Alex Mendy's international clearance did not come through in time for today's game at Milton Keynes. John Sheridan made two changes to the starting eleven beaten by Preston North End in midweek; Drew Talbot moved back to right-back to take the place of Dean Holden, while Jordan Bowery was recalled to the right midfield berth. Up front, Scott Boden was preferred to Dean Morgan as Jack Lester's partner.
It was expected that Chesterfield would go "like for like" against Milton Keynes, with Allott and Niven holding in midfield and Lester, Whitaker and Boden alternately joining Bowery up front, or playing just behind him in various combinations.
MK won a corner within the first minute. McKenzie had a free-ish header from the kick, but put it wide. After a nervy couple of minutes Chesterfield settled, and looked confident. A foul on Whitaker on 7 allowed Downes and Mattis to get up, and the Aussie came closest to connecting with the kick. Lee was able to watch with no more than a passing interest as Balanta's 25-yard effort flew well over on 10.
From nothing, really, MK took the lead. A ball from Ibehre found Baldock on the edge of the six yard box on 11, and the fancied striker drilled the ball home inside Lee's near post from a tight angle. Smith saved a second by diverting Balanta's shot out for a corner on 17. Mattis got a head to the cross and Allott cleared, but the ball remained the property of MK for the time being.
Chesterfield won a corner after good play from Whitaker on 20. The cross was intended for Bowery but keeper Martin claimed the ball. Baldock again bore down on Lee's near post but Downes got over before he could shoot, and a corner resulted. MK should have scored another after Bowditch did well down the right and crossed towards Baldock, but his slide towards the cross was mis-timed.
Lee got a touch to a Gleeson shot on 31 to concede a corner. Lester tangled with Lewington on 33 and was yellow-carded, while the MK man got the same for ripping a chunk out of Lester's shirt to provoke the initial reaction.
MK won a fifth corner on 35. Taken short this time, it was cleared by Lester.
Chesterfield equalised on 36 when Bowery skipped past Lewington and fired over a cross-shot; Martin got a hand to it but it fell kindly for SCOTT BODEN, who tapped in from a few yards out.
MK bore down on the Chesterfield goal from the kick-off. Drew Talbot got a block in and another corner resulted. A free header came back across the box and Lester cleared to Boden, who was fouled on halfway. Bowery again got the better of Lewington on 39 and found Lester, who turned and shot with his left, but the ball screwed narrowly wide. MK's seventh corner of the half came after a Mark Allott clearance shot through an entrance stairway.
Halftime: Dons 1 Spireites 1. Attendance: 7011.
To home supporters, Tommy Lee appeared to gather the ball outside his area on 48 but the Referee's Assistant saw nothing wrong. Balanta went over easily on 49 after running into Smith and won a free kick, but nothing came of it. Ibehre shot narrowly wide on 50.
McKenzie played the ball back to the keeper under pressure from Boden on 51 but only the away fans saw it as a back pass. MK won a corner after the ball slid off Lee as Baldock broke through. Bowery headed the flag kick behind for a corner on the other side. Bowery had a chance to cross on 57 but found only the side netting. Boden beat McKenzie and crossed but Lewington went full stretch to deny Lester. Back at the other end Ibehre tussled with Downes and crossed for Baldock to steer the ball home and restore the MK lead. MK appeared to make the game safe after Talbot missed a header on 60 and Bowditch was left with a simple conversion.
Williams was booked on 64, shortly before making way for Luke Chadwick, the first MK sub of the day.
A Mark Allott long throw was flicked on at the near post by Bowery to SCOTT BODEN, who tapped in from a couple of yards out to bring the Spireites back into the game on 66. Boden came within inches of a hat-trick by firing a ball inches wide after a great run onto a Whitaker pass.
MK made it 4-2 after a mistake by Mattis, who played the ball to Baldock, allowing the MK man to find Chadwick and allow the substitute a simple goal, on 70. Sam Baldock recorded a hat-trick with a stunning goal on 71, beating Mattis and Niven before firing home in fine style.
Holden and Morgan replaced Mattis and Lester before the resumption. Downes got in a tackle to prevent further goals and concede a corner on 74. Whitaker cleared the danger. MK brought Baldock off on 77, bringing Jay O'Shea on in his place.
Another MK corner on 78 found McKenzie but Talbot half-cleared. Powell replaced Balanta on 79 and Lowry replaced Allott on 80. O'Shea skipped past Talbot in the box but the defender fouled him, and a penalty was awarded. Talbot was booked after lengthy treatment; O'Shea took the kick himself and fired past Lee to record MK's sixth goal in the 84th minute.