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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

12 March 2024 Venue Blundell Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Grimsby Town 1-0 MK Dons

MK Dons beaten 1-0 at Blundell Park…

12 March 2024

MK Dons suffered defeat at Grimsby Town with Justin Obikwu’s first-half strike enough to separate the two sides.

Grimsby could have had another on the stroke of halftime, but Michael Kelly pulled off a brilliant save to deny Holohan from the penalty spot.

The Dons threw everything at Grimsby in an attempt to find an equaliser, but couldn’t make it through the Mariner’s defence on a frustrating night in Lincolnshire. 

Mike Williamson made three changes to the side that beat Salford City at Stadium MK on Saturday, with Ellis Harrison, Stephen Wearne and Dan Kemp all coming into the starting XI. Emre Tezgel and Matt Dennis were named amongst the substitutes while Joe Tomlinson was absent from the squad with illness.


MK Dons had the lion's share of possession in the opening exchanges with Jack Payne pulling off a fantastic turn to lose his marker and start an attack, his ball found Dan Kemp but the forward was well marshalled by Grimsby’s defence.

Not long afterwards Abo Eisa had an early chance for the hosts with a driven shot at goal from close range, but Michael Kelly did well to get down to his right and stop the ball with his feet.

After six minutes Stephen Wearne floated a threatening ball into the Grimsby box for Ellis Harrison to attack, but the forward couldn’t quite get over the ball and sent his header wide.

Four minutes later Arthur Gnahoua was shown a yellow card for the hosts after a rash tackle on Daniel Harvie.

After 15 minutes Grimsby were shown another yellow, Toby Mullarkey going into the referee’s book for an awful tackle on Ellis Harrison.

Jack Payne took the resulting free-kick which eventually found its way out to Dan Kemp, the forward did well to go past his man and get a low shot away from the edge of the area but it rolled fractionally wide of the post.

The Dons had their first corner of the evening a few minutes later after Alex Gilbey’s shot ricocheted out of play, but Jack Payne’s ball into the box was headed clear.

MK Dons tried to make the most of a sustained period of pressure after around 25 minutes, Stephen Wearne latched onto an Alex Gilbey ball in the final third before firing a cross into the box that just evaded Harrison and then Lofthouse.

Grimsby were living dangerously a few minutes later with a poorly judged pass back to the goalkeeper, Ellis Harrison nearly nicked the ball but Harvey Cartwright was just about able to clear.

Abo Eisa put the Dons under pressure with half an hour played, the forward was buzzing around Daniel Harvie on the edge of the box but the Scot was able to head the ball back to Michael Kelly to collect.

A few moments later the hosts opened the scoring, Abo Eisa fluffed his initial chance after being played in from the right-hand side, but Justin Obikwu was able to latch onto the wayward effort and prod it home from close-range. 1-0. 

Five minutes later MK Dons had another corner after Denver Hume struggled to deal with Kyran Lofthouse, Lewis Bate sent an inswinger into the box but it was headed clear.

Grimsby weren’t shy of putting in a strong tackle in the opening 45 minutes, Harvey Rodgers picking up the Mariner’s third booking for a poor challenge on Ellis Harrison just before halftime.

In the first minute of stoppage time Grimsby were awarded a penalty after Michael Kelly was deemed to have fouled Justin Obikwu in the area. The Irish shot-stopper immediately redeemed himself with a brilliant save to keep out Gavan Holohan’s driven effort towards the centre of the goal.

Aaron Bannister then blew his whistle for halftime with the hosts 1-0 up at the break. 


Abo Eisa had a chance for Grimsby immediately after the restart, Daniel Harvie looked to have made an error to give the forward an opportunity but he recovered brilliantly to clear the ball away over his head.

MK Dons had their first corner of the half after Alex Gilbey was closed down in the box, Jack Payne’s ball was met firmly by Ellis Harrison who headed wide to the keeper’s right.

The Dons looked the more confident of the two sides after the break and passed the ball around comfortably while trying to force an opportunity.

Stephen Wearne had a chance from close range in the 54th minute but was rushed off the ball by Curtis Thompson.

Moments later Dan Kemp thought he’d equalised, his fierce shot from just inside the area was well blocked by Harvey Cartwright who did well to deny the forward a goal.

After 59 minutes Mike Williamson made a double change, with Ellis Harrison and Dan Kemp being replaced by Matt Dennis and Emre Tezgel.

Five minutes later Grimsby had a chance when Denver Hume fizzed a ball into the box from the left-hand side of the pitch, but Justin Obikwu wasn’t able to stretch himself far enough to connect with the cross.

Emre Tezgel did well to win the ball in midfield for the Dons in the 70th minute, he broke quickly and ran at the Grimsby defence before looking for Matt Dennis who didn’t quite have the pace to reach the pass.

Dennis’ sublime touch from a Warren O’Hora ball over the top played in Kyran Lofthouse a few moments later, but the wing-back was hacked down by Denver Hume to earn Grimsby’s fourth booking of the evening.

Stephen Wearne found Daniel Harvie on the edge of the Grimsby box with 12 minutes to play, the defender pinged a ball into the box but it was headed out for a corner. Lewis Bate fired the set-piece towards Kyran Lofthouse but it went inches over the wing-back’s head.

With eight minutes to play, Grimsby had a chance to double their lead, the ball spilled to Harry Wood who thumped his shot against the post from close range.

With a couple of minutes of the 90 to play Kyran Lofthouse broke down the wing before playing a ball into the Grimsby area, Alex Gilbey met the ball with his head but couldn’t generate enough power to get the ball on target.

Curtis Thompson was the fifth Grimsby player of the evening to be booked as the fourth official put his board up for stoppage time. 

Grimsby held onto their lead after an additional four minutes to secure a 1-0 win.


MK Dons: Kelly, O’Hora, Williams, Gilbey (C), Harrison (Dennis 59), Payne, Harvie, Wearne, Kemp (Tezgel 59), Lofthouse, Bate

Subs: Harness, Norman, Lewington, Robson


Yellow cards: 

Grimsby Town: Cartwright, Rodgers, Thompson, Eisa (Andrews 61), Holohan (C) (Green 72), Gnahoua (Wood 61), Clifton, Obikwu (Pyke 81), Tharme, Mularkey, Hume  

Subs: Eastwood, Smith, Wilson

Goals: Obikwu 33

Yellow cards: Ghahoua 10, Mullarkey 15, Rodgers 44, Hume 74

Referee: Aaron Bannister

Stadium: Blundell Park

Attendance: 5,659 (153)

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