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Match Report


Posted Sat 17 Mar 12 at 18:14 PM


MK Dons had to come from behind against relegation-threatened Chesterfield to take a point from their first visit to the B2net Stadium.

Chesterfield looked anything but a side fighting to keep hold of their place in League 1 when Drew Talbot fired them into the lead within two minutes of the start, and it could have been more as the Spireites began in a strong determined fashion.

A much-improved Dons team came out in the second half and it took ten minutes for them to force the equaliser through Jay O'Shea. Unfortunately for the Dons, Tommy Lee was in inspired form to prevent them finding the all-important winner on a day when the remained of the promotion pack also picked up points.

Jabo Ibehre vs Chesterfield

The Dons were without top goal scorer Dean Bowditch, who was rested as a precaution, so Robinson brought Jabo Ibehre and Luke Chadwick into the starting 11.

The two teams went into the game with aims of strengthening their positions at opposite ends of the table. Chesterfield were quick to show how important three points would be to their cause as they burst out of the blocks in an energetic fashion and the Dons soon felt their bite.

With only two minutes on the clock the home side caused problems for the Dons when Danny Whitaker's quickly-taken corner was whipped in at the far post and headed back out to Talbot who, from 12-yards out, sent a half-volley into the bottom corner.

The Dons quickly tried to get back into the game but as they committed men forward they were caught out at the back and when Jack Lester managed to get in front of Tom Flanagan it was left to a good save from David Martin to prevent the Dons from falling further behind.

Chesterfield were lively in front of goal, again it was Lester providing the chance for the Spireites although after his good work to hold up the ball Jordan Bowery saw his shot deflected wide by Shaun Williams.

Charlie MacDonald vs Chesterfield

The Dons needed to find their rhythm in the game to have a chance of levelling the score, however, the Spireites were in no mood to allow them to enjoy time and space on the ball. When Alan Smith opened up a route through to goal with a long ball to Charlie MacDonald Chesterfield's Neal Trotman was able to muscle the ball away.

Jay O'Shea took it upon himself to try and inspire the Dons back to level terms when, after quick and accurate distribution from Martin, he picked up a pass from Kouo-Doumbe on the right and whipped a cross-come-shot over the bar.

The Spireites were content enough to soak up the pressure from the Dons before hitting them on the break and when they did it, Chesterfield were dangerous. When Lester got past Flanagan they had the opportunity to double their lead but Williams was able to get a slight touch on the cross that was intended for Bowery to divert the ball into Martin's grateful arms.

There could be no complaints of lack of commitment of men from the Dons as they pushed forward looking to find the goal to bring them back into the game. Kouo-Doumbe and O'Shea in particular were making life hard for full-back Liam Ridehalgh, but Chesterfield's impressive work rate made them extremely difficult to break down.

Jay O'Shea vs Chesterfield

At half-time Robinson made his first substitution to bring Daniel Powell into the fold in the place of Ibehre, and the wide man looked keen to make an immediate impact by showing a clean pair of heels to get into the right of the box, only for Tommy Lee to make a great block.

The attack didn't finish though, and when O'Shea picked up the ball on the left and this time Lee's knee denied the Dons an equaliser.

Irishman O'Shea had been one of the more impressive players for the Dons in an otherwise disappointing first half, and he had continued his energetic display beyond the interval.

When he found the ball on the right of midfield he showed his dancing feet to power through the box before tucking a great drilled effort beyond the reach of Lee.

The Dons were improving and began to carry more threat in front of goal. When Kouo-Doumbe broke forward he sprayed the ball into the path of O'Shea, but with a wall of Spireites bodies in front of him, he found Chadwick unmarked and the midfielder curled the ball just wide of the far post.

A fantastic counter-attack break by Powell opened up acres of space for the Dons as the youngster continued to race free into the Chesterfield half. Goalkeeper Lee made the brave decision to come off his line, and it was the right one as he managed to smother the ball before Powell could finish.

Robert Hall vs Chesterfield

Robinson's men were on the ascendancy and pushing for the winner which meant with 20 minutes remaining it was the perfect opportunity to introduce Robert Hall for his Dons debut, only 24 hours after joining on loan from West Ham.

The changes made Spireites manager John Sheridan brought a mixture of reactions from the home fans, but Nicky Ajose dragged a shot across goal wide within minutes of entering the pitch they were soon on their feet.

The subs brought an added spark to the Spireites team and Dons 'keeper Martin was called back into action to make a save from Bowery.

There was urgency about the game as the minutes ticked by with a winner certainly in the game to be claimed. Hall showed glimpses of what Dons fans can expect from him as he cut inside from the right and lashed a superb shot against the bar.

He then found himself back on the ball to square into the box for Powell, who had been impressive since coming off the bench, but he miss-judged the ball and knocked it wide without causing a concern to Lee.

There was a nervous vibe in the air at the B2net Stadium in the closing stages - when Dean Lewington's shot was parried MacDonald was in the right place but couldn't get enough on his nodded effort to beat the Spirietes goalie.

At the other end of the pitch Ajose's low found its way through the Dons defence but failed to beat Martin. Three minutes of added time were announced but the winner never came.

On the balance of play a draw was probably a fair result, but neither side would have been happy to see two points dropped.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee; Hurst, Trotman (c), Thompson, Ridehalgh; Whitaker (Ajose 72), Allott, Moussa (Mendy 65), Talbot; Bowery, Lester (Westcarr 65).

Booked: Lester

Subs: Fleming, Ford.

Goal: Talbot 4

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Kouo-Doumbe, Flanagan, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Smith; Chadwick (Hall 70), Ibehre (Powell 46), O'Shea; MacDonald.

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Chicksen, Slane.

Booked: Hall

Goal: O'Shea 55

Referee: Steve Rushton (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 6,444 (433 away)

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