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Match Report


Posted Tue 25 Jan 11 at 22:28 PM


MK Dons moved up to fifth in the League 1 table as their away-day resurgence continued with a deserved point at in-form Leyton Orient. Karl Robinson's men took a remarkable seventh minute lead when Irishman Stephen Gleeson struck a genuine contender for goal of the season - volleying home spectacularly from long-range to cap an impressive opening spell from the visitors. Orient hit back swiftly to take a lead into the break as experienced striker Scott McGleish and defender Terrell Forbes both scored in the space of five minutes. But the O's were denied a sixth win in eight games thanks to substitute Sean O'Hanlon, who powered onto a Peter Leven free-kick early in the second half. The result leaves the Dons, who have struggled for away form all season, unbeaten in their last three away trips and though several of the sides chasing them in the play-off race have games in hand, Robinson can be happy to have points on the board ahead of a demanding forthcoming fixture schedule. Looking for back-to-back away victories for the first time this season, Robinson made just one change to the side that started Saturday's win at Dagenham - bringing matchwinner Mark Carrington into a three-man central midfield. Orient were in confident mood themselves on the back of their 4-0 weekend demolition of Sheffield Wednesday here and the addition of the seasoned McGleish hardly weakened Russell Slade's hand. Gleeson rifles the Dons in front with a stunning opener.   But it was the Dons who started the stronger, totally dominating possession for the opening seven minutes and pulling Orient all over the park before a quite remarkable opener. Gleeson, without a goal to his name in 55 previous appearances for the Dons, showed the opportunism of a hardened marksman as he allowed Danny Woodards' throw to drop over him 25 yards out, cocking his right foot before rifling a half-volley over the stunned Jamie Jones and into the top corner. It was a moment of pure genius from the Republic of Ireland international and a goal he will go some way to matching if he plays until he is forty. But the fireworks had only just begun as Orient powered level within two minutes. Fortune unquestionably smiled on the home side for a moment as Dean Lewington's slip allowed Andrew Whing's cross from the right to arrive at the feet of McGleish, but the rest was pure class from the 36-year-old veteran, who didn't hesitate before angling his 12th goal of the season across David Martin. It jabbed the sharpest of pins into the Dons' wonderful start and totally switched the momentum as the hosts took charge. Dean Cox thought he'd blasted another on 11 minutes when Lewington's header reached him on the edge of the box, but his well-struck effort crashed back off the left-hand post. And Martin was at full-stretch shortly after to deny Charlie Daniels after McGleish and Cox had combined to send the full-back sprinting down the left. Mark Carrington competes with Scott McGleish.   The pressure was growing though and, when the Dons failed to clear the resulting corner with any authority, Cox crossed from the left and the advanced Forbes headed in at the far post. All that before the quarter-hour, and only some fancy footwork from Martin prevented Alex Revell making it three after the Dons keeper had faltered with a simple back-pass. The Dons slowly set about settling down, forcing Orient back into their own half and stringing passes together to take the wind out of the home side's sails. It served them well, denying the hosts any further openings before half-time and going close to levelling when Jabo Ibehre got his head to an attempted shot from Gleeson, drawing a fine reaction save from Jones. Orient subsequently started the second half with little rhythm or momentum and the Dons started to call the tune, passing confidently through midfield and using the powerful Ibehre as a fulcrum for attacks. Lewis Guy angled a drive over the bar from Ibehre's pass on 55 minutes, but it intensified the spell from which the Dons equalised. Jimmy Smith must shoulder some of the blame for Orient, shoving Lewington to the ground left of the penalty area when support was not exactly pouring forward. Peter Leven punished him with a well-flighted delivery that O'Hanlon merely had to connect with from four yards. Luke Chadwick looks to put the Dons on the attack.   Again the initiative had changed hands and the Dons sought to maximise their advantage - Gleeson's deflected free-kick well gathered by the recovering Jones and Mathias Kouo-Doumbé inches away from connecting with O'Hanlon's header down from a Leven delivery. The introduction of loan duo David Amoo and Rowan Vine signalled Robinson's intent and Vine almost made an immediate impact - shooting straight at Jones after controlling Kouo-Doumbé's pass superbly on the run. Orient showed plenty of attacking intent, but had only a wild effort from Cox and a dragged shot from Smith to show for their second-half efforts. Amoo gave a brief glimpse of his blistering pace when he burst effortlessly past Daniels before chipping a in a cross Jones could only clutch at four minutes from time. But a winner would prove beyond either side as the Dons headed back to Milton Keynes with a deserved point. Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Jones; Whing, Forbes, Chorley, Daniels; Smith, Dawson (c) (Kane 39), Spring, Cox (Mpoku 76); McGleish (Tehoue 68), Revell. Subs not used: Butcher, Jarvis, Argent, Odubajo. Goals: McGleish 9, Forbes 14 MK Dons (4-3-3): Martin; Woodards (O'Hanlon 46), Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington, Chicksen; Gleeson, Carrington, Leven; Guy (Amoo 66), Ibehre, Chadwick (Vine 70). Subs not used: Searle, Stirling, G. Baldock, Powell. Goals: Gleeson 7, O'Hanlon 56 Attendance: 3,131 (187 away) Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)

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