By Martin Atherton
MK Dons were denied an impressive three points at home to a recently in-form Oxford United side by a 97th minute Elliot Lee equaliser.
Andrew Surman had initially opened the scoring for the Dons – firing home a brilliant strike – but Elliot Lee’s 97th minute equaliser meant Martin’s side walked away with just a point.
Charlie Brown was given his first start in MK colours – and seemed to impress well with plenty of tracking back and getting into some decent positions alongside fellow striker Mason.
Whilst it’s always the Dons that concede first within the opening minutes, this time it was the opposite – Surman with another screamer, slamming home from 25 yards to give his side the lead. 1-0!
Harry Darling was then immediately after forced into action, providing a vital block to deny a crucial Oxford chance, and winning the ball.
Fisher was the next to be called into action, producing a stunning save to deny Lee from Robinson’s side.
The rest of the first half didn’t seem to provide too much, though, as both teams went in with just Surman’s effort separating them. HT 1-0.
But the second half quickly provided a heart in mouth moment as Riley’s back pass was poorly received by Fisher – Matt Taylor there to pounce, but the ball thankfully went over the bar.
Jerome and Grigg were then both introduced as the Dons looked to capitalise on an Oxford side failing create too much many chances.
Grigg tried an audacious attempt – a bicycle kick on the edge of the six-yard box – but the Oxford ‘keeper comfortably saved.
Agyei then came so close to levelling things for Robinson’s side – smashing an effort past a hopeless Fisher – but, thankfully, the score remained.
The controversial point came, though, when Darling’s back pass was intercepted by Agyei and the Oxford striker was wiped out by Fisher. The Dons’ ‘keeper somehow, though, was spared a red card and stayed on the park.
Minutes later, he was called into action again – a header from point blank range after a great cross from the left – but the Dons #1 was on task to keep it out.
And things then got tenser as the U’s looked for an equaliser, Forde’s header narrowly nicking the post and trickling wide.
But eventually that U’s pressure became too much for the Dons – and Elliot Lee headed home unmarked in the box to level things late on. FT 1-1.
Gutting, but perhaps what we deserved. Lucky to end the game with 11 players on the pitch.
End of day, we’re about nine points (with 15 games remaining) from reaching that magic 51 points mark that has kept every side up over the past decade. We’re not going down, and if we were to go up (somehow) – we’d get battered in the Championship. We’re a year away from being ready to be there.
All focus on next season for me. The bigger picture from today is that we got minutes into Brown, who played well, as well as a handful of other important, young players. Brilliant from Darling, once again.
We go again Tuesday. COYD!