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Report: Dons 0-0 Coventry

23 August 2014

The Dons were forced to settle for a point after a goalless draw with Coventry City at stadiummk on Saturday afternoon.

Despite dominating the fixture, Karl Robinson’s men were unable to find a breakthrough, with Ben Reeves and Daniel Powell coming the closest with chances in the first and second half respectively.

There were three changes for the Dons as Ian McLoughlin, George Baldock and Will Grigg replaced David Martin (hip), Lee Hodson (ankle) and Benik Afobe, who dropped to the bench.

Karl Robinson’s men started on the frontfoot, with Reeves drawing a save from Ryan Allsop before Darren Potter came close to finding Grigg inside the Sky Blues’ box.

All the visitors could muster in a Dons-dominated opening 10 minutes was a weak shot from John Fleck which McLoughlin easily gathered.

Shortly afterwards, Bowditch collected Baldock’s pass, drove at the Coventry defence, beating a man with ease in the process, before seeing his effort blocked – Reeves volleyed the rebound down Allsop’s throat from 20 yards.

Steven Pressley’s men grew into the game as the midway point of the first half approached, and Josh McQuoid forced a stop from McLoughlin after neat build-up play. 

At the other end, the men from MK1 were continuing to pose a threat with Bowditch sending a low drive just past the post from 25 yards.

Bowditch was at the heart of the Dons’ next attack too on 25 minutes as he latched on to Dele Alli’s incisive pass, rode a challenge and then forced Reda Johnson into a superb goal-line clearance at the second attempt.

The Dons, who were forcing their opponents back with an impressive tempo and high-pressing game, really should have gone ahead just after the half-hour mark but Reeves was denied at point-blank range by Allsop after being expertly found by Alli, who back-heeled it into the number 10’s path.  

Powell’s clever cross then laid on a chance for Bowditch, who drilled his effort over the top from a tight angle 10 minutes before the break.

That was followed a lull in proceedings which continued until the 58th minute when McLoughlin denied McQuoid with a superb save. Any goal wouldn’t have counted anyway though as the flag was up for offside.

Samir Carruthers came on in place of Bowditch shortly afterwards to make his first appearance since signing for the Dons on a permanent basis.

Grigg had been kept quiet by the Coventry defence for the majority of the second period but he went close to scoring on 62 minutes later, only to push the ball too far past the on-rushing Allsop.

Reeves and Potter then stung the palms of the Coventry stopper as the Dons upped the ante once again. Roared on the MK Army, they came even closer on 69 minutes when Grigg’s movement and cut-back set-up Powell, who twisted his man before lifting an effort over the top when well-placed.

That proved to be Grigg’s last involvement as he was replaced Afobe, whose tireless running aided a chance for Potter but his chipped effort inside the 18-yard box went just past the post with 15 minutes remaining. 

After nice interchange down the right between Carruthers and Baldock, the latter’s pinpoint cross picked out Reeves whose header skimmed the top of the Coventry crossbar.

Reeves was replaced by Tom Hitchcock shortly afterwards as Robinson went for broke late on to try and earn a three points they arguably deserved, but it wasn’t to be as the Sky Blues held on.  

Starting XI: McLoughlin; Baldock, Lewington (c), Kay, McFadzean; Alli, Potter; Powell, Reeves (Hitchcock 80), Bowditch (Carruthers 60); Grigg (Afobe 69).

Unused subs: Burns, Flanagan, Spence, Randall.

Bookings: Bowditch, Alli.

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