By Fan of the Year Jon Harries
Well, there’s no sugar coating that whole team performance last week. What was billed as 6th v 5th and a very close game was anything but as the Millers came to Stadium MK and absolutely tore us to shreds. Michael Smith could have had 3 in the first half, hitting the bar, heading just wide and spurning a great one on one opportunity. They did take the lead after a cleared free kick was played back in and Iheiekwe looped a header over the stranded Fisher. MK Dons offered little going forward with Zak Jules and Harry Darling both unable to score from a corner.
The second half was men against boys in truth with Barlaser and Ladapo increasing the lead and showing why in my honest opinion they will get automatically promoted at the end of the season. Simply too good for League 1 and I’m glad we don’t play them again until March next year.
This weekend sees a fantastic opportunity to put that performance behind us at the Mornflake Stadium as we visit bottom side Crewe Alexandra. On paper it looks a great time to play them, but given we’ve lost to struggling Shrewsbury, and Doncaster respectively there is an opportunity for complacency.
They were very unlucky to lose to Wycombe on Saturday to a Ryan Tafazolli brace, the second scored in the 97th of the game (minimum 5 mins added on) in what appeared a spirited performance. Will Jaaskelainen in goal is a very decent keeper, Rio Adebisi and Kayne Ramsay have the unenviable task of replacing Perry NG, and Harry Pickering respectively as forward-thinking wingbacks. In midfield Scott Robertson (on loan from Celtic) is settling in well alongside Tommy Lowery who I believe has now settled his contract dispute. Up front Scott Kashket when fit is a decent signing from Wycombe.
Mikael Mandron is a man in form against the Dons having scored 3 goals in 2 games against us last season. He has a physical presence like Michael Smith that can undoubtedly unsettle the defence, he has an eye for goal from a cross. although this season he seems to be a left winger following the departure of Charlie Kirk. For me, someone like Callum Ainley or Kashket could play that role more effectively and in turn freeing up Mandron to be a focal point up top and that’s what made them effective last season. Obviously missing players like Kirk, Dale, Pickering, etc is a massive handicap for a side with not the biggest budget in League 1, but it’s a side I admire from a distance.
Predicted Line Up
Kioso – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Harvie
O’Riley – Kasumu – Twine
Parrot – Eisa
I’m expecting a reaction from last weekend. Andrew Fisher came out and apologised post Rotherham as he felt his performance wasn’t up to his usual standards. The Parrott and Eisa combination need to start again and one if not both need a goal desperately for confidence.
I’m predicting a 3-1 away win. Crewe have been our bogey side of late with no win against the Alex since 2015, and in that season we thumped them 5-0 at their place and 6-1 at home. Since that season though we have played them 4 times losing on 3 occasions with a 0-0 draw the best we have done, and we havent scored a single goal in those 4 games. Remember this season though we’ve already won comfortably at our bogey ground (Priestfield) so this young side know how to take care of business. Eisa, O’Riley and Watters with the goals.