BARNSLEY suffered a fifth successive away defeat and are now just two points clear of the drop zone.
They were sunk by goals in the 57th and 63rd minutes, leaving Reds chief Danny Wilson to state: “Again, it’s the first goal that changes the whole complexion of the game. Leading up to it was arguably our best period of the game.
“In the first half, I thought we dealt with everything fairly comfortably. We counter-attacked well at times, although we didn’t make the most of those situations.
“In the second half, we came out well, then the ball is headed out of the box and we are not first to it and a mis-hit goes into the bottom corner. That is the difference in the game and they obviously got their confidence up.”
Wilson had made two changes with Manchester United loan midfielder Ben Pearson returning after an ankle injury. New signing George Williams came into defence in place of Mason Holgate, who began a three-match suspension following his late dismissal at Doncaster.
The Reds were also without the injured Martin Cranie, James Bree and Sam Winnall.
Barnsley dominated after the break but the opener came when Jean-Yves M’voto cleared Carl Baker’s cross straight to Dele Alli, who slotted his 12th goal of the season into the bottom corner.
Will Grigg then picked up Jordan Spence’s cross and turned the ball home to secure a second successive win for the third-placed Dons.
Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington; Powell (Cole 65), Potter, Alli, Bowditch (Clarke-Harris 65); Baker (Green 75), Grigg. Unused substitutes: Hodson, McLoughlin, Baldock, Carruthers.
Barnsley: Turnbull, George Williams, Nyatanga, Mvoto, Smith; Kiwomya (Oates 70), Berry (Scowen 79), Pearson, Hourihane; Lalkovic (Phenix 82), Waring. Unused substitutes: Davies, Digby, Ramage, Lita.
Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancashire).
Man of the match: Will Grigg.