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Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Sep 11 at 16:59 PM


MK Dons were held to their first goalless draw of the season by a hard-working and battling Bury at Gigg Lane.

Resolute Shakers frustrated the Dons in front of goal with goalkeeper Trevor Carson twice denying Daniel Powell and a making a fine save from Dean Bowditch in the first half to help ensure Bury, who have only won one home game this season, picked up a vital point.

There was late drama as both David Martin and Carson were forced into late saves to deny a winner at either end at the climax of an absorbing encounter.

It was case of what might have been for the Dons as two decisions to award free-kicks on fouls on Daniel Powell and Stephen Gleeson both looked to have taken place in the penalty box.

However, Bury also had chances to win it in the second half and a tip away by Martin from Giles Coke's shot from inside the box played a huge part in the Dons' draw.

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The Dons, with Gleeson returning to the starting line up in place of George Baldock as the only change to the team that lost at Burnley in midweek, bossed the game from the start as they looked more than comfortable on the ball with Darren Potter and Gleeson setting the tempo from the middle of the park.

Bury were given an early lifeline in the ninth minute when the pace of Daniel Powell caught out Efetobre Sodje and the centreback bundled the striker to the floor a yard inside the penalty box. However, referee David Coote deemed the foul to have taken place on the edge of the box, much to the bewilderment of the Dons, and Dean Bowditch's resulting free-kick was too heavy to create a chance.

Despite the Dons starting on top, the home side found some rhythm and began to look more threatening on the ball and a quickly taken free-kick caught Robinson's men off guard which allowed Giles Coke to turn and twist to unleash a fierce strike wide of the mark.

One of the more intriguing battles on the pitch was that of the contest between Dean Lewington and David Worrall, who was the main avenue for Bury's positive play. Neither of the two held back in their commitment for the cause in a bruising tussle.

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The game ebbed and flowed, with the Dons back on top they failed to capitalise on their chances when Potter hassled the ball off Sweeney in midfield to thread through to Jabo Ibehre, but the front man opted to shoot instead of cutting back for the supporting Powell and in doing so he dragged his effort wide of the post.

In the Dons' next attack Powell showed the confidence in his own abilities as he skimmed beyond Sodje but his fine shot was superbly blocked by Trevor Carson's leg to deny the opening goal.

A pin-point looping cross from Gleeson once again offered Powell the opportunity to test the Shakers' 'keeper, who once more was composed as he blocked the shot which came in from the right-hand side.

As both side pushed on to break the deadlock the Dons were presented with another opportunity in front of goal. Another fine ball up field from Gleeson found Bowditch who, with his back to goal, played the most delightful touch into the path of Ibehre but his decision to use power over placement proved the wrong choice as he blazed wide.

On the verge of half-time Carson kept the score goalless with a brilliant tip away after Luke Chadwick's burst from midfield and Bowditch, on the left of the box, curled a shot in but Carson's athletic save left Dons frustrated.

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The Dons started the second half like they had the first, on top and moving the ball around but struggling to get the break they needed in the final third. Bowditch, lively throughout, went on a terrific run from midfield all the way to the byline, beating a handful of Shakers players in the process, only to fire straight at the Bury defence.

Still looking for the first goal of the game, the Dons introduced Angelo Balanta and Morrison to the game in place of Chadwick and Powell.

The Dons were given a scare when an error by Balanta on the left of the box allowed Bury the chance to fizz in a cross which Flanagan was forced to head clear and Peter Sweeney's resulting corner called on a low save on the line by Martin as he kept hold of a bullet header from Sodje.

At the other end a scuffed close-range shot from Ibehre fell straight at Carson and the forward was given another chance minutes later but on this occasion his header from Shaun Williams' free-kick flashed wide.

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David Amoo, a Dons loanee last season, came off the bench for the home side and gave them some momentum with his fresh legs and quick pace and a fine cross from the winger had to be cut away by Williams.

Moments later Martin was put under pressure when Coke latched onto a cross from Joe Skarz and the Dons goalie made a late tip over the bar to deny the midfielder.

The visitors were then left feeling hard done by when a foul on Gleeson earned them a free-kick, when every member of Robinson's squad felt the foul had happened in the box, from which Williams' second attempt at firing the ball through the box appeared to be punched away by Andy Bishop.

There was plenty of drama in the dying minutes when Bishop could have found the winner when he broke one-on-one against Martin and the keeper was bold in his decision to come off his line and stand his ground proved to be the correct one as he thwarted the Bury striker's chance.

Then Morrison was denied the dream debut when Anthony McNamee's cross found Morrison but somehow Carson managed to get a touch on the loan striker's effort to see both sides take a point from the game.

Bury (4-2-3-1):Carson; Picken (c), Sodje, Eastham, Skarz; Sweeney, Byrne; Worrall, Coke, M Jones (Amoo 74); Harrad (Bishop 67).

Subs unused: Belford, Cregg, A Jones

MK Dons (4-2-3-1:Martin; Chicksen, Flanagan, Williams, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Potter; Chadwick (Balanta 59), Ibehre (McNamee 73), Bowditch; Powell (Morrison 59).

Subs unused: McLoughlin, Beevers.

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 2,378 (172 away)

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