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Match Report


Posted Wed 01 Jul 15 at 04:16 AM

Report: Reading 0-0 Dons

The Dons earned a point on their first ever visit to the Madjeski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Playing against his former club, Simon Church came the closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the post in the first half.

The stalemate sees Karl Robinson’s men collect their second successive clean sheet and move on to seven points from their opening four fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship.

Diego Poyet was handed his debut alongside Darren Potter in midfield while Rob Hall returned to the starting XI – Cristian Benavente and Carl Baker made way. New signing Josh Murphy was amongst the substitutes.
The Dons registered the first shot on target five minutes in, Potter driving a 20-yard goalwards which Jonathan Bond comfortably gathered.

Karl Robinson’s settled quickly but the visitors did threaten on eight minutes through Wales striker Hal Robson-Kanu, who headed off target under pressure from Antony Kay.

Some good interchange between Samir Carruthers and Jordan Spence provided the latter with a chance to cross on 10 minutes but he couldn’t pick out a team-mate.

After expertly crowding out Robson-Kanu following a cross from the left, the Dons broke with the result being the lively Rob Hall sending a 20-yard effort past the left-hand post.

The men from MK1 continued to apply the majority of the pressure, however, Reading did counter through Orlando Sa, who was brilliantly denied by Kay on 16 minutes.

Sa was again thwarted shortly afterwards as he looked to turn and get a shot off inside the box but Kyle McFadzean was alert to the danger and blocked the effort.

The home side were growing into the game and it was the turn of David Martin to deny the Royals and Robson-Kanu midway through the first half, superbly blocking the striker’s shot from close range.  

Danny Williams fired a low drive wide of the target not long afterwards before Sa headed home on 27 minutes, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

Dons fought back and Potter found Simon Church inside the Royals’ box but, after a good touch, he was crowded out and the chance came to nothing.

A poor pass from Hall gifted the hosts the chance to take the lead on 37 minutes, however, Stephen Quinn curled over from 18 yards after being found by Sa.

Former Royal Church came the closest to opening the scoring two minutes later when he struck the post from 12 yards, after Dean Bowditch had cut in from the left and the ball had fallen to the Dons’ No.11.

Martin made a smart stop on 42 minutes to thwart Oliver Norwood from distance in the last real action of an entertaining first half.

The Dons No.1 was the first of the two keepers called into action in the second period, comfortably gathering efforts from Chris Gunter and Aaron Tshibola.

In between those two shots, Carruthers led a counter for the Dons but, after the ball came back to him, his cross had too much on it for the arriving Church. 

That was the midfielder’s last contribution as he was replaced on the hour mark by Daniel Powell, who scored the winner in Tuesday’s triumph over Bolton Wanderers.

At the other end, Sa headed a right-wing cross over the top before Martin got his hands to a dipping 25-yard shot from Williams.

The hosts were beginning to get on top as the midway point of the second half approached and Martin pulled off a magnificent save to push Norwood’s effort around the post.

Trying to soak up the pressure and break, Dean Lewington fed Powell and he delivered a dangerous cross but no-one could reach it as Robinson’s men continued to carry a goal threat.

There was a real ebb and flow to the game as it entered the final 10 minutes - Powell was causing problems down the left while Simon Cox saw an effort deflected over the top of the hosts, but neither side could find a breakthrough and the spoils were shared.

MK Dons: Martin; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington (c); Potter, Poyet, Hall (Baker 72), Carruthers (Powell 60), Bowditch; Church (Gallagher 67).

Unused subs: Cropper, Hodson, Upson, Murphy.

Bookings: Poyet, McFadzean, Baker.

Attendance: 16, 547. (1,332 Dons fans).

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