MK Dons suffered a 1-0 defeat to Exeter City after Cheick Diabate’s goal.
The Dons altered their squad from Tuesday night's Papa John's fixture, they returned to the same starting XI that travelled to the Muzuma Stadium in their most-recent Sky Bet League One fixture.
Jevani Brown took an early corner which flew over the players within the box. Conor Grant’s tricky back-heel found Will Grigg, who played it out to Daniel Harvie on the left-flank. The full-back then played a ball in which was unable to locate a Dons player.
Pierce Sweeney cut a ball across the area, but Warren O’Hora cleared the ball and prevented any further danger from occurring, ten minutes into the first-half.
Grigg took it round Blackman after he received a great down-the-line ball from Henry Lawrence, the striker cut it back toward the penalty spot, but no black shirts were there to be found. Soon after, Dawson crafted an in-swinging ball after MK Dons were granted a free-kick, but it fell behind the by-line.
The Grecians had an attempt from a free-kick that went over the bar 15 minutes into play.
Tim Dieng’s header went behind for a goal-kick, Lawrence did well to defend the number 14 and ensure that his header was off target.
Darragh Burns registered the first shot on target for Liam Manning’s men, the number 20 burst away from his defender before he fired a long-range shot, aimed for the bottom-left corner, Jamal Blackman got down and met the strike.
33 minutes in Exeter lurk in MK Dons’ area, the home side try to pry an opening to create a shooting opportunity, but Devoy defended well and saw the ball behind to reclaim possession.
Another chance for Exeter after the ball was fired across the six-yard area, it was too far ahead of Brown for the forward to make contact.
Blackman produced a great save to deny Burns from claiming the opener of the match, Harvie played the ball across the Grecians open area, but the number 20’s shot was matched.
The home side gained momentum, five minutes before the interval. Jamie Cumming was called upon to deny Sam Nombe from point-blank. After the Exeter corner the goalkeeper shined again, the number one made an incredible double-save to prevent two close-range headers and keep the score line level.
MK Dons made a change at the interval and brought on Matt Dennis to replace Will Grigg.
Exeter City shout for a penalty within the opening minutes of the second-half after Nombe hits the ground inside the area, Ben Toner waved off the calls.
Cumming continued his impressive performance and denied Sparkes, who unleashed a powerful shot from the left-side of the box. The Grecians continued their pressure, Brown’s shot clipped over the bar after the ball was cut-back into his path within the area.
56 minutes into the match a further two MK Dons substitutions were made, Joshua Kayode made his MK Dons league debut in place of Darragh Burns, Matt Smith was swapped on for Conor Grant.
Daniel Harvie defended well to head the ball away before it reached Josh Key on the back-post.
Goal. Exeter City find the opener through Cheick Diabate, who headed the ball into the net after the Grecians took a corner-kick. 25 minutes remained of the second-half.
Josh Key attempts to curl it in from the outside of the area, the number 12’s shot went behind for a goal-kick. Liam Manning’s men continue to find an equaliser.
Nombe’s attempt to double the lead drifted wide of the post on the 76-minute mark.
Nombe made way for Jay Stansfield, who made his Exeter City debut in the last ten minutes of the fixture.
Josh Kayode won a free-kick in the Grecian’s final-third, Dawson Devoy delivered the ball into the box, but it was unable to meet a Dons player.
Harvie delivered the ball into Bradley Johnson after Kayode located the number 21 on the left side, Johnson hit the ball from the edge of the area, but Blackman was able to deal with the attempt.
Three minutes were added onto the end of the game, but Exeter City were able to see out the game and claim the points at St James Park.
MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington (c), Tucker, O’Hora, Grigg (Dennis 45), Johnson, Grant (Smith 56), Burns (Kayode 56), Harvie, Lawrence, Devoy
Subs: Ravizolli, Oyegoke, Barry, Jules
Booked: Harvie 69
Exeter City: Blackman, Key, Sweeney (c), Diabate, Grounds, Sparkes, Dieng (Harper 62), Collins, Kite, J.Brown, Nombe (Stansfield 79)
Subs: S.Brown, Caprice, Chauke, Jay, Smith, S
Goals: Cheick Diabate 65
Booked: Grounds 82
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