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MK Dons give manager Liam Manning the performance he wanted in win over Sutton

Liam Manning’s side went through (Nigel French/PA)
Liam Manning’s side went through (Nigel French/PA)

A much-changed MK Dons gave manager Liam Manning the performance he wanted as his side progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 win over Sutton.

Manning made seven changes to the team beaten by Sheffield Wednesday in League One last Saturday, but Conor Grant’s goal rewarded the Dons for largely controlling the contest at Stadium MK.

Manning said: “I was really pleased with the performance. That’s the key, I think.

“For a game like tonight, you have to match the fight, you have to compete, you have to want to head it and you need to be disciplined to get back in shape.

“Winning second balls was one of the biggest aspects that allowed us to control the game.

“We made good decisions over whether we were going to head it clear or get it down and play, and I thought we did that well, which allowed us to control the game well.”

The winning goal came four minutes before half-time when Dawson Devoy played the ball through for Grant, who finished into the bottom corner.

Darragh Burns headed a Henry Lawrence cross wide for the Dons after the break, while Alistair Smith came closest to equalising for Sutton when he had an effort saved by Jamie Cumming.

Sutton boss Matt Gray said: “I felt we didn’t deserve to be behind at half-time, with chances created, and then second half I felt happier with our shape and our organisation, with a few tweaks at half-time.

“I felt we were well in the game and we got stronger and stronger as the half went on.

“We then had a right go at the end and we could have nicked a draw out of it.

“We just kept pushing on and we certainly had moments where we could have got that goal.”