By Jon Harries
Yet again when we face opposition that are down the bottom of the table, we get a poor result, and Saturday v Doncaster was another shining example of that.
Doncaster with no win in 9 came to Stadium MK against a side 5 unbeaten in the league. The Dons changed to a 4-2-3-1 formation opting for more attacking options. Parrott, Twine, Corbeanu and Eisa with a debut for new loanee Conor Coventry. As expected, the Dons were on the front foot from the start, Corbeanu and Watson causing issues down the right, but Donny came closest in the early exchanges having a shot from Dodoo saved well by Jamie Cumming. The Dons then built an attack well, Harvie down the left, this time with a great ball into the box, first Eisa, then Parrott then Twine all had shots bravely blocked but then Doncaster hit us on a swift counterattack, Josh Martin slipping Dodoo down the left, he was allowed to cut inside and fire into the far corner and Doncaster had something to hold onto. Eisa should have done better with a rare header just before the break but in truth we struggled to get going.
The second half was the same, dominant in possession without any real purpose, a few dangerous balls into the box dealt with by a gutsy Donny team struggling for results. There was a decent shout for a penalty when a ball intended for Corbeanu appeared to be handled by the Doncaster defender, but it there was nothing doing for Mr Drysdale.
Doncaster were happy to hit on the counterattack and forced Cumming into another good save after a mistake by Lewington. Then a ball in by Watson caused panic in the Doncaster defence, the ball bouncing over the defender’s head then through the goalkeepers’ legs, with no Dons player there to react.
Twine had two free kicks before the end saved by the Louis Jones then right at the end Connor Wickham on debut hit the side netting. Another disappointing result against a basement side although results elsewhere meant we remained 5th in L1……. It’s becoming a serious issue.
Tuesday sees the rearranged fixture away at Burton Albion. The very definition of a mid-table side. They performed a miracle last season, showing promotion form in the second half of the season to comfortably survive and 3 wins out of 3 at the start of the season had them provisionally top. Then the table started to take shape and mid table would be a great achievement. Ben Garratt and Kieran O’Hara are two competent keepers. Ryan Leek and Cameron Borthwick Jackson in defence have had up and down seasons in defence. Joe Powell is someone I really like and feel he may fit the O’Riley sized gap currently missing from our midfield Jonny Smith is capable of a moment of magic. Up top once Louis Moult is fully fit, I expect him and Daniel Jebbison to fill the Kane Hemmings void.
Now a slightly left field Man in Focus.
After seven and a half years, 345 appearances (where he played in virtually every single position!), 71 goals, two promotions and two Player of the Year awards, Lucas Akins has left Burton Albion. The very definition of a club legend and one of those rare players that just enjoyed playing. He has now joined back up with Nigel Clough at Mansfield, but he will always be a Brewers Legend.
Predicted Line-up *(done before any New signings prior to Tuesday night).
Watson – O’Hora – Lewington – Harvie
Coventry – McEachran
Corbeanu – Twine – Parrott
I’d love to see Parrott play the central role behind Mo with Corbeanu and Twine creating the width. Potentially Boateng is an option but with slim pickings at the time of writing and both Baldwin and Darling injured I expect it to be unchanged. I’m going for a 2-1-win, Eisa and Corbeanu with the goals. Burton will make this tricky, just remember the reverse fixture with a Max Watters goal was the difference.
Photo Credits – Alpha Coders & the BBC