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Match Report


Posted Wed 23 Feb 11 at 00:01 AM


MK Dons were forced to settle for a point as they were held to a goalless draw by fellow League 1 play-off hopefuls Oldham Athletic. Karl Robinson's men bossed the first-half with Rowan Vine twice forcing saves and Oldham clearing on the line from Sean O'Hanlon's header. Peter Leven also went tantalisingly close with a free-kick which struck the woodwork. An out of sorts Oldham gathered some momentum after the break and Paul Dickov's men could have pinched the points had it not been for a superb save from David Martin from a wonderful Filipe Morais strike. Despite feeling a win would have been justified the single point, and results elsewhere, kept the Dons in sixth place and in the play-off mix while Oldham remain in eighth. Dons stuck with the same side that returned victorious from Hartlepool three days earlier, though Luke Chadwick was handed the freedom to roam in the hole behind lone striker Vine. There was a bright start from the visitors when Filipe Morais' persistence allowed him to get the better of Dean Lewington to cut back for the advancing Cedric Evina, only for the defender failed to call on David Martin with a skied shot. From there Dons threatened to open the scoring as Peter Leven's ball upfield set Daniel Powell on a dazzling run, which saw the wide man stretch Latics' defence from right to left, before teeing up Rowan Vine on the edge of the box. The QPR loanee curl a delightful effort which Ben Amos parried to the feet of Chadwick, but his effort fell wide. It then appeared to become a matter of when the Dons would score rather than if when Andy Todd's hack at Chadwick presented Leven with a shot at goal but his central free-kick from 25-yards curled agonisingly hit the post. And moments later Marsh-Brown's trickery down the left caused Keiren Lee a host of problems by finding a way to the by-line to fizz a ball in for Vine, yet an alert Evina was able to clear the line. Dons' fluid 4-2-3-1 formation left Oldham looking ragged midfield, although they were still able to threaten on the counter-attack - something Robinson's men were reminded of when Rueben Reid squeezed ahead of Gary MacKenzie at the near post but was unable to apply the finishing touch to Lee's cross. At the half-hour mark Dons were wondering how they had not broken the deadlock when a run timed to perfection by Vine created a one-on-one opportunity with the 'keeper. Amos, quick off his line, made himself big and Vine was left with his head in his hands as he fired at the Latics' goalie. The one way traffic at stadiummk continued when Leven, bossing the game from the middle, had the vision to pick out Powell on the far touchline with a terrific diagonal delivery. Powell did the hard work by finding the clear avenues before the ball found Mathias Kouo-Doumbe whose long range effort once again forced a stop from Amos. On the stroke of half-time Oldham registered their best chance of the half when Sam Mantom's free-kick was cleared only as far as Furman and the Latics' midfielder saw his low drive clawed away by Martin. Oldham came out in the second-half with more bite about them, unfortunately for Dickov their first opportunity to sting Martin's palms was wasted when Momtom's driven free-kick was blocked by the body of his own player Neil Trotman. There was more sparkle to Oldham's play which upset the rhythm of the Dons, and it was the visitors who edged closer to scoring as another weaving run from Morais opened up space and it was the finger tips of Martin that prevented Dons from falling behind as he superbly tipped over. As the game took a scrappy turn, Dons made their first substitution of the game bringing on Danny Woodards for Kouo-Doumbe - it almost paid off when Woodards combined with Vine but then delivered a cross too deep to be followed up by supporting players. Counter-attack football became the order of the day as both sides stepped up their search for a winner. The Cowshed's nerves were tested when Mamtom, Oldham's star player, was afforded the space to power an effort from the right of the box past the far post. As the clocked counted down Dons had appeals for a penalty turned down when Trotman's clearance of a Leven free-kick had hints of handball. But Dons had no such luck and even five minutes extra time was not enough for either side to force a winner. MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Kouo-Doumbe (Woodards 65 (Stirling 89)), O'Hanlon, MacKenzie, Lewington (c); Leven, Gleeson; Marsh-Brown, Chadwick, Powell; Vine (Guy 77). Subs not used: Searle, Amoo, Hughes, Chicksen. Booked: Gleeson Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Amos; Lee, Todd, Trotman, Evina; Morais, Mantom (Jones 89), Furman, Taylor (c); Reid (Tounkara 77), Feeney (White 77) Subs: not used: Brill, Black, Talkolski, Brooke. Booked: White, Taylor Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire) Attendance: 7,806

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