, Joe Murphy, Kristian Dennis, Connor Jennings, Sam Taylor, Joe Yarney.