By Alfie Marlborough
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Match Report – Accrington Stanley
The Dons win back-to-back games for the first time in 2023 after a hard fought 0-1 win against Relegation Rivals Accrington Stanley. Sullay KaiKai’s first-half goal was enough to see the Dons collect three massive points and move out of the bottom Four!
The Dons had a great chance to take the lead after just two minutes from a Corner which was won after Lewington played the ball over the top towards Grigg who did well to win the corner. McEachran’s ball found Tucker who was in acres of space. His strong header towards goal beat Savin but was cleared off the line by an Accrington defender. The visitors responded well and earned a corner for themselves but the ball in was cleared with ease by the Dons.
Just seven minutes in, the Dons went ahead after a well taken finish by Sullay KaiKai. Maghoma, McEachran and Watson played some really nice stuff in the middle of the park before eventually getting the ball to Grant who laid it off to KaiKai who made an overlapping run on the right-hand side before cutting in on his left foot and firing across goal into the net.
A quarter of an hour in, the Dons had another opportunity – this time from a free-kick. Conor Grant drove forward and found Eisa on the Left who carried the ball forward and tried cutting in but was taken out by Shaun McConville twenty yards out. Eisa stepped up to take the set-piece but his effort was cannoned off the wall.
Another big opportunity was wasted by Paris Maghoma who found himself bearing down on goal with options either side of him but decided to take it on himself. His shot from just outside of the box was struck poorly straight down the throat of Toby Savin.
The hosts almost found an equaliser just short of the half-hour mark after Mcconville played an inviting ball into the area which Lewington was unable to clear which had surprised everyone in the box apart from Whalley who fortunately couldn’t latch on to the ball at the far-post.
The Dons had two chances ten minutes from the break with two reckless fouls on either side of the attempts. Eisa won a free-kick after a poor challenge by Fernandes who somehow avoided a booking. The Free-Kick was initially cleared but found its way out wide to KaiKai who had been wreaking havoc for the hosts all half who tried cutting the ball back into the six-yard box but the low cross was cleared. Momentarily later, Daniel Harvie found space in the area when a cross came in from the right-hand side. The Wing-back was unable to get a strong connection and the header rolled out for a goal-kick. Michael Nottingham went into the book after taking out Will Grigg from behind.
HALF-TIME: ACC 0-1 MKD
Dons could have doubled their lead just five minutes into the second–half after Mo Eisa brought down the ball incredibly well after a long ball from the halfway line by Daniel Harvie. Eisa’s quality in bringing the ball down could not be replicated with the finish as Eisa skied over the terrace housing the Dons fans.
Jamie Cumming produced a phenomenal save to deny an equaliser after Tommy Leigh’s deflected effort. Leigh played a nice one-two with another Stanley midfielder and struck his effort which was heading straight for the top-corner but a deflection meant the effort was in the reach of Jamie Cumming who was diving at full-stretch. Stanley looked the stronger of the two sides in the opening stages of the second-half and had another opportunity when Mitchell Clark dribbled through several Dons players and crossed low but only into the arms of Jamie Cumming.
Accrington Stanley had a flurry of chances and were really looking more dangerous as the game progressed. Tommy Leigh had a chance which bounced into the hands of the Dons’ number one. Another effort saw the Hosts go close when a Stanley player got on to the end of a cross but headed straight to Cumming.
Max Dean had a big chance to secure all the points for the Dons when he was played through and found himself one-on-one with Savin in goal. The young-striker shifted the ball onto his right foot and saw his shot well blocked by Savin in goal. Max Dean was sent through and was illegally stopped by Leigh who was the last man just outside of the area. The Stanley midfielder was shown a yellow card despite denying Dean a clear-cut chance on goal. KaiKai’s free-kick was high and wide causing absolutely no threat for the Stanley backup whatsoever.
Despite Accrington Pressure growing late on, the Dons were able to see-out a massive win in Lancashire with KaiKai’s goal being the difference as the Dons move out of the bottom four. Up next, the Dons host another relegation Rival in Morecambe next Saturday at Stadium MK which could see the Dons add extra breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.