Report: Sheff Wed 0-0 Dons
Karl Robinson’s men were the better side on the ball in the first half and resolute in defence in the second period as they live to fight another day.
With David Martin injured and Cody Cropper, Charlie Burns made his first start in the Football League while Carl Baker, Jonny Williams and Alex Revell also came into the starting XI. They replaced Jake Forster-Caskey (injured), Josh Murphy and Nicky Maynard.
The Dons started brightly, controlling possession and dominating territorial advantage, which included a couple of free-kicks Wednesday were forced to clear.
However, it was the hosts who had the first real effort on goal although Burns was able to comfortably watch Daniel Pudil’s 20-yard effort wide of the target.
The men from MK1 responded with a good spell of pressure and two efforts on goal – firstly, Jordan Spence saw hit strike well saved by Keiren Westwood before the rebound from Samir Carruthers was blocked.
Burns made his first save of the evening midway through the first half, confidently gathering Ross Wallace’s dipping effort from 25 yards.
He was up to the task once again on 29 minutes when he got down well to deny Wallace, who had been picked after a flowing Wednesday move.
Carlos Carvahal’s side were starting to find their feet as the game ticked into the final 10 minutes of the half, with Barry Bannan curling an effort over the top after meeting Pudil’s cross.
Good work by Baker down the right presented a half-chance on 42 minutes for Revell, who took a touch but was denied by Tom Lees as he looked to beat his marker.
Wednesday came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the final minute of the half when Pudil’s left-wing cross came back off the far post.
The home side also went close at the start of the second period, but Burns got a strong hand to Gary Hooper’s cross-cum-shot from inside the 18-yard box.
Shortly afterwards, substitute Atdhe Nuhui headed over the top from eight yards before Joe Walsh was in the right place at the right time to clear.
The woodwork came to the Dons’ rescue for the second time on 54 minutes as Nuhui’s powerful header struck the right-hand post from close range.
Burns twice denied Fernando Forestieri in quick succession with just over 25 minutes remaining – the hosts were knocking the door but the Dons were holding firm.
A combination of Burns and Walsh then denied Nuhui before Pudil hit the bar with a looped effort after the hosts had kept a corner alive.
Wednesday began to let their frustrations get the better of them as they struggled to find an opener and, shortly afterwards, Wallace was shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident after the referee had initially given the Dons a free-kick.
Baker almost made the Dons’ man advantage count with a shot not too far over the top with just over five minutes remaining.
The hosts hit the woodwork for a fourth time as the game entered injury-time – Bannan’s curling effort from a free-kick on the right wing cannoning back off the crossbar.
Burns & Co saw things out relatively comfortably after that with the former’s superb display helping earn him a clean sheet on his first Football League start.
Starting XI: Burns; Spence, McFadzean, Walsh, Lewington; Potter, Williams; Baker, Carruthers (Murphy 46), Bowditch (Powell 66); Revell.
Unused subs: Kay, Brittain, Long, Emmanuel-Thomas.
Attendance: 20,220 (185 Dons fans).