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Match Report

 

Posted Sun 17 Oct 10 at 01:55 AM

REPORT: BOURNEMOUTH 3 MK DONS 2

MK Dons' run without an away win stretched to five league games at Dean Court as Bournemouth came from behind to win a lively affair on the south coast.

Karl Robinson's visitors looked on course for their first win on the road since the opening day of the season when Sean O'Hanlon, standing in as skipper for the injured Dean Lewington, headed them in front just before the break. But the Cherries hit back with three goals in 16 second-half minutes to seize control of proceedings - first Danny Hollands in fortuitous circumstances, then Anton Robinson and Marc Pugh all on target.

Though Peter Leven's late penalty gave the Dons hope after Mathias Kouo-Doumbe had been fouled in the area, Angelo Balanta's late dismissal after a heated exchange with Cherries midfielder Rhoys Wiggins extinguished any lingering chance of a share of the spoils. Billed as the battle of the Football League's two youngest managers, Robinson's Dons again showed flashes of real promise, particularly in the first half. But Eddie Howe's League 1 new boys, still riding the wave of promotion from League 2, maintained their unbeaten home record to move up to third in the table and leave the Dons two points outside the play-offs.

Robbed of their influential skipper through injury, the Dons started with Danny Woodards filling the left-back role, Mathias Kouo-Doumbé on the right and Gary MacKenzie partnering O'Hanlon in central defence. Luke Chadwick turns out of trouble in midfield.   They opened the game with Sam Baldock steaming into the area from the left, only to be out muscled by Marvin Bartley, leaving him sprawled on the floor in the area.

The Cherries certainly weren't lacking in attack, with Adam Smith bringing about the first of the home side's chances on seven minutes when he cut inside from the right. His 20-yard effort was too tame to trouble Martin however and bounced wide of the near post.

Three minutes later and the Cherries were on the attack again with Wiggins working the left channel well. His cross into the box attempted to find Josh McQuoid at the far post but his headed effort across goal was easily dealt with.

Dietmar Hamann paid the price for his tackle on Bartley on the halfway line, picking up a booking in an attempt to stop the pacey midfielder and break down another Cherries attack.

But he was back in amongst the attacking play moments later, snapping at a volley on the edge of the box, which took a deflection and could have ended up anywhere. Sadly for the visitors it wasn't the back of the net.

Robinson's men may not have been troubling Shwan Jalal with wave after wave of attack, but their strength was in stemming an exciting Bournemouth side who are riding on the crest of a wave at this stage of the season. As the home side continued to knock at the door, the Dons refused to answer with a staunch midfield and back line.

Robinson's recent injury problems were dealt a further blow when Hamann's part in the game came to a premature end on 34 minutes. The experienced midfielder limped off to be replaced by Stephen Gleeson, who came on for his first taste of football since mid-August.

As the fourth official signalled three minutes of injury time to close out the first half, the Dons had picked the perfect moment to take the lead. Leven's in-swinging corner found O'Hanlon positioned at the far post to head home and send the visitors down the tunnel with the lead. With 52 minutes gone, Bournemouth brought on their 'cameo' striker, Steve Fletcher in place of Bartley, in a bid to add some experience to the attack.

Four minutes later and Bournemouth had restored parity. MacKenzie picked up a yellow for his foul on McQuoid and from the ensuing free kick, Pugh's 30-yard drive deflected off of Hollands to change direction completely and put Howe's men back on level terms.

Now it was kitchen sink time as Bournemouth enjoyed a purple patch to put the Dons under pressure. Fletcher began creating problems for the visitors, but it was Baldock who almost hit them on the break when he had his close range, stabbed shot cleared off the line by skipper Jason Pearce.

Robinson decided it was time to freshen things up just after the hour mark, replacing Easter with Ibehre.

But the Dons hadn't had a chance to try the new look attack before the home side had gone ahead through Robinson. Pugh's corner wasn't dealt with by Martin and Robinson was on his toes and ready to head home.

Ibehre was soon in the thick of the action, finding himself with only the keeper to beat but putting his effort wide. That was a chance the Dons would come to rue as play swung straight up the other end where Pugh scored an almighty header to put the home side firmly back in the driving seat.

Robinson played his final roll of the dice, bringing Lewis Guy on for Woodards as the Dons tried to claw their way back into the game.

Following a brief pause for on of the assistant referees to be replaced by the fourth official, the Dons were thrown a lifeline as Hollands chopped down Kouo-Doumbe to concede an 86th minute penalty. Leven stepped up, feinted and then hammered it past Jalal to set up an exciting final few minutes.

McQuoid hit the corner of the woodwork in the closing stages, which would have surely finished the game off once and for all. But when five minutes injury time was signalled the Dons felt there was still all to play for.

In the final stages of injury time, Balanta saw red as both he and Wiggins both raised their hands. While Wiggins went unpunished, Balanta was shown a straight red. Leven was then booked for dissent as the game began to turn.

Sadly, there was to be no last gasp comeback and while the Dons left empty handed, Robinson will surely take heart in a sterling performance against yet another high flying team.

Bournemouth (4-4-2): Jalal; Garry, Pearce (c), Bartley (Fletcher 52), Smith; Wiggins, Pugh, Robinson, Feeney; McQuoid, Hollands.
Subs not used: Stewart, Cummings, Cooper, Partington, Taylor, Bradbury.
Goals: Hollands 55, Robinson 65, Pugh 71.
Booked: Hollands, Pugh, McQuoid
MK Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Kouo-Doumbé, O'Hanlon (c), MacKenzie, Woodards (Guy 72); Chadwick, Hamann (Gleeson 34), Leven, Balanta; Easter (Ibehre 61), Baldock.
Subs not used: Searle, Chicksen, Carrington, Wilbraham.
Goals: O'Hanlon 45+1, Leven 86 pen
Booked: Easter, Hamann, MacKenzie
Sent off: Balanta 90
Attendance: 6,715
Referee: Roger East

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