Winger Anthony Pilkington lit up an otherwise drab festive struggle with a 30-yard thunderbolt as Huddersfield beat MK Dons 1-0 at the Galpharm Stadium.

Pilkington claimed the winner and his fifth goal of the season by cutting inside from the left touchline to unleash a spectacular drive into the top-right corner after 27 minutes.

Earlier, Peter Clarke hit the post for Huddersfield with a header from a Pilkington free-kick while MK Dons contrived to miss an 18th-minute penalty.

David McCracken's shot hit Town's Joe Skarz on the hand and Peter Leven took the resulting spot-kick, only for keeper Alex Smithies to save with his legs.

After that the game descended into a long ball struggle with only occasional flashes of the flowing football both sides have become known for this season.

Dons substitute Sam Baldock nearly levelled with a diving header after the break while at the other end Jordan Rhodes fluffed an open goal.

Ugly scenes marred stoppage time when Luke Chadwick, already booked, appeared to head-butt Town's Tom Clarke.

It led to a melee in which Town's Lee Peltier and the visitors' Jude Sterling and Jermaine Easter were booked but referee David Foster caused howls of protest from home fans by refusing to take any action against Chadwick.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Peter Clarke
#Milton Keynes Dons
#Jermaine Easter
#Joe Skarz
#David McCracken
#Jordan Rhodes
#Football
#League One
#Huddersfield Town
#Anthony Pilkington
#Alex
#Peter Leven
#Lee Peltier
#Luke Chadwick
#Tom Clarke
#Sam Baldock