Wolves moved six points clear at the top of League One after substitute Liam McAlinden's first league goal for the club gave them victory at MK Dons.

Striker McAlinden headed in Kevin McDonald's cross a minute after Dons substitute Sanmi Odelusi was sent off for two bookings in two minutes.

Michael Jacobs and Nouha Dicko also went close for Wolves, while Dons' Dean Bowditch saw a free-kick tipped wide.

Defeat for the hosts left them three points off the play-off places.

Liam McAlinden lowdown

Cannock-born McAlinden, who has come through the Wolves academy, made his first-team debut at Molineux in a 2-1 home defeat by Burnley in April 2013.

He joined Shrewsbury on loan in October last year and scored three times in nine appearances.

It was the Dons' fourth successive home defeat but Wolves, who were backed by more than 8,800 fans as a new record attendance was set at Stadium MK, now have daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.

They are now six points ahead of second-placed Brentford, who were held 0-0 at Oldham, and 10 clear of Leyton Orient in third after they lost 1-0 at home to Bradford.

Wolves had marginally the better openings of a cagey first half as Jacobs shot tamely at home keeper David Martin, who also tipped over a Dicko effort.

Dicko went close again at the start of the second half, while at the other end striker Bowditch saw his free-kick pushed around the post by Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.

But the game swung in the visitors' favour when Odelusi, a 58th-minute substitute, was shown two yellow cards in quick succession for fouls on Scott Golbourne.

And McAlinden, whose only previous senior Wolves goal came in a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Walsall last August, made his side's numerical advantage count immediately when he nodded in to win it.

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"I thought the players' hunger, their fight, determination and bravery, in and out of possession, was tremendous.

"These young players are getting tremendous experience; the future is certainly bright at MK Dons.

"You've got to accept we've been beaten here by the best team in the league. I think it was a very fair and equal game today.

"I think the players, young and old, gave everything they've got in their bodies and I don't think they could have done much more."

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett told BBC WM:

"It was a terrific win here on a pitch that made it very difficult for both teams, we just had to find a way of winning.

"I just think you need a variation in tactics, you can't just play one way. Our midfield players have scored goals this season so it's worked for us.

"The advantage for myself is I've been around these leagues for a long time. I've just spent three years in the Championship and before that three years in League One.

"Look forward positively is the important thing for us now. We're hoping that Bakary Sako and perhaps Matt Doherty will come back."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Milton Keynes Dons

  • 01 Martin
  • 18 Baldock
  • 03 Lewington
  • 14 Alli
  • 23 Spence
  • 24 Kay Booked
  • 29 Kennedy (Odelusi - 58' Dismissed after an earlier booking )
  • 11 Smith
  • 26 Loveridge (Rasulo - 73' )
  • 09 Bowditch (Galloway - 82' )
  • 17 Powell

Substitutes

  • 15 Randall
  • 19 Galloway
  • 20 Rasulo
  • 21 Hall
  • 27 Odelusi
  • 50 Burns

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • 13 Ikeme
  • 18 Ricketts
  • 26 Golbourne
  • 11 McDonald
  • 06 Batth
  • 05 Stearman
  • 27 Jacobs
  • 19 Price (McAlinden - 61' )
  • 40 Dicko (Clarke - 61' )
  • 04 Edwards
  • 07 Henry

Substitutes

  • 03 Elokobi
  • 08 Davis
  • 09 Clarke
  • 14 Evans
  • 20 McAlinden
  • 23 Ebanks-Landell
  • 31 McCarey
Ref: Kevin Wright
Att: 20,516

Match Stats

Shots

4 8

On target

2 4

Corners

4 4

Fouls

14 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, MK Dons 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

90:00 +3:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, MK Dons 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

89:14

Foul by Jordan Spence (MK Dons).

89:14

Liam McAlinden (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:27

Dean Lewington (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:27

Foul by James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

87:00

Jordan Spence (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the left wing.

86:58

Foul by Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

85:36

Foul by George Baldock (MK Dons).

85:36

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

84:26

Bamidele Alli (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:26

Foul by Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

81:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, MK Dons. Brendan Galloway replaces Dean Bowditch.

80:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! MK Dons 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Liam McAlinden (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin McDonald with a cross.

79:40 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons).

79:35

Foul by Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons).

79:35

Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:57 Booking

Booking Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons) is shown the yellow card.

77:53

Foul by Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons).

77:53

Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:27

Dean Bowditch (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:27

Foul by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

77:07

Giorgio Rasulo (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:07

Foul by Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

76:05

Attempt missed. Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

73:55

Dean Lewington (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:55

Foul by James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

72:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, MK Dons. Giorgio Rasulo replaces James Loveridge.

70:31

Daniel Powell (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the right wing.

70:31

Foul by Sam Ricketts (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

70:00

Attempt missed. Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

65:25

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Sam Ricketts.

63:27

Foul by Sanmi Odelusi (MK Dons).

63:27

Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:59

Attempt missed. James Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

61:38

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Dean Lewington.

60:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Leon Clarke replaces Nouha Dicko.

60:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liam McAlinden replaces Jack Price.

58:44

Foul by Dean Lewington (MK Dons).

58:44

David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:21

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Richard Stearman.

57:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, MK Dons. Sanmi Odelusi replaces Matthew Kennedy.

57:12

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Carl Ikeme.

56:58

Attempt saved. Dean Bowditch (MK Dons) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

56:12

James Loveridge (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:12

Foul by Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

51:59

Attempt missed. Danny Batth (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

51:24

Foul by George Baldock (MK Dons).

51:24

Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:42

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by George Baldock.

46:04

Jordan Spence (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:04

Foul by Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

45:38

Attempt saved. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins MK Dons 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

45:00 +1:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, MK Dons 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

45:00 +0:48

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by David Martin.

45:00 +0:31

Attempt saved. Nouha Dicko (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

44:11

Attempt saved. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

39:14

Hand ball by David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

37:27

Foul by Dean Bowditch (MK Dons).

37:27

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

36:05

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by George Baldock.

35:09

Attempt missed. Dean Bowditch (MK Dons) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

31:08

Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:08

Foul by James Loveridge (MK Dons).

28:02 Booking

Booking Anthony Kay (MK Dons) is shown the yellow card.

28:00

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

27:58

Foul by Anthony Kay (MK Dons).

21:48

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Richard Stearman.

20:06

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

20:04

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

19:00

Richard Stearman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:59

Foul by Alan Smith (MK Dons).

11:55

Attempt saved. Dean Bowditch (MK Dons) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

9:57

Attempt missed. Michael Jacobs (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

7:29

Foul by Bamidele Alli (MK Dons).

7:29

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:32

Foul by Dean Bowditch (MK Dons).

6:32

Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:53

Foul by Matthew Kennedy (MK Dons).

1:53

Scott Golbourne (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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