MK Dons manager Graham Alexander was delighted with his team’s response to a half-time rallying cry as they staged a late comeback to beat Colchester 3-2 in Sky Bet League Two.

Substitute Matt Dennis fired home in the 10th minute of stoppage time to make it three wins from four for the Dons and move them up to second place in the table.

Ex-Colchester man Alex Gilbey equalised in the 88th minute after Joe Taylor’s brace had cancelled out Mo Eisa’s early opener and put Colchester into the lead.

Alexander was full of praise for the character his side showed, bouncing back from a midweek defeat away at Crawley.

“I take any win, but I think it’s great confidence for the players’ character and personality, which we need to instil and bring out of them,” he said.

“Actually, it’s not instil – it’s there, you can see it in spells. I thought we started the game really well.

“Deservedly 1-0 up and then we just implode for two minutes, which we’ve obviously spoken about before. So that’s something we have to correct.

“I thought we should have come in at half-time in front, but we didn’t and we challenged the players to show the character that’s needed to win a game of football and they’ve done that, so great credit to the players.

“The supporters stayed with us, the fitness of the guys was phenomenal again and we’re delighted with the three points.

“There’s games to win in an easier fashion, without a shadow of a doubt, but the elation – you’ve got to suck that up and sort of add it to your armour because it’s a brilliant way to win.”

Eisa kept up his record of scoring in every league game this season to break the deadlock, glancing home a header from Cameron Norman’s cross in the eighth minute.

Colchester responded immediately, though, as Luton loanee Taylor arrived at the back post to convert from Jayden Fevrier’s cross.

Taylor doubled his tally minutes later to put the hosts ahead, finding the net from Junior Tchamadeu’s delivery to make it four goals for the campaign.

The 20-year-old threatened to seal his hat-trick in the 76th minute, but his shot went high and wide after ex-Colchester captain Tommy Smith gifted him an opportunity.

And it proved to be a costly miss as substitute Ash Hunter played the ball into the path of Gilbey, who found his way between two Colchester defenders and chipped the ball over Owen Goodman to bag the leveller.

The winner came in the 100th minute with Hunter providing the assist again to tee-up Dennis, who took one touch before drilling home from the edge of the area.

Colchester boss Ben Garner felt his team should have been awarded a penalty with the scores level in injury time, when Donell Thomas went down in the area.

“We had opportunities to go further ahead in the game, which we didn’t take,” he said. “I’m also really disappointed with the penalty decision at 2-2.

“It’s a blatant penalty not given. The game goes the other way if that’s the case, but we have to see the game through. We were so young at the end, so young on the pitch.”