MK Dons continued their pre-season preparations as they faced VfL Osnabrück in a friendly fixture on the final day of the Dons’ Germany training camp.
Graham Alexander named a starting XI which included the likes of Alex Gilbey, Mo Eisa, Craig MacGillivray, MJ Williams, Warren O’Hora and Ethan Robson. All players who were also named in the starting line-up to face Barnet at The Hive.
Cameron Norman was introduced into the squad following a slight injury which ruled the defender out of the previous two friendly fixtures.
An opportunity arose early when Alex Gilbey’s well-timed sliding challenge turned possession in favour of the Dons, who sought to punish. Mo Received the ball at the half way line as Darragh Burns broke through the defensive line, but the angle for the striker was too tight to allow the Irishman a chance at goal.
Another bright move for Graham Alexander’s men occurred 15 minutes into the clash. MJ Williams had located Cameron Norman on the switch before the full-back placed the ball into the path of Darragh Burns down the right-flank. However, the winger’s cross that followed was headed clear.
Craig MacGillivray used his stature to command the area and claim two crosses into the MK Dons box. Neither side had a sight at goal within the first 20 minutes of action, although a competitive showing was on display.
VfL Osnabrück claimed a ball that dropped within the final-third, which led to a blocked strike from the opposition’s winger Conteh. Soon after, the German team had another hit from range, this attempt flashed wide and high of the target.
On the 26-minute mark Darragh Burns registered an effort at goal. A deflection ensured that Osnabrück goalkeeper Kühn had to be called into action to prevent an opener.
The German side produced an attack that could’ve proved costly to the travelling team, but a shot from the right of the box dragged wide of the post.
A promising attacking phase for the Dons with Daniel Harvie’s pass that started the move, the ball was received by Gilbey, who unleashed an overlapping Cameron Norman. Norman’s initial cross deflected behind for a corner, which was then cleared.
The whistle blew for the half-time break with the deadlock yet to be broken.
Five minutes following the interval VfL Osnabrück opened the scoring. An attack for the Dons swiftly turned in favour of the German team, who broke on the counter with a pass in-behind. Makridis was the player to get on the end of the ball through as he curled his effort into the left netting. 1-0
Graham Alexander’s men sought to level the score-line once again. Ethan Robson’s pass found Mo Eisa on the left, who played a soft ball down to the by-line for Burns’ cross into the box. The winger’s ball in found the head of Gilbey, but the midfielder’s attempt was snuffed out by the shot-stopper.
Another great chance created by the Dons an hour into the fixture - this time saw Mo Eisa with a close-range effort. The Irish winger caused problems for Osnabrück’s defence before his cross was nodded down by Gilbey. Eisa, who had to react quick made a stabbed attempt at the ball, which was matched by the man between the sticks.
Moments later, the leaders of the game progressed up the other end of the field. A move which ended with a shot off the woodwork, but work still had to be done by Craig MacGillivray, who produced a great reaction save to keep the deficit to one.
The Dons rear-guard denied multiple successive efforts before the travelling team conjured a counterattack. Jonathan Leko’s quick feet allowed him enough space to clip a ball through to Eisa on the left of the area, the striker wanted to return the ball back to the winger, but a Osnabrück defender flew in the path to intercept.
With 20 minutes left on the stopwatch both Darragh Burns and Daniel Harvie were awarded with yellow cards. Yet another opportunity to draw equal with a swift attack against the Osnabrück back four, but the shot from Gilbey just rises over the goalmouth.
On the 70-minute mark, MK Dons made a total of ten changes to ensure match minutes for each member of the Germany pre-season training camp squad.
Brooklyn Ilunga’s touch and pass from Tucker’s switch of play allowed Joel Anker to find himself on the edge of the area before contact forced him away from a look at goal. Moments later a corner routine located Tucker at the back post, but the defender’s headed attempt bounced wide.
MK Dons found themselves on the front-foot within the final stages of the match. A high-press rewarded Nathan Holland with a curled effort at goal, which Osnabrück’s ‘keeper had to get behind.
Shortly after, Max Dean produced then next great chance as he connected with Dawson Devoy’s pass through to him. Once again, the opposition’s goalkeeper made a great stop at his near post to keep his team in the lead.
Despite multiple efforts Osnabrück’s goalkeeper made sure to deny a plethora of Dons players from breaching his goalmouth.
The referee signalled for full time, which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the German team. However, multiple MK Dons players were exposed to match minutes in the closing stages of the pre-season training camp.
MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman (Scholtz 70), O’Hora (Tucker 70, Trialist (Waller 70), Harvie (Ilunga 70), Gilbey (Devoy 70), Williams (Smith 70), Robson (Tripp 70), Leko (Anker 70), Eisa (Dean 70), Burns (Holland 70)
VfL Osnabrück: Kühn, Engelhardt, Makridis, Chato, Rorig, Conteh, Gnaase, Bähr, Wähling, Wulff, Karademir
Goals: Charalmbos Makridis 49