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Match Report


Posted Wed 02 Dec 09 at 02:45 AM


Steve Morison's late winner denied MK Dons a point after a brave second-half fightback at Millwall.

Paul Ince's side looked like they'd done enough to end a run of three straight defeats when Jermaine Easter's second-half double brought them back from 2-0 down at the break. But Morison, signed from non-league Stevenage this summer, slid home a minute into added time to puncture the travelling support and help Millwall climb above the Dons in the League 1 table.

It was a result that will have sickened a Dons side that had battled back strongly in the second period after falling behind to Andy Frampton and Chris Hackett goals. But it served as another reminder that their defensive frailties must be rectified if they are to continue to develop as a squad. Millwall had made the perfect start on 11 minutes when Frampton, only passed fit to play on the day of the game after injuring his hand at the weekend, struck the first blow to the Dons' armoury.

Having seen a header superbly cleared off the line by Martin Devaney moments before, Frampton stole in at the near post to nod in Hackett's cross after the winger's original corner had been cleared back to him.

The Dons' task was then made decidedly uphill eight minutes later when Darren Powell and David McCracken were both caught napping from Marc Laird's quick free-kick. Danny Schofield raced into the Dons box and after 'keeper Willy Gueret had repelled his shot, David Martin squared the loose ball for Hackett to slot into the unguarded net. A weak shot from Luke Chadwick aside, the Dons were struggling to find space in a crowded midfield and were hustled out of possession frequently by the relentless pressure of men in blue. But once debutant Nigel Quashie and midfield partner Jason Puncheon started to put their foot on the ball and enjoy some possession, the visitors' showed signs of improvement up to the break.

 Despite catching the Dons on the hop early on, Millwall had failed to add to their early lead - Morison going the closest with a snap shot Gueret parried to safety on 36 minutes - and they were made to pay for that within moments of the second half kicking-off. Easter showed great determination to reach a ball downfield just in front of Darren Ward, stretching out a foot to flick the ball inside the Millwall defender. It took the ball into a perfect shooting position, Easter always looked favourite to win the race, and his right-foot shot was arrowed brilliantly beyond 'keeper David Forde. With Aaron Wilbraham introduced from the bench at the break, Dons were causing Millwall a host of new problems - the striker offering added physical presence and a much-needed aerial option that was lacking in the first half.

The force was now with the visitors - Quashie firing a long-range effort wide and Puncheon flashing dangerously through the box from the right, while Devaney should have done better having worked good shooting space centrally. And after Morison had again worked Gueret with a well-struck half-volley at the other end, the Dons got what looked a big reward for their improvement with Easter's second with 10 minutes to go.

Wilbraham played his part, making life uncomfortable for Robinson as the Millwall defender headed straight into the Welsh international's path, but the rest was all about Easter. Controlling and turning to face Ward on the edge of the box, Easter looked out of room until he dug out a quite beautiful 20-yard drive that scraped the crossbar on its way into Forde's top corner.

Easter curls home a spectacular equaliser.   It was Easter's 13th goal of the season - a number that indeed proved unlucky as the Dons found themselves unable to secure a first draw for the Dons since mid-August. Morison spun in behind McCracken to seize on Frampton's ball forward and the Lions striker defied a tight angle to slot inside the far post.

Millwall (4-4-1-1): Forde; Dunne, Robinson (c), Ward, Frampton; Hackett (Fuseini 90+3), Laird (Bolder 69), Abdou, Martin (Grabban 75); Schofield; Morison.
Subs not used: Sullivan, Smith, Grimes, Price.
Goals: Frampton 11, Hackett 19, Morison 90+1
MK Dons (4-4-2): Gueret; Woodards (Howell 54), Darren Powell, McCracken, Lewington (c); Devaney (Leven 75), Quashie, Puncheon, Chadwick (Wilbraham 46); Baldock, Easter. Subs not used: Gleeson, Carrington, Searle, Morgan. Goals: Easter 46, 80 Booked: Puncheon, Wilbraham, Quashie, Easter.
Attendance: 7,883
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

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