SHEFFIELD United dropped out of the play-off places as third-placed Milton Keynes Dons completed a league double over a Blades side who had knocked them out of the Capital One Cup.
“We’ve played them three times now this season and there’s been absolutely nothing in the game,” reflected Blades manager Nigel Clough.
“Somebody puts a chance in, somebody doesn’t and that’s it.
“There have been very few chances in the three games we’ve played, that’s why the odd goal here or there has been enough to win it.
“Mark Howard has had three shots (to save) in the two games and somehow we’ve lost both games.”
Carl Baker’s second-half strike saw the Dons defeat their promotion rivals.
He fired a left-footed shot wide early on before hitting a fierce strike which was well saved by Howard just before the break.
The winger eventually broke the deadlock, drilling the ball home after Will Grigg had held it up well in the 67th minute.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce had the best chance for the visitors, latching onto a long clearance, but David Martin saved.
The result ended a run of three games without a win in all competitions for Karl Robinson’s side, who are six points behind second-placed Bristol City.
The Blades, who turn their attention to Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday, dropped out of the play-off places following Rochdale’s win over Crawley.
Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Lewington, Baker; Carruthers (Randall 86), Reeves (Baldock 90), Alli; Bowditch (Clarke-Harris 65), Grigg. Unused substitutes: Hodson, Green, McLoughlin, Hitchcock.
Sheffield United: Howard, Alcock (Adams 83), Kennedy, McEveley, Harris; Campbell-Ryce, Doyle, Scougall (Reed 46), Baxter, Murphy, McNulty (Higdon 65). Unused substitutes: McGahey, Dimaio, Kieran Wallace, Long.
Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).
Man of the match: Carl Baker.