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Memorable Match: Notts County

13 June 2014

Although a fantastic team performance, the 3-1 win at Notts County in March 2014 will always be associated with one man – Dele Alli.

Seventeen-year-old Dele Alli's fired his first career hat-trick as the Dons overcame the Magpies.


The match at Meadow Lane is the next in the ‘Memorable Match’ series...
Alli struck early in the first half before doubling his tally in the second period following some good work from Daniel Powell. Alan Sheehan then converted a penalty to set up a nervy finish, but Alli showed great composure in stoppage-time to seal the win and take home the matchball.

The midfielder, starting in a more advanced role behind Izale McLeod, chased down a long ball with the lone striker and curled a shot past the outstretched left arm of Bartosz Bialkowski to give the Dons the lead inside five minutes.

Karl Robinson’s men could have doubled their lead just moments later but after breaking into the County box, Powell’s shot was saved by Bialkowski and loanee Sanmi Odelusi wasn’t able to pounce.

Magpies forward Nathan Tyson then capped off a frantic opening six minutes with a fierce volley which he struck just wide of Martin’s right-hand upright from 25 yards.

The size of pitch at Meadow Lane, along with the hosts’ high-line, allowed McLeod a couple of early opportunities to stretch his legs and run in behind the defence and on 11 minutes he tried his luck for the first time, producing a good save out of Bialkowski with a right-footed effort.

Having watched his opposite number make a save just a few minutes earlier, Martin then did well to stop Jamal Campbell-Ryce from equalising with a smart save low down to his near post after the winger had cut in from the right.

McLeod had the first chance of the second period, curling an effort from the corner of the box into the side netting while, at the other end, Tyson tried to latch onto a through-ball, only for Martin to race out and smother.

Eventually, though, the Dons would find a deserved second goal which, although scored by Alli, was largely down to the perseverance of Powell, who was having a superb game in attack.

The winger refused to give up on possession and was able to nick the ball off the County defender before laying on a plate for Alli to tap into an unguarded net and double both his and the Dons’ tally for the evening.

Everything seemed to be going right for the Dons until the 70th minute when referee Geoff Eltringham awarded County a penalty for an apparent handball by Jordan Spence from a Jack Grealish cross.

Grealish’s ball in appeared to strike the chest of the Dons defender rather than his arm but nonetheless Sheehan stepped up confidently and tucked away his shot from 12-yards to hand his side a lifeline.

Dean Bowditch, introduced by Robinson as a 75th minute substitute, then drilled an effort wide after doing well in the middle of the park as the game entered additional time.

The visitors then made sure of the points when Powell countered and picked out Alli, who smashed the ball past Bialkowski to seal his first career hat-trick on an unforgettable night for the teenager and the Dons.

Match stats 
Notts County:

Bialkowski, Dumbuya, Smith, Leacock (Hollis 38), Sheehan (c), Mullins, Liddle (Fotheringham 66), Campbell-Ryce, Grealish, McGregor, Tyson. MK Dons:
Martin; Baldock, Spence, Kay, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Alli; Powell, Smith, Odelusi (Bowditch 75); McLeod. 

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