MK Dons see their second defeat of the season as Crewe Alexandra produce a 3-1 score-line to eliminate Jonathan Leko’s opener.
Graham Alexander made seven changes from the Dons’ mid-week clash in the EFL Trophy. Craig MacGillivray returned to the goalmouth as Norman, O’Hora, Gilbey, Harvie, Robson and Smith were all named within the starting XI at the Mornflake Stadium
Mo Eisa was named among the substitutes as he continued to mend from a knock received a week prior. The striker was joined on the bench by recent signings Jack Payne and Joe Tomlinson, who were introduced to the squad immediately.
MK Dons got the game underway at the Mornflake Stadium, and they posed an instant threat when Cameron Norman won the ball in Crewe’s final-third. However, the cross produced couldn’t meet Ash Hunter in the middle of the danger zone.
Dons continued their high intensity press, which forced the home side to commit multiple errors and turnovers in possession.
Ash Hunter stood over a free-kick awarded, but his effort was read well by Harvey Davies, who caught his attempt.
Eight minutes into the clash, Graham Alexander’s men took the lead through Jonathan Leko. The number seven’s drop of the shoulder was vital to create an effort that followed.
The initial shot was blocked, as was Gilbey’s effort soon after, but Leko then smashed home at the third time of asking. 0-1
The home side sought to respond as they won a corner minutes after the deadlock was broken. Although, a foul on Norman during the set-piece diminished Crewe Alexandra’s attack.
It took some time for the opposition to find their feet following the opener, but that soon saw a spell of possession for Crewe in the 25 minute. Robson’s foul resulted in a free-kick for the hosts, but it wasn’t long until the ball was won back by Dawson Devoy.
Dons continued to cause trouble with their high-press as they forced yet another error to claim the ball in a dangerous area. Although, it went unpunished without Davies being tested.
Leko seemed to provide a spark when he received the ball, he wasn’t afraid to take on any defender that came his way, but the multiple bodies that marked the forward made it difficult for him to find a shooting chance.
Ash Hunter was forced off the field 37 minutes into the fixture, the forward had seemed to suffer from a pull, which saw him exit the field of play. Max Dean took to the field in place of the number 22.
Not long following the substitution, Crewe could’ve found an equaliser. That was until Craig MacGillivray’s anticipation allowed him to race out a long way from his goalmouth and intercept the ball before it reached its target.
Five additional minutes were set to be played at the end of the first-half of action. But that didn’t help amend the score-line as MK Dons held their lead whilst the break occurred.
Crewe claimed a corner-kick within the first minute following the restart, though, Tucker’s headed clearance denied any real threat at goal.
A penalty shout was made as Tucker raced across to defend against the oncoming Alexander attack, but the referee was rapid in his approach to wave away the claims.
Crewe Alexandra registered their first shot on target within 60 minutes of the match being played.
Craig MacGillivray made a huge stop to maintain Dons’ lead on the hour-mark. The goalkeeper got down quickly to match a low and powerful strike with a strong enough hand to divert it away from Demetriou’s follow-up.
Although a great stop moments before, MacGillivray couldn’t have prevented another Crewe chance which occurred moments later. The ball found its way to Conor Thomas on the edge of the area, and the number eight’s finish found the bottom-right corner of the net to draw the game level. 1-1
Crewe Alexandra continued to apply pressure following their equaliser. This saw many more opportunities at goal for the
It didn’t take long for the hosts to see their second of the game. MK Dons trailed for the first time within the fixture after Courtney Baker-Richardson converted a tap-in opportunity following MacGillivray’s initial save. 2-1
It seemed difficult for the Dons to shake off the pressure from the home side, who continued to amount attack which presented dangerous chances.
The ball had crashed off the post from an in-swinging delivery before Alex Gilbey defended bravely to head clear the oncoming attempt from Aaron Rowe.
During the 79 minute, Dawson Devoy was taken off the field as Jack Payne replaced him. Payne made his MK Dons debut at the Mornflake Stadium.
Shortly after Graham Alexander’s second substitution, a third change was made. Joe Tomlinson also received his debut bow in the final ten minutes of the clash.
A minute before the end of regulation time, Chris Long made it 3-1 for the hosts. A ball played into the number seven’s path made it simple for him to finish a one-on-one chance.
MK Dons saw their second defeat of the season as Crewe Alexandra produced a 3-1 score-line to eliminate Leko’s opener at the Mornflake Stadium.
MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, Tucker, O’Hora, Leko, Gilbey (C), Smith (Tomlinson 80), Robson, Harvie, Hunter (Dean 37), Devoy (Payne 79)
Subs: Harness, Lewington, Eisa, Ilunga
Goals: Leko 8
Yellow cards: Gilbey,
Crewe Alexandra: Davies, Cooney (Tracey 46), Adebisi (Williams 81), Demetriou, Offord, Long, Thomas (White 64), Baker-Richardson (Rowe 74), Tabiner, O’Riordan, Powell
Subs: Booth, Williams, Holiceck, Finney, White
Goals: Thomas 62, Baker-Richardson 69, Long 89
Yellow cards: Powell
Referee: P Wright