Maynard ensures sweet end to year
IT’S been a forgettable year for MK Dons, but boss Robbie Neilson was at least able to deliver a first win in three games to ensure 2016 ended on a high.
Two goals from Kieran Agard and one from the impressive Nicky Maynard snuffed out any hope of a turn in form for Luke Williams’ Swindon side.
Maynard was the star of the show as he scored his first goal since May as MK Dons edged a five-goal thriller.
And Robins boss Williams spoke of his frustration as Swindon slumped to another defeat.
“I’m not sure whether the opposition were very good or we were too timid in our mentality, maybe it was a combination of both,” said Williams.
“I think we started too slowly really. We came back into the game more and more as it went on, but we’d left ourselves with too much to do.
“We looked like we had the fight to get back into the game, the players tried their best to get back onto level terms.
“Whether the ability isn’t there or whether the belief isn’t there, it’s hard to tell right now.”
The Dons found themselves ahead with nine minutes gone, Agard nodding home a loose ball after Maynard’s stunning strike crashed off the crossbar.
MK’s second goal came on 26 minutes after a defensive mix-up saw the ball fall kindly to Chuks Aneke. He picked out Agard, who made no mistake in doubling his tally.
Swindon pulled a goal back nine minutes later after David Martin failed to deal with a deep cross into the box, allowing Luke Norris to squeeze the ball in at the far post.
The Dons’ third came eight minutes after the restart when Samir Carruthers slid a neat ball through to Maynard, who beat the offside trap and slotted home his 100th career goal.
Swindon set up a nervy finale as Raphael Rossi Branco headed home with 25 minutes remaining.
But Swindon were to fall short and suffered a third defeat in four league outings.
MK Dons manager Neilson said: “We were clinical, our goals gave us a bit of a cushion.
“I was delighted for our two boys up front both getting goals, especially Nicky Maynard as his work rate has been fantastic recently.
“The scoreline probably flattered Swindon in periods of the game.
“Had they nicked an equaliser it would have been a bit unjust for us.
“But it’s about scoring goals, which we did and held on.”