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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/11/2015

21 November 2015

Report: Dons 1-1 Fulham

The Dons and Fulham shared the spoils in the first ever competitive fixture between the two sides.

Dean Bowditch deservedly gave the men from MK1 the lead on the half-hour with a fine finish, but the visitors levelled just before the break through Moussa Dembele. 

Both sides had chances to win it but neither could find the elusive winner, instead the Dons had to settle for a point – the seventh from their last three home games. 

Karl Robinson recalled Dean Bowditch and Josh Murphy for the Dons’ first game since the international break – they replaced Carl Baker and Daniel Powell. 

Moussa Dembele saw a header comfortably saved by David Martin while, at the other end, Murphy overhit a cross after beating two Fulham defenders in a tight opening. 

The visitors’ keeper Joe Lewis was twice called into action in quick succession as the game approached the 10-minute mark – firstly tipping over Bowditch’s fierce 25-yard effort before pushing away Murphy’s curling strike. 

Bowditch, in the thick of the action, then saw a low drive blocked by the Fulham defence following a well-worked short corner from the Dons on 17 minutes. 

Despite being the better side, the men from MK1 almost found themselves behind on 22 minutes but Dembele, somehow, lifted his close-range effort over the top from Ross McCormack’s cut-back. 

Bowditch had been a constant threat and he capped an excellent performance with the opener on the half-hour mark, controlling Murphy’s pass, taking a touch and finishing superbly in off the post from 20 yards. 

The Dons’ No.9 almost had his second on 33 minutes but Luke Garbutt cleared his effort off the line after he had initially been picked out brilliantly by Dean Lewington. 

Some more good football involving Nicky Maynard and Carruthers set up Jordan Spence, who saw his shot blocked and the ball was eventually cleared, but the men from MK1 were looking good every time they went forward. 

However, against the run of play, the Cottagers levelled on 44 minutes when he tapped home McCormack’s cross from inside the six-yard box after the ball had fallen kindly into the former’s path. 

The start of the second half was evenly contested – the first chance of the period didn’t arrive until the 54th minute and it was a comfortable save for Martin from Sean Cavanagh’s shot. 

The Dons hit back and Darren Potter glanced a Murphy free-kick just past the post on 57 minutes before Bowditch forced Lewis into a save shortly afterwards. 

That lifted Robinson’s side, who began to push their opponents back but the Dons had to do some defending of their own on 72 minutes to block a shot from inside the 18-yard box. 

Rob Hall and Carl Baker were both introduced as the Dons went in search of a winner but, at the other end, the Dons had Kyle McFadzean to thank as he cleared McCormack’s effort off the line. 

Garbutt had to turn behind a dangerous Murphy cross as the Dons ended the stronger but they had to settle for a point. 

MK Dons: Martin; Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Lewington; Potter, Poyet; Carruthers (Baker 77), Bowditch (Hall 71), Murphy; Maynard (Church 86). 

Unused subs: Cropper, Hodson, Powell, Gallagher. 

Goal: Bowditch (30). 

Attendance: 14, 508 (3,371 Fulham fans). 

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