MK Dons will have work to do at Stadium MK on Sunday after being beaten 2-0 by Wycombe Wanderers in the First Leg of their Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final.
Goals from Ryan Tafazolli and Sam Vokes, either side of a red card shown to Josh McEachran, gives the Chairboys the advantage at the mid-way point of the Semi Final - but Liam Manning's men will have the opportunity to respond when the return to Milton Keynes this weekend.
MK Dons were unchanged from Saturday’s win at Plymouth Argyle as Liam Manning named the same starting XI and subs bench from the 5-0 victory.
The Dons made a dominant start but it was Wycombe who had the first real opening, 10 minutes in, when Sam Vokes latched onto a long forward pass. He, though, made a fluff of his effort and Jamie Cumming was able to save.
Manning’s men responded with David Kasumu breaking down the right. He shrugged off his man and crossed for Twine, whose effort was blocked by Anthony Stewart. Troy Parrott then went close with a right-footed strike which curled just wide of the post.
With over half an hour played, Twine was presented with a chance from a free-kick following a foul on him by Dominic Gape. Despite being 30-plus yards from goal, he tried his luck but was thwarted by David Stockdale.
Stockdale’s opposite number, Cumming, was then called into action to save a headed attempt by Vokes. Cumming then had Kesler Hayden to thank for heading clear a corner that had been diverted towards the far corner of the net.
A vital block from Harry Darling dealt with a low cross into the box on 38 minutes but he and the Dons weren’t able to deal with Joe Jacobson’s resulting corner, which was headed in by Tafazolli at the far post. 1-0.
In response, Kasumu tried his luck from the edge of the box but saw his low shot blocked. Wycombe then had the ball in the net for a second time but Vokes was offside when converting from Cumming’s parry, following an initial effort from Darryl Horgan.
The deficit remained one at the break.
Half-Time – Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 MK Dons
Cumming was forced into a save six minutes in – he was well-positioned to collect a left-footed drive from Jordan Obita.
It took the Dons a little while to find their second-half groove. With 19 minutes played, they were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Kesler Hayden but Twine wasn’t able to find the target with his long-range effort.
Manning’s men were then dealt a blow in their pursuit of levelling the scores, when MK Dons were reduced to 10 men after McEachran was shown a second yellow card for a 50:50 challenge in the centre of the park.
The Dons, though, went on the attack and Stockdale was forced to tip away a teasing low cross from Harvie which, fortunately for him, fell to a Wycombe defender to clear.
Wycombe went close to a second with just under a quarter of an hour to play when he crashed a shot against the crossbar from 20 yards out. Shortly after, Tafazolli headed wide from a corner.
Manning’s side weren’t able to prevent the Chairboys from doubling their lead, however, as Vokes managed to get his head to a right-wing cross and direct an effort off the post and past Cumming. 0-2.
Thanks to some determined defending, the Dons were able to keep the deficit at two through until full-time - which could be crucial come Sunday.
Full-Time - Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 MK Dons
MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, Kasumu, Twine (Boateng 82), Coventry, McEachran, Parrott (Wickham 90+2), Harvie, Kesler Hayden.
Subs: Ravizzoli, Smith, Corbeanu, Baldwin, Kemp.
Sent off: McEachran
Wycombe Wanderers: Stockdale, Jacobson, Gape (Wheeler 80), Stewart, Tafazolli, Vokes, McCleary, Horgan (Wing 78), Obita, McCarthy, Scowen.
Subs: Dickinson, Grimmer, Kaikai, Akinfenwa, Forino.
Goals: Tafazolli (39), Vokes (82)
Booked: Gape, Jacobson, Horgan
Referee: D Bond
Attendance: 8,987 (1,845 away)