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MK Dons 2 Town 1

25 February 2017

Late Humphrys goal gives Town hope but damage done in the first half

MK Dons: David Martin, George Baldock, Joe Walsh, Darren Potter (c), Ben Reeves (Robbie Muirhead 68), Stuart O'Keefe, George Williams, Kieran Agard (Nicky Maynard 68), Harvey Barnes, Paul Downing, Chuks Aneke ( Maecky Ngombo 68)

Subs: Lee Nicholls, Dean Lewington, Dean Bowditch, Ben Tilney

Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Mat Sadler (c), Shaun Whalley, Junior Brown, Jack Grimmer, Ryan Yates, Gary Deegan, Freddie Ladapo (Louis Dodds 73), Aristote Nsiala, Alex Rodman (AJ Leitch-Smith 73), Stefan Payne (Stephen Humphrys 62)

Subs: Mark Halstead, Dom Smith, Bryn Morris, Adam El-Abd

Ref: Mark Brown
Assistants: Neil Radford and Marvyn Amphlett
Fourth Official: Ashvin Degnarin

Attendance: 8232  (543 from Town)

Paul Hurst makes two changes from the side that started in the home win against AFC Wimbledon last weekend.  Joe Riley is missing with a hamstring injury and is replaced by Jack Grimmer while Tyler Roberts has a slight hamstring so in comes Stefan Payne along side Freddie Ladapo.

Town had a good chance with less than a minute on the clock when a quick counter attack saw Payne switch the ball to the right to find Whalley, he drove towards the box and then hit a shot in on goal which flew just wide of the top corner.

It was the home side who got their noses in front after 5 minutes when Baldock got in behind Junior Brown, he put a low cross across the face of the Town goal and there was Agard to tap the ball home and give MK Dons the lead.

Town hadn't really started the game and the home side were piling on the pressure, Agard picked up the ball and drove through the centre of the Town defence before hitting in a low shot, Leutwiler was down quickly and got his fingertips to tip it onto the inside of the post, the ball then rolled back across the goal and out for a corner on the opposite side.

It was 2-0 to MK Dons on 11 minutes when then corner was looped high into space on the farside of the box to find Barnes, he drove to the by-line before firing in a shot that somehow found the back of the Town net from an acute angle.

Town were awarded a free-kick after Potter caught Whalley late, Deegan floated the ball in towards Nsiala but it was cleared but only as far as Brown, he played it down the left to find Rodman, he twisted and turned his marker before crossing to the back post but Nsiala was under pressure and couldn't connect.

MK Dons had been on top but Town were getting more into the game as the half went on, Whalley was trying to get in down the right and got some good balls into the danger area.  On the other side Rodman was causing problems and first he got the ball and came in field, he kept his run going before hitting in a low shot but it lacked the power to trouble Martin.  Then minutes later Whalley laid the ball off to find Grimmer on the overlap, he took it forward before crossing to find Payne who took it down and then laid it off for Rodman, he curled in a shot that flew just wide of the far post.

Town were creating some good openings and when the ball found Sadler he quickly put it out to the left to find Brown, he took the ball past his marker and then drove into the box on the angle before driving a low cross to the near post to find Payne, he spun and shot from close range but it was wide of the mark.

With the half time break fast approaching Town had one final chance after Whalley played the ball to Deegan, he in turn played it down the right for the run of Payne, he drove in on goal and fired in a low shot but Martin was there, he had options of Ladapo and Rodman to the left which might have been the better choice.

Half-time: 2-0

The first booking of the game came 5 minutes into the half after MK Dons looked to counter down the left, Barnes nicked the ball on and Nsiala slid in, missed the ball and sent Barnes flying, a free-kick and a booking for Toto.

MK were still creating chances and after Reeves got the ball on the edge of the box he cut infield looking for the angle to shoot, in the end he threaded the ball in to find Aneke, he turned Nsiala before getting a low shot in but Leutwiler was down quickly to save.

Shaun Whalley was still causing problems and when he received the ball out wide he looked to drive into the box, he cut between his markers before hitting in a low ball to find Ladapo in space but his control deserted him and the ball cannoned off his shins and the chance was gone.

On 68 minutes MK Dons made a triple change with Chuks Aneke, Kieran Agard and Ben Reeves being replaced by Maecky Ngombo, Robbie Muirhead and Nicky Maynard.

Town  had a corner that Whalley delivered into the box, MK Dons somehow managed to scramble it away but it was put back in behind the defence to find Whalley in space, he drove in a low ball in on goal but Martin was down quickly to save.  The home keeper then released the ball quickly to find Maynard in space and in on goal, Leutwiler was out quickly but Maynard nick the ball past him but Brown was back covering and watched the ball roll behind for a Town goal kick.

Paul Hurst made his final changes with just over quarter of an hour remaining and brought on Louis Dodds and AJ Leitch-Smith to replace Freddie Ladapo and Alex Rodman.

Town were pushing a still trying to create and when Whalley drove in on goal a deflection saw the ball drop to Humphrys in space, he fired in a shot but he got it all wrong and the ball flew wide of the target.

Another Town attack saw Jack Grimmer fire in a shot that Martin did well to save, the ball dropped in the box and was with Humphrys, he looked to get it under control and was shoved to the ground in the box, but ref Brown was on the spot and he saw nothing a miss.

MK Dons were finding the space to counter Town when they were attacking and the home side were creating some good openings.,  When Barnes got the ball and drove in on goal Sadler was backing off but the Town captain did enough to stop the run, Barnes still had possession in the box and managed to get a shot in but it was high and wide of the target.

Just as the fourth official held up the board to show there would be 4 minutes of added time Town grabbed a goal back.  Town were pressing with Whalley looking to get the ball into the danger area, in the end if dropped to Humphrys who found the space to turn and fire a lovely finish past Martin to make it 2-1.

Town were pushing everything they had to try and get something from the game and Nsiala was pushed up front to cause problems.  This meant that Town were open to the counter attack and with the full time whistle approaching MK countered and the ball was with Maynard, he get a shot in that Leutwiler saved but couldn't hold onto and when Maynard fired in the rebound Leutwiler made another superb save.

Full-time: 2-1


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