By Alfie Marlborough
The Dons; Cumming, Lewington, Tucker, O’Hora, Smith, Robson, Johnson, Kemp, Barry, Dennis
Port Vale; Stevens, Hall, Smith, Garrity, Conlon, Ojo, Forrester, Hussey, Holden, Harrison, Robinson
1’ Rory Holden kicks the game off with the Valiant’s shooting towards the Cowshed. The ball is punted up early which is cleared.
2’ Vale win a free kick early on near the corner flag. It’s played short to Conlon whose ball runs out for a goal kick.
4’ Vale win the ball in the middle of the park. A ball is played through to Ellis Harrison, but Tucker is quicker than his man and intercepts before the striker could get a shot off.
6’ A phenomenal long ball from Ethan Robson in the middle of the park but Louie Barry is unable to reach it and it goes out for a goal kick.
8’ Vale win the first corner of the game as an inviting cross is cleared by O’Hora. The corner is fumbled by Jamie Cumming but fortunately is cleared well.
10’ A very even opening 10 minutes here so far with neither side looking too comfortable in possession. Dons’ fans making plenty of noise early on!
14’ Matt Smith robs Rory Holden off the ball and drives forward before playing a sublime ball to Barry who skips past his man. His cross leads to nothing though.
20’ Vale are starting to look the stronger of the two sides so far and are doing well to get the ball into the area. However, the Dons are staying strong at the back and are doing enough to prevent any danger from the Valiant’s.
23’ The Dons are playing nice football around the back and are looking much more confident playing.
24’ Sammy Robinson is allowed to cut inside the box. His shot is blocked well by O’Hora.
27’ Chris Hussey has a big opportunity but can’t get a strong connection with the ball after being played through but is put off by Lewington who puts in an incredible shot. The ball goes out for a goal kick which is played long by Jamie Cumming.
33’ WHAT A GOAL! Bradley Johnson puts the Dons ahead with a stunning finish from 20 yards out. Smith plays a pass to the midfielder who curls the ball past Jack Stephens to put Dons ahead. 1-0.
39’ Hussey has a shot from the edge of the box which is heading goal bound but an excellent block from Warren O’Hora denies Vale an equaliser.
42’ Matt Dennis has a chance to double the Dons’ lead from a tight angle but hits it straight at Stephens who collects comfortably.
HALF-TIME: The Dons go in at the break with a one goal lead thanks to a phenomenal finish from Bradley Johnson. Been even so far though at Stadium MK with both teams having chances but it’s Dons who lead.
45’ Dons kick off the second half and have made one change at the break. Louie Barry comes off for Daniel Oyegoke.
47’ Dan Kemp does well and is able to drive through the Vale defence and cuts inside before playing a ball in the box which is too far for Dennis.
52’ Vale win a free kick which is struck straight at the wall. The ball is played back in but is cleared and then eventually claimed by Cumming.
54’ The first yellow card of the game is shown to Ellis Harrison for a high challenge.
55’ Lawrence does well to cut in and take it past three Vale Defenders before laying it off to Robson on the edge of the box whose shot is deflected and sails into Stephens hands.
57’ Vale starting to pile on some pressure as a ball is drilled in on the right-hand side which is met by Harrison. His attempt is cleared off the line by Henry Lawrence before clearing it for good.
59’ A ball is played in over the top to Dennis, but Jack Stephens is quick on his feet to clear.
63’ Vale make their first change of the evening as Rory Holden makes way for Jamie Proctor for the away side.
65’ Despite Dennis going down due to a collision with Nathan Smith, Vale continue to play and break away. Hussey fires just wide of Jamie Cumming’s net. Matt Dennis will continue for now.
67’ The Valiant’s make their second change of the night as Chris Hussey makes way for Thierry Small.
69’ Matt Dennis does phenomenally well to break away and beat his man. He is brought down inside the box by Connor Hall but the Referee waves away the appeals.
71’ The Dons make their second change tonight as Matt Smith is brought off for Conor Grant. A good shift from the Welsh International.
78’ Henry Lawrence comes close for the Dons as Stephen spills it but manages to get rid.
80’ Matt Dennis let’s fly and is only stopped by Jack Stephens who must dive to push it clear.
81’ Triple change from the Valiant’s as Funso Ojo, Will Forrester and Sammy Robinson make way, Brad Walker, Dan Jones, and Harry Charsley come on.
84’ Dons win a free kick just on the edge of the box. GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! Bradley Johnson fires home into the bottom right for his brace. Incredible from the midfielder! 2-0
87’ Dawson Devoy comes on for Dan Kemp for the final five minutes or so!
90’ Stadium MK in fine voice as we head into six minutes of additional time.
90+2’ Bradley Johnson has been named as Man of the Match. No shock there. Phenomenal from him tonight!
90+4’ GOAL. Port Vale get one back in stoppage time as Ellis Harrison heads home for the visitors. Vale looking lively here in the final moments…
90+6’ Corner after corner for the visitors as Stephens goes up. It doesn’t threat the defence and Cumming will take his time from this goal kick!
FULL-TIME: The Dons have won their first game of the season thanks to a Bradley Johnson Brace. Despite conceding late on, the Dons did enough to come away with their first goals and points of the 2022/23 campaign!
Next up we host Accrington Stanley as we look to build momentum from tonight on Saturday!