Brentford lost ground in the League One automatic promotion race as MK Dons kept alive their play-off hopes.
The Dons led when goalkeeper Simon Moore allowed Dean Bowditch's 30-yard strike to slip past him.
Brentford created numerous chances, with Marcello Trotta wasting two clear opportunities and Bradley Wright-Phillips heading over from close range.
But MK absorbed late pressure from the Bees and struck a second when Stephen Gleeson rifled in from 20 yards.
Brentford, who came into the game on a three-game winning run, were bright throughout but their lack of cutting edge in front of goal saw them drop three points behind second-placed Bournemouth, although the London side have two games in hand.
The Dons have now won three out of their last four but need to make up eight points if they are to reach the play-offs.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"Seven players couldn't start today, that was as difficult as it gets.
"People don't know what we've gone through this year, people don't know how difficult it's been internally, and the injuries we've had and the suspensions we've had.
"It just meant so much to us all, I think you can see by the way we celebrated that goal it meant a lot to us as individuals.
"We will keep going until the end, it's not in my make-up to quit."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +0:23
Centre by Sam Saunders, save by Ian McLoughlin.89:39
The assistant referee signals for offside against Alan Smith. Tony Craig restarts play with the free kick.89:11
Alan Smith gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Toumani Diagouraga. Free kick taken by Simon Moore.87:37
The ball is swung over by Bradley Wright-Phillips, Foul by Harlee Dean on Alan Smith, free kick awarded. Ian McLoughlin takes the free kick.84:37
Darren Potter provided the assist for the goal.84:37 Goal scored
Goal! - Stephen Gleeson - MK Dons 2 - 0 Brentford Stephen Gleeson scores a goal from just outside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Milton Keynes Dons 2-0 Brentford.82:38
Effort from deep inside the area by Toumani Diagouraga misses to the right of the goal.80:39
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Chicksen on Shaleum Logan. The ball is sent over by Sam Saunders, Harlee Dean has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.78:14 Substitution
Substitution Alan Smith replaces Patrick Bamford.75:43
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Shaun Williams from the right by-line, clearance by Harlee Dean.73:17
Shaleum Logan produces a cross, Jon Otsemobor makes a clearance. The ball is delivered by Adam Forshaw, Jon Otsemobor gets a block in. The referee blows for offside against Bradley Wright-Phillips. Direct free kick taken by Ian McLoughlin.72:48
Antonio German gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jon Otsemobor. Free kick taken by Ian McLoughlin.71:56
Patrick Bamford is caught offside. Tony Craig takes the free kick.70:39 Substitution
Substitution Sam Saunders comes on in place of Harry Forrester.69:29
Jake Bidwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Powell. Shaun Williams crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Simon Moore makes a save.68:21
Bradley Wright-Phillips takes a shot. Blocked by Mathias Doumbe. Shaleum Logan sends in a cross.67:25
Patrick Bamford takes a shot. Save by Simon Moore.66:51
Bradley Wright-Phillips is caught offside. Free kick taken by Ian McLoughlin.65:53 Substitution
Substitution Clayton Donaldson leaves the field to be replaced by Antonio German.
Patrick Bamford is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Simon Moore.61:22 Substitution
Substitution Luke Chadwick replaces Dean Bowditch.58:43
Toumani Diagouraga takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.56:09 Substitution
Substitution Daniel Powell on for Ryan Lowe.55:51
The ball is crossed by Harry Forrester.54:36
The ball is crossed by Shaleum Logan, clearance made by Darren Potter.54:02
Toumani Diagouraga fouled by Patrick Bamford, the ref awards a free kick. Jake Bidwell restarts play with the free kick.53:17
Patrick Bamford fouled by Harry Forrester, the ref awards a free kick. Ian McLoughlin restarts play with the free kick.50:52
Shot from deep inside the area by Bradley Wright-Phillips goes over the bar.49:24
Handball decision goes against Darren Potter. Direct free kick taken by Simon Moore.47:20
Shaun Williams fouled by Jonathan Douglas, the ref awards a free kick. Ian McLoughlin restarts play with the free kick.46:40
Unfair challenge on Clayton Donaldson by Dean Bowditch results in a free kick. Simon Moore restarts play with the free kick.45:25
The ball is swung over by Jake Bidwell, Bradley Wright-Phillips has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Bradley Wright-Phillips comes on in place of Marcello Trotta.45:00 +1:01 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +0:21
Chris Lines produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post. Tony Craig concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Lowe. Darren Potter takes the free kick.42:56
Dean Bowditch fouled by Shaleum Logan, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adam Chicksen.42:25
Stephen Gleeson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.40:18
The ball is swung over by Jonathan Douglas, Close range shot by Marcello Trotta goes wide of the left-hand upright.38:07
Unfair challenge on Clayton Donaldson by Dean Bowditch results in a free kick. Shaleum Logan takes the direct free kick.36:55
Adam Forshaw takes a shot. Ian McLoughlin makes a brilliant save.35:37
The ball is sent over by Adam Chicksen, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Patrick Bamford goes harmlessly over the crossbar.30:25
Harry Forrester takes a shot. Save by Simon Moore. Inswinging corner taken by Harry Forrester, Mathias Doumbe makes a clearance.26:57
Patrick Bamford challenges Toumani Diagouraga unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Moore restarts play with the free kick.25:10
The ball is swung over by Adam Forshaw, Jon Otsemobor gets a block in.23:49
Corner taken right-footed by Harry Forrester, Marcello Trotta takes a shot. Blocked by Adam Chicksen.22:48
Harry Forrester takes a shot. Save by Ian McLoughlin.17:52
Ryan Lowe is caught offside. Tony Craig takes the direct free kick.15:53
Harry Forrester challenges Mathias Doumbe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ian McLoughlin takes the direct free kick.13:57
Adam Chicksen provided the assist for the goal.13:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Dean Bowditch - MK Dons 1 - 0 Brentford Dean Bowditch scores a goal from long range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 Brentford.11:57
Marcello Trotta takes a shot. Blocked by Jon Otsemobor. Harry Forrester concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Lines. Ian McLoughlin restarts play with the free kick.9:27
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Potter on Jake Bidwell. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jake Bidwell, Darren Potter gets a block in.8:45
Shot by Chris Lines from 25 yards. Save by Simon Moore.8:01
A cross is delivered by Clayton Donaldson, Jonathan Douglas takes a shot. Save made by Ian McLoughlin.6:56
Clayton Donaldson concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Williams. Ian McLoughlin takes the direct free kick.4:03
The referee blows for offside. Jonathan Douglas takes the free kick.2:59
Marcello Trotta is ruled offside. Mathias Doumbe restarts play with the free kick.1:42
Unfair challenge on Dean Bowditch by Marcello Trotta results in a free kick. Shaun Williams restarts play with the free kick.1:03
Dean Bowditch concedes a free kick for a foul on Clayton Donaldson. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Adam Forshaw from right channel, clearance by Darren Potter.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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