A dramatic last 10 minutes saw MK Dons come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Stevenage at The Lamex Stadium this afternoon.
First half goals from Dean Parrett and Lucas Akins had put Boro in the driving seat but a stirring second half comeback saw Jordan Spence and Ben Reeves equalise for MK in the final 10 minutes before Dean Lewington struck in injury time to win it.
Graham Westley made just the one change to his starting line-up with Parrett coming in for Michael Doughty, who dropped to the bench.
It was an even opening period with both sides showing promise going forward. Freeman and Zoko both fired in early shots which failed to trouble Dave Martin, whilst at the opposite end both Dembele and Ashton had to be alert with smart tackles on Daniel Powell and Izale McLeod respectively to prevent MK attacks getting into the box
Stevenage struck first in the 15 minute. A great flick from Luke Freeman set Zoko free and his pass found Parrett who fired home into the roof of the net.
Despite being one goal to the good, Boro continued to be alert at the back to thwart the visitors on the half hour. Freeman did superbly to prevent a cross from Reeves being tucked home at the back post by Powell. From the resulting corner the ball found its way out to Reeves again, who took a touch and curled an effort wide of the far post.
At the other end Zoko and Freeman combined well for the latter to cross to the back post. John Mousinho was there to meet it and forced a save out of Martin with the subsequent corner leading to Boro’s second. The ball fell to Curtis Obeng and whilst he went to get the ball out from under his feet he was fouled, handing Stevenage a penalty. Up stepped Lucas Akins to fire home and send the East Terrace wild.
2-0 so nearly became 3-0 when Zoko chased a long high ball into the box and beat Martin to it, before seeing his shot on target blocked by Baldock on the line.
It was one-way traffic and Charles headed over from a Smith free-kick and then saw an effort saved by Martin, as Boro finished the half in the ascendency with a two-goal advantage.
Karl Robinson sent his side out early for the second half and whatever he said looked to have had an impact as MK Dons came out firing. Within a minute a diving clearance from Ashton was headed back first time for sub James Loveridge, whose looping effort had far too much power and sailed over the bar.
Two minutes later Alli was given far too much time on the edge of the box to curl an effort around Day. Fortunately for Boro it struck the post and bounced along the goal-line, before being poked behind for a corner.
Still the Dons came forward and when the lively Reeves found Alan Smith unmarked in the box you feared the worst. However the former Leeds and Manchester United man leant back too much and his shot flew harmlessly over.
It took 10 minutes for Boro to create an opportunity going forward when Akins won a corner. Smith swung the ball over but Charles was unable to capitalise at the back post.
Moments later Dean Parrett burst forward into the box and went down awkwardly. After a long delay for treatment the midfielder was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Michael Doughty.
Despite the disruption Boro continued to push forward and when Freeman bamboozled Lewington and cut the ball back, only a last minute MK Dons foot diverted the ball out of the lurking Zoko’s path.
MK kept up the pressure themselves and when Baldock found himself in acres of space out wide he cut inside and saw a shot go behind for a corner. From that set play Alli’s back post header was clawed away by Day and cleared. Moments later in the 81st minute, from another corner won by Alli, Jordan Spence halved the deficit from close range finish after Day had made another smart save.
2-1 quickly became 2-2 when Reeves was given time to take aim and curl an effort into the far top corner for a spectacular 84th minute equaliser. Karl Robinson went celebrating down the touchline and it was understandable after a superb second half comeback from the visitors.
Worse was yet to come for Boro in the 8 minutes of injury time. The hosts were getting deeper and deeper into their own half and from yet another corner, Dean Lewington nodded in from close range to give MK all three points.
Whilst a win for Boro would have seen them rise to 19th, the final 10 minutes of madness combined with results elsewhere saw them slip down to 23rd. Plenty of points are still to be won in the final weeks however, and Graham Westley will be hoping his men can respond quickly against Coventry on Wednesday evening.
Stevenage: Day, Obeng, Ashton, Dembele, Smith, Mousinho (Burrow 90), Akins (Morais 90), Parrett (Doughty 65), Freeman, Zoko, Charles
Subs not used: Arnold, Wedgbury, Reid, Hartley
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Smith, Reeves, McLeod (Loveridge 46), Alli, Powell (Bowditch 46), Baldock, Spence, Kay, Odelusi (Galloway 71)
Subs not used: Burns, Randall, Rasulo, Hall
Referee: Fred Graham
Attendance: 3,027 (580 away)