By Jon Harries
Good teams always find a way to win, particularly when chasing promotion be that Play Offs or Automatic. Rotherham ground out a win v Accrington yesterday as did Oxford v Portsmouth, and yesterday at Stadium MK where Lincoln were the latest visitors. The Imps got off to a bright start, Scully, and Bramall particularly down the left causing issues for Watson. Seven minutes in they took the lead, Lincoln pressed from a goal kick and again Scully got down the left and John Marquis found space in the box to fire home first time. Scully then had a cross deflected by O’Hora onto the bar as MK Dons were struggling to cope with the press. Then Lincoln began to sit back and allowed the momentum to change, Josh McEachran curling a shot just wide, and then the equaliser we were all hoping for. Harry Darling took it upon himself to drive forward through midfield, the ball broke back to McEachran who picked out Corbeanu on the left. His shot was parried up in the air by Griffiths allowing Darling to head home from two yards out, a crucial moment in the game and just before half time.
The second half saw the home side come out of the blocks sharply and grabbing the lead within 5 minutes of the restart. Warren O’Hora starting and finishing the move, not standing still, and admiring his pass to Parrott instead carrying on with the run and finishing smartly at the near post. Advantage MK and as results stood up to 3rd. From then on, we were happy to soak up the Lincoln pressure with Florini hitting the bar towards the end of the game the best chance to get back in the game but in truth Cumming had very little to do. Three wins in a row and now top 2 in sight.
Tuesday night sees the long trek up to Fleetwood which seems a regulation midweek away day in the EFL. The Cod Army defied expectations under Joey Barton reaching the play offs two seasons ago but the last two seasons have seen them looking over their shoulders. Given their budget they really do have some quality within their team. Alex Cairns in goal is very consistent, Danny Andrew is as good as Twine on set piece duty, Toto Nsiala is a brilliant signing at CB striking up a great partnership with Don loanee Zak Jules who I imagine will not feature due to the terms of the loan agreement. Callum Camps and Josh Harrop in midfield will play higher up the leagues soon.
Jordan Rossiter was signed from Rangers to solidify the midfield and up top Anthony Pilkington and Ellis Harrison should provide enough firepower to secure survival, particularly since their never say die attitude has seen them do the double over Rotherham and earn respectable draws away at Sunderland and MK Dons in the reverse fixture. Scott Twine with one of the best hattricks scored ever but not enough as Dan Batty came off the bench late on to equalise.
The Man in Focus is youth academy product Paddy Lane, better known to his team mates as Penny. The 20-year-old looks like the next youngster out the door following James Hill and Jay Matete for six figure sums. Able to play out wide or in the number 10 role he is direct, pacy and a genuine threat. With 3 goals and 8 assists everything positive will likely go through him. Certainly, one to keep an eye on tonight and in the future.
Predicted Line Up
Kesler – O’Hora – Darling – Lewington – Harvie
Coventry – McEachran
Parrott – Twine – Eisa.
February is full on with fixtures, so rotation is expected. I still believe our squad is more than capable of dispatching Fleetwood but there is a tinge of nerves given our results against the bottom sides this season (Doncaster x2, Shrewsbury, Fleetwood). With confidence high in the squad right now I’m predicting a 3-1 away win. Sterner tests are on the horizon just got to take it a game at a time. Parrott Eisa and Wickham off the bench to score.