MK Dons manager Mike Williamson said he would not complain at his side winning ugly as they edged out Gillingham 2-1 in League Two.
The Gills set up in a low block at Stadium MK, keeping just over 30 per cent of possession and frustrating Williamson’s play-off chasers for 79 minutes.
MJ Williams broke through the rearguard 10 minutes from time before Alex Gilbey thumped in a second. Gills debutant Josh Walker got one back late on but it was not enough to avert a first league loss in five.
Williamson said: “I think everyone would like to stroke the ball around for 90 minutes and win comfortably, but we’ve got to respect the opposition and how good they are.
“I think we’ve rode our luck. They (Gillingham) missed a couple of chances today, but credit goes to how good the opposition is and the quality. You can see they’ve got a way of playing – and so have we.
“We had to be really patient and resilient in our focus and concentration and had to keep plugging away. If it didn’t come, it didn’t come, but we’ve got to make sure we do everything we possibly can.
“I thought for large portions of that, we controlled and looked comfortable. We’ve got belief in the boys and have got game changers and game winners.”
Despite MK Dons dominating possession, the best early chance came when Gillingham’s Oliver Hawkins was denied by home goalkeeper Filip Marschall.
Away goalkeeper Jake Turner made a strong save from MK’s Dan Kemp less than 20 seconds into the second half.
Gillingham then came close as debutant Walker saw a shot deflected over and Scott Malone headed over from close range.
But MK struck when the visitors were unable to clear and the ball fell for Williams to fire home from just outside the box.
Gilbey extended the hosts’ lead when he converted from Stephen Wearne’s cross, while Gillingham pulled a goal back when Walker bundled the ball home at a corner moments after the hosts’ second, but the visitors ran out of time to equalise.
Gills boss Stephen Clemence said: “I just felt in the technical area that we’ve just got to go and take one, two or three of those moments.
“I was really proud of large parts of the play, as we had to work really hard on how we were going to try and stop MK Dons and then how we were going to counter them and have an effect on the game.
“We’ve done so much of it really well. It’s just that final bit. I’m pleased with some parts of it but disappointed not to get the result. I want to win.”
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