Report: Scunthorpe 1-1 Dons
Despite dominating for large periods, the men from MK1 fell behind courtesy of Tom Hopper’s goal, but they showed great resilience once again to earn a valuable point on the road thanks to Kyle McFadzean’s header.
Jonson Clarke-Harris started his first game for the Dons in place of Dean Bowditch, while Danny Green came in for Daniel Powell.
The Dons settled well and Jordan Clarke had to pick up a good position in the seventh minute to clear away Will Grigg’s dangerous cross with Carl Baker lurking.
Dele Alli saw a shot blocked shortly afterwards as the men from MK1 began to impose themselves on the Iron, who were thwarted on their first real foray forward by smart covering play from Kyle McFadzean.
Grigg almost found Baker with a cross-field pass before Clarke-Harris’ delivery was collected by Luke Daniels as the game ticked into the 15th minute.
Antony Kay got on his bike three minutes later and set up Baker, who turned his man in and out but couldn’t find a team-mate with his left-wing cross.
Clarke-Harris registered the first effort on target midway through the first half with a fierce drive after latching on to Baker’s clever ball down the line and outmuscling Andrew Boyce.
The Dons came even closer to going ahead on 27 minutes when Alli headed Green’s pinpoint cross right against the post from 12 yards.
Alli had the Dons’ next chance too, racing on to Baker’s incisive pass before firing straight at Daniels from a tight angle on the half-hour mark.
Karl Robinson’s side maintained their dominance and Kay fired narrowly wide on 40 minutes after the Iron had failed to clear Green’s recycled corner.
Another Green set-piece caused problems for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, which led to Dean Lewington forcing a smart save from Daniels.
The winger had a hand in the first opportunity of the second half but, after receiving the ball from Alli, his cross had too much on it for Clarke-Harris.
Green had a shot himself on 50 minutes after the ball dropped kindly for him 25 yards out but Daniels watched the effort past the post as the Dons kept their feet firmly on the pedal.
Baker curled over and Green fired wide either side of Devante Cole being introduced in place of Clarke-Harris as Robinson looked to turn their dominance into a goal.
However, completely against the run of play, and with their first shot on goal, the Iron went ahead on 57 minutes when Paddy Madden intercepted David Martin’s pass and found Tom Hopper, who turned and fired home from 12 yards.
Martin ensured the Dons didn’t go further behind on 63 minutes, magnificently pushing Madden’s effort past the post as the hosts rode on the confidence their goal brought them.
The Dons responded well, winning a number of corners and putting the hosts under pressure, but clear-cut chances were few and far between while, at the other end, Martin held Liam O’Neil’s low drive with 20 minutes remaining.
After more patient build-up from the Dons, Kay forced a smart save from Daniels diving away to his right, before his centre-back partner McFadzean blocked Neal Bishop’s goalbound effort.
A moment of magic from Alli almost found the Dons an equaliser on 76 minutes when, after waltzing past his marker, he brought the best out of Daniels from 20 yards.
However, they did pull themselves deservedly level from the resulting set-piece, McFadzean powering a header into the net from Baker’s right-wing corner.
Grigg came within inches of firing the Dons in front with five minutes remaining but he dragged his effort off target after Baker and substitute Powell had linked up well during a quick counter-attack.
At the other end, some last-ditch defending denied the Iron the lead as the Dons scrambled the ball away from inside the six-yard box.
The men from MK1 continued to posed a real threat late on but they couldn’t find the killer ball to take maximum points back to Buckinghamshire.
Starting XI: Martin; Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Lewington (c); Potter, Alli; Green (Powell 62), Grigg (Bowditch 86), Baker; Clarke-Harris (Cole 54).
Unused subs: McLoughlin, Baldock, Hodson, Hitchcock.
Goal: McFadzean (76).
Attendance: 3,005 (147 Dons fans).