Madden at the double to conquer Dons and boost Glovers' prospects
Paddy Madden's double enabled Yeovil Town to leapfrog ten-man Milton Keynes Dons to within a stone's throw of npower League One's top six last night.
The prolific front man scored in either half to move the Glovers up to seventh and close in to within three points of the play-offs spots.
Antony Kay's leveller came either side of Madden's strikes before the defender felled the forward off the ball to be dismissed with 28 minutes remaining.
With referee Mick Russell finally satisfied a damp Huish Park was playable, Johnson fielded the starting XI that had beaten Sheffield United 17 days earlier. Joe Edwards was named amongst the substitutes alongside on-loan Crystal Palace striker Kwesi Appiah.
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The Glovers showed few ill-effects of going so long without a game. Matt Dolan was first to go close for Yeovil, forcing a fine block from goalkeeper Dave Martin from the edge of the box on four minutes.
Two minutes later Shaun Williams failed to deal with Sam Foley's tricky delivery but Martin kept his composure to chest the ball and then thump it clear. Madden then headed straight at the goalkeeper when he met Luke Ayling's hanging 12th-minute cross.
The Irishman went one better on 26 minutes to give his team a deserved lead. He latched on to compatriot Kevin Dawson's intuitive centre, giving Martin no chance from just inside the box.
However, the Dons were given an inexcusable lifeline on 35 minutes. Imposing centre-half Antony Kay was left completely unmarked at a corner and he gratefully guided the ball into the net with his head.
Shifting Ryan Harley into a more advanced role gave the visitors an upper hand, and only Byron Webster's tackle prevented the former Exeter City player taking a shot from 12 yards on 40 minutes.
Adam Chicksen's long-range drive was parried by Marek Stech on the stroke of half-time and Izale McLeod kicked thin air from the rebound.
Ed Upson's deflected shot spinning agonisingly wide of the target within seconds of the restart. But the home team were unable to create further chances until an off-the-ball incident changed the game on 62 minutes.
Madden was pushed in the face by Kay and, after both sides and dug-outs reacted angrily, fourth official William Bull informed referee Russell of what happened and the Dons' scorer was shown a straight red card.
Eight minutes later Upson released Madden, but the forward skied his chance. With 12 minutes remaining, though, Yeovil's sharp-shooter showed his quality in front of goal, accelerating to meet Sam Foley's near-post delivery to glance in.
As the Dons launched both the ball and players forward, Ayling did well to divert a cross that fizzed across goal on 90 minutes. However, it was too little too late for the visitors as Johnson's men earned another valuable victory in their quest for the play-offs.
Yeovil Town (4-4-2): Stech; Ayling, Webster, Burn, McAllister; Dawson, Upson, Dolan (Appiah 60), Foley; Madden, Hayter (Edwards 61). Substitutes (not used): Hinds, Blizzard, G Williams, Stewart (gk), Young.
Goals: Madden 26, 78.
Bookings: Webster, Madden, Appiah.
Milton Keynes Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Otsemobor (Smith 80), S Williams, Kay, Lewington; Bowditch, Harley (Doumbe 65), Potter, Chicksen; McLeod, Lowe (Lines 31). Substitutes (not used): Flanagan, Baldock, Alli, Ismail.
Goal: Kay 35.
Sent off: Kay (63).
Referee: M Russell (Hertfordshire).