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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 22 Oct 11 at 17:08 PM

REPORT: MK DONS 0 SCUNTHORPE 0

Scunthorpe United held MK Dons to their fifth home draw of the season in a stalemate at stadiummk.

A slow burning encounter came to life in the second half but neither side could break the deadlock in an entertaining point sharer in front of crowd of over 10,000, the largest crowd of the season.

Mark Beevers had the best opportunity for the Dons with a header in the first half that came off the underside of the post, while David Martin was kept on his toes throughout.

The result keeps the Dons in sixth place in League 1 after 14 games and maintains their unbeaten run at home.

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Having had all of his players in training in the week for the first time this season, Robinson had a variety of options to choose from but opted to stick with the team who drew with Bournemouth a week earlier.

That meant Clinton Morrison was handed a starting berth for his final game in the month-long loan spell away from his parent club Scunthorpe United.

Compared to the usual games at stadiummk, it was a slow and steady tempo as both sides tried to find their shape and work each other out.

Chris Dagnall caught Adam Smith out of position which allowed him to find room down the right channel, but his cross along the six-yard box flashed beyond the black shirts looking to tap-in.

Still the game hadn't come to life, although Morrison did his best to inject some energy into it when he dropped deep into the Dons' half to take the ball from the feet of Oliver Norwood and release Angelo Balanta on the halfway line.

The midfielder's quick feet had him running at the Scunthorpe defence, with the ball glued to him until he had sight at goal, only for him to fire over from the edge of the box.

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When the Dons finally started to stamp their authority on the game, the opportunities began to fall to them. This time it was Morrison who was guilty in front of goal when Luke Chadwick found him from the right flank, but the 32-year-old striker went for placement over power which proved to be the wrong option as the best chance to break the deadlock was blocked.

The Dons had to be cautious with their play as Scunthorpe withheld the pressure before showing glimpses of real danger that could have cost the home side. First a chance out of nothing came when Barry Grant, tight to the right touchline, unleashed a fantastic shot for David Martin to push over the bar with his fingertips.

A strong challenge on Darren Potter went unpunished and as the Dons continued to appeal for a foul they were caught out as Scunthorpe piled bodies forward. Robinson's men were handed a get out of jail card as the ball was cut back to an unmarked Norwood, whose shooting boots were missing as he skied his 18-yard effort.

Scunthorpe may have been a side heading into the game with only two wins, but they had plenty of threat in front of goal. Out of possession the Iron were able to drop back and pack midfield in a defensive set-up, but they also had the Dons under the cosh and another long range effort, this time from Michael O'Connor fired out a warning.

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On the half-hour mark the Dons began to have more success getting through the Scunthorpe midfield. A run from Smith in particular caused the visitors problems when the fullback was able to get the better of Shane Duffy, turning inside on the edge of the box only for Sam Slocombe to push his shot out for a corner.

Minutes later, another corner found its way out to Balanta on the left and his measure cross found Mark Beevers but the towering defender watched on as his diving header hit the underside of the bar yet failed to cross the line.

A change in personnel came for the Dons when Jabo Ibehre, sidelined with a hamstring injury for the best part of a month, was introduced in place of Bowditch.

The visitors were extremely fortunate not to have had a man sent off within minutes of the second half commencing when O'Connor kicked out at Lewington after the two had tangled in a challenge. The incident went unnoticed by the officials, much to the distress of the Dons bench.

A better pace was played by the Dons in the second half which offered a much more positive vibe about their play. Frustrations began to show from both sides as strong, biting challenges came into action.

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Smith, having been involved in a clash that resulted in a caution for Eddie Nolan, found himself in the referee's book for a scything challenge on Barcham. The fullback then showed his class moments later when a superbly timed interception prevented Chris Dagnall from a one-on-one opportunity inside the six-yard box.

For the first time in the game the Dons began to dominate in large spells with the Iron pinned back in their box defending solidly for five minutes. First a free-kick from Darren Potter was deflected inches over the bar before a Balanta free-kick wasn't dealt with by the Scunthorpe defence and he was allowed the chance to whip the ball in again from the right but Slocombe was comfortable collecting MacKenzie's header.

With time running out the Dons needed to take their chances, but the Iron defence was hard to crack. A great through ball from Gleeson was superbly flicked on by Chadwick, which fed Morrison through to goal but just as he was preparing to pull the trigger a goal-preventing tackle came in from Nolan to deny the Dons.

In hope of finding a late winner Robinson brought on Charlie MacDonald for the final five minutes, with Morrison departing stadiummk to a standing ovation as the Dons fans thanked him for his efforts in the past four weeks.

Shane Duffy's defending on Ibehre in the closing stages brought appeals of a penalty from the Cowshed as the striker was left on a heap on the floor, but referee Paul Tierney failed to see a foul.

Deep in stoppage time the Dons broke on the counter-attack allowing Gleeson, trying his best to ride the challenge of O'Connor, sent a drilled effort into the arms of Slocombe. The referee brought play back to the spot where the foul had taken place, but Potter failed to make the most of the last kick of the game as his effort rose over leaving both sides to take a point.

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Smith, MacKenzie, Beevers, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Chadwick, Balanta (Powell 72), Bowditch (Ibehre 45); Morrison (MacDonald 85).

Subs unused: Kouo-Doumbe, Williams.

Booked: Beevers, Morrison, Smith, Gleeson, MacKenzie

Scunthorpe United (4-4-2): Slocombe; Togwell (c), S Duffy, Reid, Nolan; M Duffy (Ajose 72_, Norwood, O'Connor, Barcham; Grant, Dagnall (Thompson 72).

Subs unused: Nelson, Thompson, Collins, Cutler.

Booked: Nolan, O'Connor

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

Attendance: 10,554 (589 away)

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