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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

3-0
01 January 2024 Venue The Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

Report: Doncaster Rovers 3-0 MK Dons

MK Dons’ New Year’s Day clash ends in defeat...

1 January 2024

MK Dons were shout-out in their New Year’s Day clash as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Striker Mo Eisa earned a place in the starting line-up for the first time since Accrington Stanley when Mike Williamson took his first game in charge of MK Dons.

Two changes were made from the previous outing against Crawley Town at Stadium MK as Cameron Norman and Ethan Robson were reintroduced into the first XI in place of Jonathan Leko and Conor Grant.

FIRST HALF

MK Dons enjoyed an early spell of possession in the opening exchanges of their New Year’s Day clash, but it would be the home side who struck the first blow just seven minutes into the tie.

A ball into the middle of the field was flicked on behind the back-line of the Dons, Luke Molyneux was the first to react as the Doncaster number seven took the ball to the edge of the area with a clear sight at goal before placing it into the bottom left corner of the net. 1-0

An early setback for the travelling team in their first fixture of 2024, but more than 80 minutes of the match were yet to be played.

With momentum in their stride, Doncaster Rovers continued to pressure their adversary until another opportunity opened up for the hosts. Warren O’Hora got across the box quickly to deny Molyneux a possible second of the match.

The Rovers doubled their advantage just 14 minutes into the match. A corner-kick was cleared as far as Harrison Biggins on the edge of the area, whose strike caused trouble for the Dons defence but it was Joe Ironside’s deflection that ultimately diverted the ball into the back of the net. 2-0

Doncaster made sure to punish the visitors, who continued to bide their time growing into the match. This led to another crucial moment defensively, this time from Ethan Robson, to deny what threatened to be the third of the half.

Minutes later, MK Dons saw their first chance of the game through Max Dean. The ball broke through to the young forward, but at a tight angle from the right of the box, Dean couldn’t keep his shot on target.

 

Another dangerous set-piece from the corner flag forced MacGillivray to make a vital goal-line clearance before the ball was struck off the post moments after. Grant McCann’s team didn’t seem to want to let the foot off the neck of their opponents.

Mo Eisa was the next Dons player to see the sight of goal, but a heroic display of defending from the Rovers rear-guard turned away the striker’s effort from near the penalty spot.

Mike Williamson’s men grew into the game more during the final ten minutes of the half as it was the blue shirts who saw a spell of possession in the home side’s half. Multiple crosses were played into the box, but so far, Rovers were able to deal with each one they faced.

Doncaster Rovers earned their third goal of the half through a corner-kick, the ball was delivered into a dangerous area which made it difficult to clear as Tommy Rowe poked the ball home from close-range. 3-0

The first half of action concluded whilst Doncaster Rovers saw a three-goal advantage heading into the break.

SECOND HALF
A lively-looking Molyneux sought for goal once again during the opening exchanges of the second 45. The number seven for the opposition cut inside on his left before he looked to wrap the ball into the side netting of the goal - the Dons’ defence did well to react accordingly and block the strike before it could meet its target.

As little action occurred during the early stages of the second half, Mike Williamson made two substitutions in the hope that they could inject more energy into the game as Dons sought to fight their way back into contention.

Ellis Harrison and Jonathan Leko came on for Mo Eisa and Alex Gilbey.


Doncaster reacted with a change of their own as Mo Faal was replaced by Tavonga Kuleya.

Max Dean earned himself a yellow card for his protests against the referee’s decision as a frustrated MK Dons continued in their attempts to break down a stubborn side in Doncaster Rovers, who thus far, had limited their visitors to very few chances in front of goal.

Dean Lewington was the next name in the referee’s book minutes after.

Conor Grant made his way onto the field in the final ten minutes of the Sky Bet League Two fixture in place of the MK Dons captain.

Defender Warren O’Hora was able to connect with an in-swinging cross into the box, but his headed attempt was cleared off the line by Louis Jones.


Despite their efforts, the Dons were shut-out in their New Year’s Day clash against Doncaster Rovers as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the Eco-Power Stadium.

***

MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, Lewington © (Grant 80), O’Hora, Williams, Gilbey (Leko 63), Eisa (Harrison 63), Payne, Tomlinson, Robson, Dean

Subs: Kelly, Smith, Devoy, Tripp

Yellow cards: Eisa 45+2, Dean 73, Lewington 75


Doncaster Rovers: Jones Sterry, Olowu, Molyneux (Nixon 76), Rowe © (Hurst 76), Biggins (Straughan-Brown 88), Bailey, Ironside (Goodman 88), Senior, Close, Faal (Kuleya 66)


Subs: Bottomley, Faulkner


Goals: Molyneux 7, Ironside 14, Rowe 42


Yellow cards: Molyneux 21, Senior 31, Rowe 42


Referee: Thomas Parsons


Stadium: Eco-Power Stadium


Attendance: 6,151 (517)

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