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Match Reports

Report: Dag & Red 0-1 MK Dons

22 July 2014

Danny Green's first-half strike earned MK Dons a 1-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge in the side's first friendly against Football League opposition.

Karl Robinson's men dominated throughout most of the contest and deservedly won the match courtesy of a neat half-volley from winger Green, his third-goal of pre-season.

The Dons made a bright start with midfielder Ben Reeves looking lively in the number 10 role behind the side’s newest recruit Will Grigg, who was up-front.

It was Dagenham, though, who would have the game’s first chance inside of four minutes through their trialist striker Jamie Cureton but, after beating the Dons’ offside trap, his shot was comfortably held by keeper David Martin.

Daggers defender Brian Saah then went close to gifting Robinson’s men the lead when his rash clearance looped up dangerously close to goal but fortunately for the hosts, Liam O’Brien was on hand to catch inside his six-yard box.

In the ninth minute, defender Tom Flanagan headed a deep Danny Green cross wide of the target with Grigg then forcing a save out of O’Brien with a low, right-footed shot across goal just five minutes later.

The League 2 outfit responded with two chances of their own, first through Ashley Chambers on 18 minutes and then former Don Luke Howell, whose free-kick, despite taking a deflection, was gathered by Martin.

Mid-way through the first-half, Reeves tried his luck from distance and produced a fine save out of O’Brien with a dipping left-footed shot before Saah did well to prevent the 22-year-old from latching onto Lewington’s low cross.

It took until the half-hour for the deadlock to be broken and it was former Daggers star Green who did so, firing an unstoppable half-volley into the far corner to cap off a sweeping Dons move in which a Grigg shot was blocked on the line by Saah.

Green could have added to his tally just six minutes later after creating space for himself on the corner of the Dagenham box but his curler hit the inside of the right post and ran away to safety.

The scores remained as they were up to half-time but were almost changed when Reeves left fly from the edge of the area three minutes after the re-start, however his left-footed shot drifted wide of the post.

Robinson's side looked in good shape as they continued to press their tiring opponents and they came close to doubling their advantage in the 55th minute through Randall, whose left-footed shot across goal was well palmed away by O'Brien at full stretch.

Reeves, who was working tirelessly in the number 10 position, then tried his luck from distance for a second time in ten minutes, this time from a more central position, but as before his shot fell off target.

On the hour, Robinson withdrew five of his starting XI and introduced the likes of Dele Alli, Dean Bowditch and Tom Hitchcock before he was forced to replace his captain Lewington following a collision with Daggers sub George Porter which left the full-back needing treatment.

Youngsters Kabongo Tshimanga, Will Summerfield and Harry Hickford were also brought on late in the second half as the Dons looked to end the game with a side in which Bowditch was the only player older than 23.

The numerous substitutions saw the game lose it's way somewhat, although the Dons did come close to sealing their victory with a second goal in the 86th minute but Tshimanga wasn't able to connect with Bowditch's low cross from the right.

Bowditch then dinked a shot over the crossbar with the game's final chance as the men from MK1 saw out the deserved victory with relative ease.

MK Dons: Martin (McLoughlin 60); Hodson (Baldock 74), McFadzean (Hickford 74), Flanagan, Lewington (c) (Okito 68); Potter (Summerfied 74), Randall (Alli 60); Green (Bowditch 60), Reeves (Hitchcock 60), Tilney (Powell 60); Grigg (Tshimanga 74).

Subs not used: Burns (GK)

Goal: Green 30

Dagenham & Redbridge: O'Brien, (Cousins 68), Partridge, Doe (Goldberg 68), Saah, Connors, Bingham (Raymond 29), Howell (Green 68), Ogogo, Hemmings (Nouble 68), Cureton (Porter 60), Chambers (Gayle 68).

Subs not used: None.

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