MK Dons 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday: Dons lift themselves out of the drop zone
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 15/12/15 10:41pm
Carl Baker and Nicky Maynard struck the goals as MK Dons lifted themselves out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Baker gave the hosts a first-half lead and Maynard made it 2-0 at the start of the second half, a strike that proved decisive with Wednesday only able to pull one goal back through substitute Gary Hooper late on.
It was a performance from the Dons that belied their lowly position as they earned their first victory in six matches against an Owls side that could have gone into a play-off position had they won at stadium:mk.
But, in truth, the visitors did not really deserve anything out of the game despite a late rally that played on the nerves of the home fans, but which proved to be too little too late.
Karl Robinson's men are now one point clear of third-bottom Charlton, while Wednesday find themselves four points behind sixth-placed Ipswich with one match to play before Christmas.
The Dons made just one change from their defeat to Ipswich with Rob Hall replacing Dean Bowditch, while the visitors brought in Atdhe Nuhiu, Alex Lopez, Modou Sougou and Jack Hunt.
The hosts started the brighter with Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood claiming a decent low cross by Josh Murphy at his near post before Samir Carruthers shot over from long-range after being given plenty of room down the middle.
The Dons deservedly took the lead after 25 minutes as Maynard held off Lopez before playing the ball to Baker, who weaved past three players before poking his shot into the net for a superb individual goal.
Maynard then had an effort deflected wide as the Dons continued to control proceedings, although they were to have a penalty appeal against them waved away.
Their captain Dean Lewington survived a handball shout when Hunt fired the ball at him in the area, before the lively Murphy jinked past Hunt before his shot was smothered by Westwood.
The home side doubled their lead five minutes after the restart when Carruthers played the ball through to Maynard, who beat the offside trap and, through one-on-one, the finish was never in doubt.
The fact that Wednesday made their third and final substitution in the 56th minute shows just what their manager Carlos Carvalhal thought about his team's performance.
But the changes did not rouse them immediately, with Maynard coming close to a third for the Dons when his shot on the turn from outside the box was pushed away by Westwood.
The Dons' goalkeeper David Martin was finally given something to do when he was forced into a terrific save to deny Fernando Forestieri.
And the Owls were back in business with 13 minutes left when Ross Wallace got away down the right and his cut-back was slammed into the net first-time by fellow replacement Hooper.
However, despite coming under increasing pressure, the hosts were able to hold on for a valuable win.