Kieran Agard’s 21st goal of the season and Russell Martin’s late winner kept MK Dons’ automatic-promotion ambitions on track as they dealt a body blow to Forest Green’s play-off hopes.
Agard pounced on a defensive aberration between Rovers keeper Lewis Ward and captain Gavin Gunning after Ward’s short goal kick saw David Wheeler pick Gunning’s pocket for Agard to pounce on 38 minutes.
From the second-half get-go, Rovers were looking for a fast start, but it was the Dons who were on the front-foot, Conor McGrandles hitting the outside of Ward’s post on 48 minutes.
Rovers survived a 50th-minute reprieve – Hesketh opened Rovers up, but Agard skewed wide with just Ward to beat.
Mark Cooper’s side were back in it on 63 minutes as George Williams stooped to nod home.
Paul Tisdale’s side underpinned their promotion hopes when Russell Martin poked home with three minutes to go.
MK Dons jump up to second and Rovers remain in the play-off pack in sixth.