DONS 1 BRENTFORD 2
Two first half strikes sent Dons crashing to their second defeat in a row on a heated afternoon at stadiummk.
A physical Bees outfit stung Karl Robinson's men and failed to allow them to develop any rhythm, and took their chances well when they arrived.
Dons were without Mathias Doumbe, Dean Bowditch and Luke Chadwick because of injuries but on-loan Newcastle right-back James Tavernier recovered from a knee problem to return to the starting line-up.
Striker Clinton Morrison was named on the Bees bench after a successful month's loan spell at stadiummk earlier in the season.
With five minutes on the clock Stephen Gleeson had the first shot in anger for Dons with a fizzing effort which nearly caught out Brentford keeper Richard Lee thanks to a deflection.
Former Bees striker Charlie MacDonald then forced Lee into another save which he could not hold onto but with the ball loose in the box, no Dons were able to make a telling touch and Brentford were able to clear their lines.
It was an excellent start by Dons and Jay O'Shea next forced Lee to parry away with an excellent bending effort following a neat turn at the side of the area.
Lee had already had a busy afternoon and Dons looked fired up but it was Brentford who forced their way in front with a goal following a swift counter-attack.
Clayton Donaldson got the better of Tom Flanagan after a lightning left wing run and finished superbly from a tight angle across David Martin.
Alan Smith – playing for Dons in a more attacking position than normal – nearly restored parity immediately with a strike which found the roof of the net.
The goal had sucked the wind out of the sails of Dons' bright opening and Brentford, who had been under pressure, began to look the better side as they searched for a second.
And Uwe Rosler's men did manage to double their advantage when O'Shea lost the ball in a dangerous position near his own penalty box.
The Bees swept it out to Jonathan Douglas who bent a beautiful shot beyond Martin and into the top corner.
With frustration setting in within the ground Smith went down extremely easily looking for a Dons penalty and Powell drove a shot across the box and wide after skipping past a Brentford challenge.
But Robinson's side could not seem to get going and Smith's booking for dissent summed up the tensions being felt at stadiummk.
Attacks fizzled out to nothing in the final stages of the half and it was clear that Robinson needed a strong half-time team talk as his side had performed well below their normal standards.
On the stroke of the interval Harlee Dean headed narrowly over the top for Brentford who had looked comfortable since going in front.
O'Shea fired wide on the turn as the second half got under way and an ambitious volley from Douglas was catching practice for Martin.
Dons desperately tried to force their way back into the contest and frequently felt aggrieved at referee Gary Sutton as Brentford adopted an increasingly physical style with niggly fouls creeping into their play.
But this tactic was working well for the visitors as it prevented Dons from clicking into full gear, and clear cut chances in front of Lee's goal were few and far between as passing moves failed to click.
Flanagan and MacDonald were both curiously booked for Dons in quick succession before Robinson introduced striker Rob Hall for his home debut in place of Jay O'Shea.
Jabo Ibehre replaced Tavernier, another attacking change, but a hard working Bees defence were crowding the box and stopping any attempts at attacking in their tracks.
Brentford remarkably received their first booking as late as the 73rd minute when Adam Thompson scythed down Hall and the visitors should have wrapped up the points following the resulting free-kick.
Nothing came of it for Dons and as the hosts had bodies committed, Shaleum Logan had most of the pitch to run into on a quick break-away.
It was a golden opportunity but he somehow fired straight at Martin with no white shirts around him defending.
With ten minutes to go Marcus Bean amazingly avoided a sending off after crashing into Dean Lewington from behind before Smith looped a volley wide.
Brentford wanted a penalty when Flanagan got in Jake Bidwell's way before a Gleeson run was cyncially brought to a halt by Toumani Diagouraga – Brentford keen to tactically foul whenever they could.
Their next foul was to cost them though as MacDonald was tripped by Douglas in the box, allowing Shaun Williams to slam home an 88th minute penalty to give Dons hope.
Six minutes of injury time were called on and with Dons now suddenly looking lively again Ibehre thundered an effort off the frame of the goal when looking for a grandstand finish.
Ibehre got in and behind again but he took too much time with his shot and the chance slipped away.
The defeat means Dons, who were looking for automatic promotion, are now increasingly looking over their shoulder to the chasing play-off pack.
Dons: Martin, Tavernier (Ibehre 72) , Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, MacDonald, Smith, Williams, Flanagan, Powell, O'Shea (Hall 61). Unused subs: McLoughlin, Chicksen, Slane.
Booked: Smith, Flanagan, MacDonald, Lewington
Brentford: Lee, Saunders (Bean 76), Douglas, Donaldson, Logan (Legge 91), Forrester (McGinn 63), Diagouraga, Osborne, Thompson, Bidwell, Dean. Unused subs: Berahino, Morrison.
Goals: Donaldson, Douglas,
Booked: Thompson, Bean, Osborne, Diagouraga
Ref: Gary Sutton