MK Dons 1 Swindon Town 1
MK Dons came from behind to draw 1-1 with Swindon Town on Saturday lunchtime, courtesy of Patrick Bamford's fifth goal of the season.
Bamford's neat second half finish cancelled out Alex Pritchard's opener to maintain the Dons' unbeaten start to the Sky Bet League 1 season, although Karl Robinson's side may feel as though they could have taken all three points, especially as the visitors were reduced to ten-men mid-way through the second period.
Karl Robinson made four changes to the side which beat Northampton Town 2-0 in the week, with David Martin resuming in goal and Stephen Gleeson, Darren Potter and Luke Chadwick all returning to the starting XI.
It was Green who would have the Dons’ first real chance of the game three minutes in, after some neat play down the right from Banton and Chadwick. Green, latching onto Chadwick’s pass, failed to get a great connection on his shot and Foderingham was able to get down to it.
Foderingham’s opposite number David Martin then pulled off a save of his own two minutes later, denying Swindon loanee Alex Pritchard from close range with a strong stop following Nile Ranger’s unselfish lay-off.
Gleeson could have broken the deadlock on 13 minutes had Foderingham not been able to get fingertips to his rifled effort from distance – a save which proved even more important four minutes after when Pritchard put the visitors ahead with a well-taken 25-yard free-kick.
After Martin was forced to divert Nathan Byrne’s effort wide of the post for a corner, the Robins won themselves a free-kick just outside the D which Pritchard curled into the top right-hand corner, beyond the outstretched arms of Martin.
Looking to react quickly, the Dons raised their tempo in the hope of breaking down a very stubborn Swindon backline.
Their Wiltshire opponents, however, continued to look dangerous on the attack and they went close to a second from a Jay McEveley free-kick which was deflected just wide of Martin’s right-hand upright.
Bamford was then presented with a great opportunity to equalise for the Dons on the half-hour but after failing to trap the ball early, the Chelsea loanee was denied a fifth goal of the season by a great last ditch tackle from Yaser Kasim.
The Dons continued to pile pressure on Cooper’s men and, after having no less than three penalty appeals waved away by referee Stuart Atwell, Luke Chadwick had a close-range volley blocked just as it looked destined to fly into the net.
As the game headed towards half-time, Martin, who moments earlier denied Pritchard a second goal with an acrobatic save, pulled off a terrific double stop to keep the Dons within a goal of their opponents.
After punching away Pritchard’s dangerous cross away from danger, the 29-year-old flew across his goal to get his palms to a fiercely struck shot from Ranger on the turn.
Manager Robinson had swapped Jason Banton and Danny Green during the first half in an attempt to create more luck for the otherwise absent wingers and the former did get a sight of goal just before half-time, only to blast his effort off target.
It was Banton who had the final effort of the first half and it was the Crystal Palace loanee who had the first shot in second after Luke Chadwick had sprung the offside trap and found him with a deflected cross.
Banton, waiting at the far post for the cross, seemingly took his off the ball and subsequently scuffed his volley, 10 yards out.
After starting the second period on the back foot, Swindon had a chance to double their advantage on the counter-attack through Massimo Luongo but the former Spurs youngster placed is shot straight down the throat of Martin.
Then, for the second successive game, the visitors at stadiummk were reduced to ten-man after Mr. Attwell deemed Byrne’s late tackle on Williams worthy of a straight red card five minutes into the half.
Byrne, who was dispossessed brilliantly by Williams just prior to the incident, appeared to have planted his foot high up the Dons defender’s leg and it was dangerous enough for the referee to give him his marching orders.
With the man advantage, Robinson’s men pushed forward, sensing an equaliser, and through Bamford’s fifth goal of the season on 54 minutes, they found it.
Bamford, who continues his record of scoring in every home match this season, was played through brilliantly by Potter and the 19-year-old finishing cooly past Foderingham with the outside of his left boot, under pressure from two Swindon defenders.
Green could have then put the Dons ahead on the hour after curling an effort towards goal with his left foot but the loanee was denied his first goal at stadiummk by a diving save from Foderingham, who saw his opposing goalkeeper save from Pritchard moments later.
As the Dons pushed for a winner, Robinson introduced striker Izale McLeod and teenager Dele Alli and the two linked up with 12 minutes to go, only for McLeod's final pass to Alli to be intercepted by an on-rushing Foderingham.
Potter than had a long range shot saved by Foderingham four minutes from time before the Baldock was denied a first professional goal by the linesman's flag. McLeod did excellently down the left to create the opportunity for Baldock, who had just strayed offside before poking Alli's cross home.
McLeod did turn a Baldock cross over the bar in injury time but the Dons couldn't carve out a winner and therefore they had to make do with a fourth League draw.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Green (Baldock 82), Chadwick (Alli 73), Banton (McLeod 73); Bamford.
Subs: McLoughlin (GK), Smith, Reeves, Galloway.
Goals: Bamford 54
Booked: Green, Chadwick
Sent off: None
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Ward (c), Hall, Thompson, McEveley, Kasim, Luongo (Harley 85), Mason, Pritchard (N’Guessan 73), Byrne, Ranger (Ajose 62).
Subs not used: Belford (GK), Thompson, Storey, Barthram.
Goals: Pritchard 17
Booked: Hall, Mason, Kasim, Thompson
Byrne 51Sent off: