By Jon Harries
14 months of no away wins ended on Saturday as the Dons travelled up to Wearside in hope rather than expectation. With the first choice Wing Backs on International duty, injuries piling up, members of the staff isolating, and with players on the bench having to aid Russ with the coaching it seemed improbable they would travel back with anything.
20 away days previously had reaped little success but that all changed on Saturday and of course in true Dons style, we did it the hard way. Going behind to a deflected Max Power effort it was credit to the whole squad that we came back into the game with a pinpoint free kick by Ben Gladwin glanced in by Cameron Jerome three minutes later. After that it was a topsy turvy first half and possibly honours even going into the break. The second half kicked off and within a couple of minutes the Dons had won a penalty.
Scott Fraser winning it and converting (of course), now the only question was could we finally achieve an away win in the League. It wasn’t without its nervous moments, particularly with Secret Agent Will Grigg missing an open goal from two yards, but with a lot of grit, determination, desire, and two brilliant saves by Andrew Fisher the winless streak was over.
Looking at this coming Saturday, Hull City have settled into League One like a duck to water. Most owners would have changed management after their implosion pre and post lockdown as they departed the Championship with a whimper. In fairness to the owners who haven’t exactly endeared themselves to their fanbase, they stuck with Grant McCann who has had good spells in charge at this level with both Peterborough United and Doncaster Rovers. You may recall though on a previous visit to Stadium MK, he was sacked shortly after a one nil loss with a two man advantage when Osman Sow and Joe Walsh received their marching orders in the first half, and Chuks Aneke played like a man possessed.
In their last match against Burton Albion on paper it looked like a comfortable 2-0 home win with Malik Wilks at the double. Looking deeper into the result though the fact that Burton were down to ten men after 20 minutes coupled with the fact Burton Albion keeper Ben Garrett made the EFL L1 team of the week alongside Wilks, Martin, and Jerome, shows that Hull were made to work for the win. Looking at their season as a whole they fully deserve their current second position standing. With only three defeats this season (Swindon Peterborough and Fleetwood) and seven clean sheets means this will be a tough game.
Matt Ingram and George Long are two particularly good goalkeepers in another Championship quality squad. Lewie Coyle was a brilliant pickup from Fleetwood, Reece Burke and Alfie Jones are fantastic CB options with Jordy de Wjis and Callum Elder. In midfield Richie Smallwood has been there and done it with Rotherham, and Hakeeb Adelakun provides pace and goals. Up top Tom Eaves, Malik Wilks, Josh Magennis, and Keane Lewis-Potter provide different threats, so rotation is always an option for the versatile Tigers.
George Honeyman was never given recognition at Sunderland but has become a fans favourite, his tenacity and guile always drive Hull City forward. He has an eye for a pass, can be a spare man in the box, and breaks up play superbly. If the Dons are to win the game on Saturday much will depend on whether we can keep tabs on the enforcer and creator, and like Scott Fraser, the captain never likes finishing on the losing side.
Fisher Sorinola – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – GladwinKasumu – Sorensen – Fraser
Walker – Jerome
My selections are depending on the fatigue of Harvie and Poole who both won’t return to Milton Keynes until Wednesday at the earliest and that Louis Thompson pulled a hamstring on Saturday, so ideally why change a winning side.
I predict another 1-1 draw, as I said in my preview for the Sunderland game, anything from this game is a bonus. Hull are so well organised it’s going to have to be a ruthless display.
We have already tamed The Black Cats, now it’s time to tame The Tigers.
THE BIG MATCH PREVIEW IS SPONSORED BY
12 Drakes Mews, Crownhill, MK8 0ER
Tel No – 01908-565904