By Alfie Burr
Editor – Many thanks to young Alfie Burr for stepping into the shoes of resident match reporter Martin Atherton. Martin is having a weekend off watching the match with his socially distanced friends, and no doubt having a few beers into the bargain, but he will be back for our next game on Tuesday away to the Cobblers….take it away Alfie.
Russell Martin named an unchanged team from Tuesdays 2-0 victory against Wigan. The opponents for today’s match making three changes from their 1-0 victory over Blackpool.
The game started with an early chance for Cameron Jerome just 30 seconds in as he calmly puts the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside. The Dons managed to keep possession in the early exchanges as usual and create some half chances, but none were clear-cut or taken.
Not much happens for the next 10 minutes until Joe Piggot scores for the opposition. He outmuscled our defence from a long ball and takes the ball around the committed Andy Fisher and places it into the back of the net. He then knee slides in front of an empty Cowshed to strike fear into the fans at home on their sofas, a proper cool and intimidating celebration.
MK Dons see a lot of the ball and create yet another chance as Cameron Jerome in a slick passing move finds himself some space in the AFC box and squares the ball into the path of Scott Fraser who taps the ball into the roof of the net recording his 3rd goal of the season from the man in top form..
The game went into stalemate after the Dons goal, apart from some scrappy moments in midfield with the Dons battling to get a grip of the game.
22 minutes in and AFC had the ball down the right-hand side in a rare passing move for the visitors, the cross came in and the dangerous Piggot had another chance but thankfully doesn’t take it heading just wide of the post.
For the rest of the half not many real chances were created by either side. Unsurprisingly the MK Dons were the leaders in the possession stats as they have been all season and the trend was continuing in this game with 70% of possession. Possession is good, as long as they create more chances and then taking them, all in all it was quite a quite a dull first half from both teams.
With minutes gone in the second half Seddon has a header superbly saved one handed by rookie keeper Fisher. The Dons goalkeeper hasn’t had much to do today, and probably since his debut, but he saves well to deny Seddon diving away to his left.
The game continued to be scrappy and not as exciting as some fans would have wanted it to be with both teams having mis-placed passes and not loads of chances. With 20 minutes left on the clock the Dons stole possession in the opposition half, the ball gets played through the defence, and Sorinola has a shot/cross that goes wide of the goal. It looked like it was meant to be a shot, but it was poorly executed, and the cross would’ve been the better option for Jerome to tap in at the back post.
MK Dons in the usual theme kept hold of possession for the majority of the next 10 minutes but created nothing, but AFC with a more direct approach down the right-hand side scoop the ball to Piggot and his half-volley is denied again by Fisher. Piggot connects with the ball on the penalty spot but forces another superb save from Fisher to keep the scores level.
From this moment on, the Dons kicked on a little bit more and made a few more chances. Our opponents meanwhile struggled to stop the ball going into their half and the final third and looked quite sluggish when we went on the attack, but these chances were unfortunately not taken.
Gladwin was brought onto the pitch and created a few chances and looked quite sharp. Daniel Harvie also made an appearance and created a couple of half chances.
The game finishes 1-1 after a slow and scrappy performance, in a game I believe we should’ve won.
The game wasn’t the most thrilling, and certainly wasn’t what fans expected or hoped for, the performance certainly wasn’t the best, but it could’ve been worse. I’d say that the best players for the Dons were Fisher, Fraser, Houghton and Sørensen. Fisher had an all-round positive and strong performance and looks nailed on to retain his place on Tuesday and produced some great saves when he was needed. Houghton was solid in the midfield and did no wrong, and Sørensen was also solid as well looking comfortable in the midfield with some good distribution. Scott Fraser though was exceptionally good today and obviously got our goal producing some good passes and was the creative force of the team.
MOTM – Scott Fraser