By The MKDSA Media Team
So Mark Jackson starts his tenure in football management. It was a win. Mark Jackson’s MK Army.
The Dons started with a bit of fire and threatened the visitors goal twice inside the first two minutes but lack of a quality final pass extinguished any threat.
Just after ten minutes the Dons forced three corners in a row with Holland McEachran and Harvie linking up with the best of the combos seeing the ball fly just over the Rovers bar.
Grigg and then had chances but both ended in frustration and it started to feel it might not just be our day.
Cumming saved kept the sides level with a double save from the initial free kick and then the follow up.
O’Hora was given a yellow for that last ditch mis-timed tackle just outside the box with many fearing the colour of the card, but it was just a yellow.
Jamie was back making a save less than two minutes later and again with another double save the first of these the best of the five he made inside the first half hour. How he clawed the ball out I still don’t know.
The Rovers keeper brought a fine double save almost immediately after Eisa was brought down on the right edge of the visitors area, first Johnson with a piledriver and Grigg with a header were denied.
At the other end lazy passing from Holland and Harvie throughout the first half prevented the Dons from joining up all the hard work up to the final third.
Eisa had his first real effort of the game shortly before half-time but it was blocked as he powered in on goal.
The keepers had the best of the first half with Cumming being the busier of the two.
Half Time MK Dons 0 Forest Green Rovers 0
Jules was a man possesed with the first burst of power and pace he was to show in the second half on forty seven minutes, but again the final ball for the Dons wasnt clicking.
A couple of semi threats more on the Rovers goal before we saw the moment that won the game. Eisa cleverly won a corner which McEchran delivered into a crowded box.
Initially it was cleared but the ball fell to Harvie who was lurking on the edge and the Scot was encouraged by hopeful shouts of “shoot” from the Cowshed …and boy he did just that!
An absolute corker into the corner of the net threaded through a dozen or so bodies, the most important being the totally unsighted keeper 1-0 Dons.
Two minutes later with Forest Green on the breakaway McEchran took one for the team, very wise move and after being shown the yellow he was subbed. Josh had done his job, time for the Dons to make a change. It wasn’t a defensive either as Jackson brought on Dawson Devoy.
The Dons dug deep and were throwing themselves into everything, including a scrambe on the edge of our box blocking shot after shot in quick succession.
On 73 minutes Grigg was replaced for a more defensive Smith as Jacko had one eye on the club as an opening game win began to become more of a temptation to change things for as the Dons switched to a lone Eisa up top.
Tucker was awarded a free kick for a poor challenge from one tackler but it was the second unneccesary late intervention from Little that sparked a shoving match seeing Little and Tucker booked as the Dons defender responded.
Johnson was also booked in the 83rd minute for a late tackle from whoever the ref actually was which was ironic as Johnson had done a lot prior and this one seemed incuous and Peart – Harris committed around 7 fouls and wasn’t carded.
There few chances after this in normal time but the six minutes added on saw Casey booked for Rovers after a pretty nasty battrering of Barry.
Cumming made another couple of claims and Jules put in another solid tackle before relief was felt with the final whistle.
This game wasnt won neccesarily just because of goal we scored it was more for me about the heroics of our goalkeeper. Man of the Match Jamie Cumming.
Two wins in a row sees the Dons achieve their best run of form, climbing to fourth bottom but most importantly to just one point from safety.
The Jackson era starts with a win and sees the Dons now head into tricky two away games against Peterborough, who sit in eighth place but only on three fewer defeats than us and then to league leaders Plymouth who have notched up 50 points as of today.
Expectations need to be tempered and patience aquired as Jacko finds his feet …but it was a promising if unspectacular positive start.