By Fan of the Year Jon Harries
What a fantastic night. One that initially didn’t go to plan when Jayden Stockley piggybacking Jules gave Charlton a 15th-minute lead, after that though there was only one winner. Our reaction, much like Saturday was swift after winning possession from a clearance from the Charlton keeper. Jules won the header, O’Riley pushed the ball forward to Twine who instinctively found Troy Parrot onside, and he calmly slotted into the back of the net. That’s two in two for Troy who has settled into the number 20 shirt with some comfort. It could have been a complete turnaround before halftime if Eisa had got any sort of connection on a Harvie cross plus some last ditch defending from Charlton, but half time came, and it was all to play for.
The second half began with the Dons on the front foot, Eisa with two great opportunities in as many minutes and a few scrambles in the Charlton box before the breakthrough and ultimately the winning moment. A free kick into the box was brilliantly kept alive by Parrott who took a touch and flicked the ball into the path of Eisa who turned and shot from close range to start mass celebrations in the Cowshed and Block 11…… now could we hold on. The answer was a comfortable yes with Lewington coming on during the break for a possibly concussed Harvie marshalling the defence superbly. Fisher was largely untroubled and with that the first win of the season was confirmed. Credit must go to everyone involved with the club over the past week from people going above and beyond their duties to the fans who all carried the players home on Tuesday night.
Saturday’s trip to Suffolk would have looked daunting to many fans looking at the opening fixtures. Ipswich with an experienced League One manager, new investment and 17……yes 17 new players to replace people like Freddie Sears, Cole Skuse and Teddy Bishop (21 departed at the time of writing) with quality and I mean genuine quality. Rakeem Harper, Macauley Bonne, Cameron Burgess, Joe Piggott but to name a few new recruits. As with any major overhaul, it is taking time at Portman Road to get the favourites for the title to play as a team. A draw at home to surprise package Morecambe, followed by defeats to Newport (Cup) Burton and Tuesday night away at Cheltenham which included a miss of the season contender by Bonne who did everything but score. Some fans are already in panic mode expecting to cruise the league at a canter. Nothing is ever easy, and an early goal from us on Saturday could quickly get the Tractor Boys fans on the backs of their players.
Scott Fraser is a familiar name to Dons fans. After signing at Stadium MK last summer, he settled in quite nicely contributing double figures in goals and assists and a 100% penalty conversion record. He did have a dip post January and Russell Martin subbed him in our win over Doncaster in first half. Scott later came out and apologised stating that lockdown had affected him mentally. He came back with a point to prove, and hopes were he would be stronger this season. Ipswich came in for him and in his words, he felt he could achieve promotion with the Tractor Boys. His start has been mixed with a goal v Morecambe and a missed penalty v Burton. There is a quality player there, but going on social media posts, he’s been deployed as a winger which isn’t his strength, but with so many new players it’s proving difficult to incorporate them all in the team.
Predicted Line up
Watson – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Harvie
O’Riley – Robson
Twine – Parrott – Eisa
One change should give us more natural width. Baldwin did well but I feel it’s not his strongest position.
I predict a narrow 1-0 smash and grab with Eisa the goal scorer. Ipswich fans will expect a reaction from Tuesday and so should the Dons.