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Brackley Town 1 MK Dons 2

16 July 2013

MK Dons edged out a 2-1 victory over Brackley Town on Tuesday evening, thanks to their sixth and seventh penalties of pre-season.

Izale McLeod's spot-kick just before half-time cancelled out Brackley's 15th minute opener before 16-year-old Rasulo won the game with the Dons' seventh penalty in six games.

Playing their sixth game in just eight days, the Dons arrived at St. James’ Park fatigued but eager to maintain their five-game unbeaten run in pre-season.

Despite being without midfielder Darren Potter through illness and injured trio David Martin, Patrick Bamford and Dean Bowditch, Robinson was still able to name a side that contained the likes of Dean Lewington, Stephen Gleeson, new-signing Ben Reeves, who made his debut for the Club last weekend and Luke Chadwick.

And it was the latter who almost set up the game’s opening goal but after latching onto a pass by Dele Alli, Chadwick couldn’t connect with McLeod at the far post and Brackley ‘keeper Ben McNamara comfortably claimed.

The hosts then had a chance of their own to break the deadlock, Charlie Griffin heading off-target, before McLeod fired Daniel Powell’s cross over the bar on 5 minutes.

After the fiery start, the non-League Saints began to frustrate their Football League opponents, who had to make do with keeping possession in the middle third of the pitch.

And the resolute approach paid dividends on the 15 minute mark when Brackley forward Owen Story fired a fierce low drive past Ian McLoughlin to give the non-League side the lead.

Ten minutes later, the Dons had a good chance to draw level through Alli, who had been kept relatively quiet in the early stages out on the left wing. A deep cross from the right, which looked for all the word to be heading out for a goal-kick, was met at the far post by young midfielder who powered a header just wide of the left-hand upright.

Gleeson was the next to go close to making it 1-1 but after controlling Alli’s pass the Irishman’s effort, similar to that which resulted in his first goal last Saturday, fell wide off the mark.

The Dons, though, almost found themselves two goals down on 35 minutes after a Brackley corner wasn’t dealt with at the far post. Fortunately for Karl Robinson’s men, Reeves was on his toes at the far post to scramble away a weak point-blank shot and spare the visitors blushes.

Brackley’s near-miss sparked the League 1 outfit back life and they had chances to equalise through both George Baldock and Gleeson, but neither player could find the net with their long distance efforts.

Then, with a minute remaining in the first half, the Dons were gifted a leveller when McLeod, who minutes earlier hit the side netting with a close-range shot, was unfairly bundled to the ground by an off-balance Brackley defender. The Dons frontman took the subsequent spot-kick himself and confidently converted the Dons’ sixth penalty in as many games.

As expected after an explosive first 45 minutes, the second half started at a much slower pace with the Dons just edging things in terms of possession. In fact, it took until the 63rd minute for the Dons to register their first meaningful shot of the second period - Reeves coming within a whisper of his first goal in Dons colours by curling a superb right-footed shot onto the post from 20-yards out.

The Dons went close once again just after the hour mark but after rounding the 'keeper, McLeod opted to find a team-mate instead of trying to net his second and his loose pass was intercepted and the chance was lost.

Robinson then rang the changes, bringing on first-teamers Jon Otsemobor, Antony Kay and Alan Smith as well as Under-18 striker Rasulo, who had yet to score for the Club since making his debut last season.

That, however, changed on 80 minutes when the England Under-17 international was tripped up inside the box as he bore down on goal. After the penalty was awarded by the referee, Rasulo was given the nod by the Dons management to take the the kick himself and he didn't let them down, calmly sending the 'keeper the wrong way to put the Dons ahead.

Brackley, spurred on by their home supporters, pushed for a late equaliser but it never materialised, meaning the Dons' unbeaten pre-season continues heading into this weekend's trip to League 2 Plymouth Argyle.

McLoughlin; Baldock, Flanagan (Kay 68), Williams, Lewington (c); Reeves (Otsemobor 68), Gleeson; Powell, Chadwick, Alli (Rasulo 68); McLeod (Smith 68)MK Dons (4-2-3-1):

Galloway, AloiSubs not used:

McLeod (pen) 44, Rasulo (pen) 80Goals:

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