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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-2
17 February 2024 Venue The County Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Swindon Town 1-2 MK Dons

An impressive away performance from MK Dons saw Mike Williamson’s side beat Swindon Town 2-1 in Wiltshire…

17 February 2024

MK Dons climbed up to fifth place in Sky Bet League Two after a Stephen Wearne double on his first league start saw the Dons claim all three points at the County Ground.

The former Gateshead forward was handed his first league start for MK Dons at the County Ground as one of three changes to Mike Williamson’s starting XI.

Goalkeeper Micheal Kelly made his second league appearance for the Dons in Wiltshire, replacing Nathan Harness who played in goal at Bradford on Tuesday.

Lewis Bate was also recalled in midfield, with MJ Williams and Emre Tezgel both on the bench.


FIRST HALF

MK Dons made the perfect start at the County Ground, taking the lead after just four minutes.

Kyran Lofthouse refused to give up the chase, pressuring Swindon keeper Jack Bycroft into a mistake as he came to collect the ball in his own area, the wingback was well supported by Stephen Wearne, who latched onto the spilt ball to stab home. 0-1.

The Dons doubled their lead just minutes later!

Dan Kemp floated a delicious ball into the Swindon penalty area which Bycroft failed to deal with, the ball landed at Stephen Wearne’s feet for the forward to blast home a second from close range. 0-2.

Swindon had their first real attack on 14 minutes, Williams Kokolo sped down the wing before pulling a ball back to Udoka Godwin-Malife on the edge of the Dons' penalty area, but the defender dragged his shot wide to Michael Kelly’s right.

Alex Gilbey then had a penalty shout waved away after being pulled down in the Swindon area, but referee Scott Tallis didn’t think there was enough in the challenge to award a foul.

Kyran Lofthouse was involved in plenty of the action in the first half, running at the Swindon defence with confidence, and seeing a curled shot from distance float just over in the 21st minute. 

Lewis Bate did well to stop a Swindon shot just before the half-hour mark, the midfielder was quick to his feet to block a second attempt but was deemed too aggressive by the referee and earned MK Dons’ first yellow card of the afternoon.

McGurk had Swindon’s best chance of the half when the ball found its way out to the edge of the Dons’ penalty area on 33 minutes.

The midfielder didn’t connect cleanly though, and saw his attempt blocked by Warren O’Hora.

The Dons were quick to launch a counterattack from the resulting corner, flying up the other end of the pitch with Wearne, Kemp and Tomlinson combining brilliantly.

The ball eventually stuck at Tomlinson’s feet but he failed to get his shot past the Swindon defence.

Swindon eventually had the ball in the net a minute before halftime, but it was immediately disallowed with Paul Glatzel comfortably offside.

Just as the referee was about to blow his whistle Swindon found Glatzel again with a lofted ball into the penalty from around the halfway line.

Lewis Bate was alert to it though, doing fantastically well to tackle the striker and see out the half.

SECOND HALF

MK Dons began the second half with the same energy they’d displayed in the first, hassling Swindon and looking to get the ball out wide to the likes of Kemp and Gilbey.

Kemp had his first opportunity of the afternoon in the 54th minute, sending a stinging shot goalwards from around 25 yards, although it was well dealt with by Bycroft.

Michael Kelly was called into action a few minutes later, coming out to claim the ball after Harry McKirdy found himself with time in the Dons’ area, the on-loan Hibernian forward failed to make the most of his chance though with a tame effort.

Stephen Wearne then picked the ball up in a dangerous area before threading a pass through to Dan Kemp who duly slotted home, but the MK Dons midfielder was deemed offside by the assistant referee.  

Joe Tomlinson found more and more space as the half progressed, causing Town problems on the left-hand side of the pitch with his athleticism.

The wingback curled a shot towards the Swindon net on 62 minutes, floating agonisingly wide.

Mike Williamson then made his first changes of the afternoon, with Dean Lewington and Matthew Dennis coming on for Kyran Lofthouse and Stephen Wearne.

Ethan Robson then replaced Lewis Bate a few minutes later.

Swindon Town had an opportunity on 77 minutes, Harry McKirdy did well to pick up the ball just outside the Dons’ penalty area and run at the defenders, but he was well jostled by Lewington, who showed the Swindon number 10 down the line, eventually winning a goal kick.

Aaron Drinan had a great chance for the hosts moments later, latching onto a Zachary Elbouzedi ball from the right-hand side of the pitch before powering his header harmlessly over Michael Kelly's net.

Swindon did eventually find a consolation, forward Charlie Austin barreled through the Dons’ defence to poke home with a minute to play of the 90. 1-2

Dan Kemp was replaced by Emre Tezgel for the last few minutes of the match before MJ Williams came on for Jack Payne.

MK Dons resolutely saw out at least four minutes of stoppage time to claim a valuable victory in the Southwest.

***

MK Dons: Kelly, Norman, O’Hora, Gilbey (C), Payne (Williams 90+2), Tomlinson, Harvie, Wearne (Lewington 67), Kemp (Tezgel 90), Lofthouse (Dennis 67), Bate (Robson 74)

Subs: Harness, Tripp

Goals: Wearne 4, 8

Yellow cards: Bate 29

Swindon Town: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy (C), McEachran, Khan, Glatzel (Elbouzedi 74), Hepburn-Murphy (McKirdy 55), McGurk (Austin 45), Kokolo, Godwin-Malife, Drinan (Cain 82), McCarthy

Subs: Brewitt, Brann, Minturn

Goals: Austin 89

Yellow cards: Khan 45, McKirdy 75

Referee: Scott Tallis 

Stadium: The County Ground

Attendance: 8,789 (697)

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