Paynes Player Ratings

Payne’s Player Ratings

By Alfie Marlborough, reproduced in association with MK Dons Worldwide

Alfie steps in for Luke and gives you his verdict on the player performances from the game at Forest Green.

Player Ratings – Forest Green Rovers (A)

A big win for the Dons who secured all three points thanks to a Mo Eisa brace which sent 527 frozen Dons fans home happy. Here’s how I rated the players as I filled in for Luke!

Jamie Cumming – 6.5
A decent showing from the loanee despite being part of the blunder which led to the opener for Forest Green Rovers. The Goalkeeper commanded his area well and looked really strong when dealing with the aerial threats sent his way. Despite not having to make too many saves, Cumming did well when he was called upon especially in the second half when he made a good diving save to his right to prevent the hosts from netting an equaliser. However, he was at fault for the opener. The keeper failed to react fast enough to the loose ball and was beaten by Peart-Harris who tapped home the first goal of the game.

Tennai Watson – 7
A solid display from the Right-Back who made plenty of clearances – especially late on in the game when the pressure was being piled on the Dons’ backline. The Full-back played plenty of passes into the final-third and looked much more of an attacking threat as well as doing a strong job in defence where he won the majority of duels both on the ground and in the air.

Jack Tucker – 7
A very strong showing from the centre-half who is starting to turn people’s heads with his performances of late. He Won lots of headers and kept the Forest Green attackers fairly quiet throughout the game. However, Tucker did play a massive part in the goal for the hosts after failing to deal with the ball over the top. The 23-year-old sliced an attempt to clear the ball and brought down the Forest Green player in the process and would have most likely conceded a penalty and seen red should the ball have not ended up in the back of the net. Despite the error, he is looking much more settled at the back and is starting to show what he is capable of.

Josh McEachran – 6.5
A mixed showing from the captain. Failed to close down his man which led to the ball played into the striker for the first goal but provided a perfect through ball to Mo Eisa for the second goal. However, lots of things didn’t work out for the midfielder who failed to really get involved in the first-half and picked himself up a needless booking which were just some of the factors that likely contributed to the decision to take him off just twenty minutes into the second-half.

Will Grigg – 6
The Northern Irish striker looked a lot more lively then what we have seen in recent weeks but still looked poor in front of goal. Griggy had an opportunity early on in the game when he intercepted a Forest Green pass which left him bearing down on the keeper but the defender caught up with Grigg and blocked the poor effort from the shot that followed. Looked decent at times and held up the ball nicely on occasions but will be disappointed with his few chances that he should have done better with.

Mo Eisa – 8.5 (TOP DON)
Two wonderful finishes either side of half-time from the striker in his best display this season without a doubt. The Striker looked very effective out wide and caused plenty of problems for the Forest Green defence. Mo did well to bring down the ball to him from debutant Jonathan Leko and drove towards the box before slotting the ball through the legs of the keeper to level things going into the break. Shortly into the second-half, Eisa chased onto a ball played by McEachran before slotting the ball across the keeper and into the bottom right corner with his first touch. A Man of the Match worthy display from the striker who brings his goal tally up to six in all competitions.

Jonathan Leko – 8
An incredible debut from Leko who played out wide for 65 minutes before being subbed off. The forward took a bit of time to get going but provided to be a real threat when he did. He used his body strength brilliantly to win the ball back for Dons on several occasions and did not stop running from the minute go. Played an exceptional ball across the field to Mo Eisa for the first goal. A brilliant showing from Leko who joined last week from Birmingham City.

Bradley Johnson – 6.5
A decent performance from the central-midfielder on his return to the starting Eleven. Johnson was fairly strong at both ends of the pitch – winning the majority of duels that came his way while providing a few good long balls for the attackers. However, The midfielder was quiet at stages throughout the match.

Daniel Harvie – 7.5
A strong performance from the Scottish Full-Back who won the majority of his tackles and kept the Forest Green Forwards fairly quiet throughout and sent plenty of passes into the final third to try and spark something for the Dons. He did well to win plenty of fouls late on to run the clock down and see the Dons out to their second victory under Mark Jackson.

Dawson Devoy – 6.5
A fairly quiet afternoon for the Irishman who failed to make much of an impact on the game. With that said, he did create some chances going forward and recovered the ball plenty of times.

Zak Jules – 7.5
The defender played another convincing game and made many clearances to help the Dons to victory. Looked very comfortable at the back throughout the game and did what was required of him to ensure the hosts had limited chances. Overall, a strong showing from the Central-defender who has been a standout for the Dons this season so far.


Matt Smith – 6
Came on to replace Josh McEachran but failed to make an impact on the game and was very quiet for the final 30 minutes. With that said, the Dons were mainly defending when he was on the pitch so found it difficult to get on the ball and move the team forward.

Conor Grant – 6
Came on alongside Smith for the final thirty minutes and was unable to impact the Dons going forward due to the need to defend more than attack late on in the game.

Henry Lawrence – 7
Did really well when he came on for the final twenty minutes and looked at ease when it came to clearing the ball and going up against the Forest Green attackers. The Full-Back also did well to run the clock down in the closing stages.

Max Dean – 7
Despite only playing for 10 minutes towards the end, the debutant did very well and was very energetic when closing down the Forest Green players. The 18-year-old held the ball in the corner to run the clock down and held his own very well against some physical Forest Green defenders.

Team Performance – 7
Despite a shaky start and conceding a very poor goal which many players will feel they could have done better, the team really came to life and played much more like a team. The link-up play between several players really spurred the team on – especially Leko and Eisa who caused many problems for the Forest Green defence. Overall, we got the win which we so desperately needed which is all that matters alongside a much stronger performance from the Dons.

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