By Martin Atherton
Many apologies for no photo of the action this week, for reasons beyond our control we were unable to get our hands on one, but normal service will be resumed on Tuesday night when we will be covering our game versus Sunderland in the Pizza Cup, so for today we have had to come up with this alternative.
MK Dons recorded an emphatic and historic victory at Plough Lane in an afternoon that will go down to be remembered for years to come.
Goals from 19-year-olds Matt O’Riley and Matty Sorinola were enough as the Dons comfortably saw off a poor opposition side who are now 11 games without a win, collecting two points from 33 available in the process.
The Dons struggled during the first half – a somewhat lifeless and unproductive half leaving fans frustrated at the midway point – but Russ was able to galvanise his side into scoring twice in as many minutes on the hour mark to put the game beyond the opposition.
The home side started far more the dominant, creating a string of chances during the opening exchanges. Fisher was forced into a number of good saves, though was never really troubled too much.
O’Riley made the best chance of the opening half hour for the Dons – firing an effort just past the home ‘keeper – whilst the home striker Joe Pigott came closest for them, seeing the ball taken just from his feet by an eager Fisher.
Cam Jerome then saw the best chance of the whole half – nicking the ball from a poor back pass from a home defender – but was unable to take it round the ‘keeper and tap into an empty net. HT 0-0.
But the second half saw the Dons take a completely different approach, and Martin’s side really took the game to their opponents.
Their efforts were finally rewarded as youngster Matt O’Riley – who signed last week on a free from Fulham – scored his first professional goal, firing home from some excellent Cameron Jerome work to give the Dons the lead in a deserved fashion.Cue bedlam on Zoom calls as the Dons took the lead over their arch rivals. 1-0!!!
And one became two almost immediately, fellow Fulham academy graduate to O’Riley Matty Sorinola finding space on the edge of the box to curl a shot in – okay, with a huge deflection! – past the helpless AFC ‘keeper. 2-0!!! GET IN!!
After the period of excitement, the game did settle down somewhat, but Martin’s side remained in complete domination.
The hosts had a number of chances to reduce the score line late on, but it simply wasn’t meant to be for them. Martin’s men held strong and were duly rewarded with a memorable victory. FT 2-0. GET IN THERE!
An incredible afternoon, and not much more can be said about it. Arguably one of the best, personally, in my 13 years of supporting this club since the age of 8.
Some special performances – Matt O’Riley, Scott Fraser (as always) and, most importantly, Harry Darling who was again incredible. Plenty of plaudits needed as well for Jerome who led the line excellently, even if he was heavily marshalled for the whole 90 – but his work to create the first goal was sublime.
But, to a man, each was superb in their own way. Let’s hope we can carry that on and beat a strong Sunderland side on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the League Trophy.
Come on You Dons!