By Jon Harries
Well same story, different game, concede early, look flat and probably deserved to be further behind before the break. A rocket up the team’s backside and a completely different second half. Although admittedly not his best game, Scott Fraser stepped up again from the penalty spot after a foul in the box on Carlton Morris. Again, frustration from players, management, and fans at the end of the game and mainly because it’s the same story over and over, and when we score first, we win. We have conceded 10 goals in 17 games within the first 13 minutes of League One games and again struggle against sides in and around us.
Tuesday night sees our first meeting of the season against bitter rivals Peterborough United. I’ve followed MK Dons for seven seasons now and games between us are never dull. Whether it’s 4-0 demolitions by either side or winning with nine men there’s always added spice to this fixture.
Peterborough United go into this on the back of smashing four past Rochdale on Saturday, former Dons loanee Jonson Clarke-Harris with a hat trick against the perineal strugglers in just 20 minutes of first half football. With the 8th best away record they are no mugs, although they seem to be a very Jekyll and Hyde sort of side with results from one week to the next having no comparison as they are miles apart. This season is all about “Operation Vengeance” for the Posh after losing out on a play-off spot on PPG to Wycombe Wanderers (ironically in the Championship now), Darren Ferguson and company’s sole purpose is promotion by any means necessary.
Dons fans hate figure Christy Pym is in goal for Peterborough and as usual is having a very solid season with five clean sheets to his name already behind the experienced duo of Frankie Kent and former Dons loanee Mark Beevers who form a solid partnership. Dan Butler at left wing back is an extremely dangerous customer with his superb set piece delivery. There is an embarrassment of riches in midfield for Peterborough, Ryan Broom had a phenomenally successful season with Cheltenham before his summer move and Reece Brown is an exceptionally good acquisition for this level. They boast two Joe Wards in their team and up top Mo Eisa and Siriki Dembele have pace and trickery to complement the aforementioned JCH.
The player in focus for me is Sammie Szmodics, signed from Bristol City in the summer after a successful loan period at London Road he was eventually signed. The former Colchester player has struggled so far this season but take nothing away from his ability to carve open defences, get in behind the backline and chip in with the occasional goal, it’s only a matter of time before he finds the form that made Bristol City sign him. Still only 25, consistent seasons are the next step in his development.
Predicted Line Up
Williams – O’Hora – Keogh – Lewington – Harvie
Sorensen – Kasumu – Fraser
Morris – Jerome
Daniel Harvie brought a better balance to the side against Burton and deserves a start. Sorensen will give us a bit more attacking prowess although it will mean the role of Kasumu will be bigger. Midfield will be key and if “The Magician” Scott Fraser can show his best form then anything is possible.
I predict at best a 1-1 draw.
Against the top sides we look better as they like to impose their game on us. That should be the case at Stadium MK. I wouldn’t mind keeping it tight the first twenty minutes then play from there, obviously the first goal is vital.
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