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Match Report


Posted Wed 25 Aug 10 at 00:03 AM


Lewis Guy scored his first MK Dons goal deep into extra-time as Karl Robinson's men edged a Carling Cup thriller against Premier League Blackpool.

Having taken the lead in the very first minute through striker Sam Baldock, the Dons were pegged back shortly after half-time by Brett Ormerod's equaliser. Jermaine Easter's first two goals of the season, superbly taken in quick succession after Ormerod's leveller, had the hosts firmly in charge again before the hour-mark. But Ludovic Sylvestre's free-kick and a Charlie Adam penalty, awarded after Dean Lewington's push on Ormerod eight minutes from time, sent the game into extra-time.

The Dons continually looked the more likely in the added period, driven on by a vociferous home crowd, and finally got their reward when Guy slotted home Easter's headed pass ten minutes from the end. Robinson's men now advance to Saturday's third round draw and a potential clash with one of England's European giants, with a top flight giant-killing under their belts. The confirmation of the teams should have been an indication of things to come in the first half as the Dons, with one enforced change from the weekend, set about causing further disruption to a 'Pool side with no fewer than ten following their defeat at Arsenal.

Boss Ian Holloway didn't even make the trip - opting for a scouting trip at Scunthorpe over watching his second string in the cup. Within 53 seconds the hosts were ahead - Sean O'Hanlon spotting space in behind the dozing Dekel Keinan, setting an alert Baldock racing through to loft a well-timed shot over 'keeper Mark Halstead. Though they passed the ball reasonably well in the first half, Blackpool lacked the familiarity to provide a threat and it was the Dons who looked the more likely to add to the scoring.

Angelo Balanta fired a shot wide after an impressive exchange with Luke Chadwick on ten minutes and Baldock, sliding in desperately to reach Dean Lewington's low cross on the half-hour, was close to a second of his own. Allowing the visitors to retain possession before snatching it back and breaking at speed, this was the Dons style Robinson has spent the early weeks of his reign trying to polish. Ishmel Demontagnac finally brought a save from Dons 'keeper David Martin on 38 minutes after skipping inside Lewington from the right flank, but it was far from panic stations in the Dons defence.

Even when Ormerod seized on a deflection inside the box, Danny Woodards was alive to the danger and recovered with a super sliding challenge. But Blackpool's threat was beginning to grow - a fact underlined early in the second half when only the assistant's flag denied Ormerod an equaliser after Demontagnac's long-range drive had come back off the post and Martin's back.

Two minutes later, Ormerod could not be denied as full-back Neal Eardley set off on a bombing raid down the right flank, chipping a cross just out of Martin's reach for Ormerod to hook home. It should have been a setback for the League 1 side, finally brought back into line by the Premier League outfit, but they brushed it aside and retook the lead within three minutes. Balanta was the architect, turning brilliantly away from Chris Basham on the left flank before driving inside Eardley and into the danger zone. The reverse pass was perfect for Easter, who held off Rob Edwards to flick out a leg and drive the ball under Halstead.

A first goal of the season for the Welshman, his second wouldn't be far behind - a product of a wonderful exchange with Baldock that sent Easter powering through to slide under the exposed Halstead once more. The fans danced, the hacks in the press box sharpened their pencils as a giant waited to be slain, but Blackpool hit back.

The merit of the free-kick from which they did was questionable - Woodards seeming to time his sliding challenge on young Tom Barkhuizen to perfection - but the execution was commendable. If Sylvestre didn't intend to shoot, the delivery into the box was perfect as it nestled just inside the far post.

Blackpool sensed they were back in it, on came big guns Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Adam and the Dons prepared for the onslaught. Balanta might have put it beyond them with a flashing drive that flew just off target on 71 minutes and the Dons looked in little trouble until Coid's cross ;from the left forced Lewington into the slightest of shoves on Ormerod. Adam was in unforgiving mood, rapping his penalty tightly inside the right-hand post to level the scores again.

It left the game destined for extra-time, but both sides did their utmost to avoid that eventuality - 'Pool substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher denied by the flag, Demontagnac by Woodards on the line and, at the other end, Peter Leven by the post from a late free-kick. Leven came into his own in the added period, curling another free-kick just over 10 minutes into it and then denied by Coid on the line after he'd dinked Easter's pass over Halstead on the stroke of the interval.

But the Scot would make a telling contribution in the second period, clipping the ball forward for Easter to nod down and Guy burst through to give Halstead no chance.

MK Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Woodards, O'Hanlon, Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington (c); Chadwick, Hamann (Guy 65), Leven, Balanta (Carrington 90); Baldock (Ibehre 69), Easter.
Subs not used: Searle, Chicksen, Flanagan, Powell.
Goals: Baldock 1; Easter 55, 56; Guy 110
Blackpool (4-3-3): Halstead; Eardley, Keinan, Edwards (c), Coid; Basham, Sylvestre (Grandin 77), Husband (Adam 73); Barkhuizen (Taylor-Fletcher 69), Demontagnac, Ormerod.
Subs not used: Gilks, Crainey, Cathcart, Eastham.
Goals: Ormerod 52; Sylvestre 58, Adam 82 pen
Booked: Demontagnac
Attendance: 7,458 (780 away)
Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

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