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Report: Rochdale 2-1 Dons

1 August 2015

The Dons fell to a 2-1 defeat in a competitive and entertaining friendly at Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.

Dean Bowditch’s low drive gave the men from MK1 the lead at the break – the Dons played some great football and looked very threatening throughout the first 45.

Dale hit back in the second period, though, with their goals coming from Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Donal McDermott.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to Rochdale and Ian Henderson, who raced on to a through-ball but lifted his effort over the bar.

Karl Robinson’s men responded well and Sam Gallagher twice went close to breaking the deadlock – firstly heading over and then sending a shot just past the post after a smart turn.

Ben Reeves sent a free-kick into the side-netting shortly afterwards before Darren Potter almost found Gallagher with a clever pass.

The Dons’ good play was rewarded with the opening goal on 38 minutes, Bowditch driving past Dale keeper Josh Lillis from 15 yards.

Henderson hit both posts with an effort before Antony Kay cleared from under the Dons’ crossbar as Dale came agonisingly close to levelling matters on 42 minutes.

David Martin tipped Lewis Alessandra’s dipping effort over the bar just before the half was up – a half the Dons played some very good football in.
Although chances weren’t as frequent at the start of the second half, the game was still being played at a high tempo – perfect build-up for the new season.

Samir Carruthers curled an effort over the top from 25 yards while, at the other end, Martin comfortably gathered Reuben Noble-Lazarus’ drive.

However, Noble-Lazarus beat Martin shortly afterwards with a 20-yard drive and brought Dale back to level-pegging with 25 minutes remaining.

Robinson introduced six from the bench as players continued to gain more match minutes with the season just seven days away.

Dale took the lead on 84 minutes when Donal McDermott fired home a superb 25-yard effort, giving Martin no chance.

MK Dons: Martin; Spence, Kay, Walsh, Lewington (c) (Tilney 79); Potter (Rasulo 64), Carruthers; Hall (Powell 65), Reeves (Baker 65), Bowditch (Jennings 64); Gallagher (Church 65).

Unused subs: Cropper.

Goal: Bowditch (38).

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