MK Dons delivered a superb display to earn a win in Robbie Neilson’s first home league match – against none other than AFC Wimbledon.11,185 (1,967 away fans)Attendance:
Bowditch (63). Goal:
Nicholls, Hendry, Tilney, GC Williams. Unused subs:
Martin; Baldock, Downing, Lewington (c), GB Williams; Potter, Upson; Carruthers (Aneke 65), Bowditch (Powell 74), Reeves; Agard (Colclough 90+2). Starting XI:
Spirit, desire, commitment – the MK Dons performance had it all and they richly deserved the three points.
At the other end, led by man-of-the-match Lewington, the Dons continued to be colossal in defending their lead.
Ryan Colclough was introduced in injury-time and he threatened on the counter-attack with his first touch but his shot was wide of the target.
A mistake by Paul Robinson granted an opportunity on 83 minutes to the tireless Agard who, falling as he tried to anticipate the back-pass, could only help it on and Shea gathered.
However, not long after that, the Dons got lucky when Paul Downing’s clearance ricocheted into the grateful arms of Martin.
The Dons were keeping their opponents at bay with their only chance up to 75 minutes falling to substitute Lyle Taylor, who flicked an effort harmlessly wide from 12 yards.
The finally pressure told on 63 minutes when Bowditch swept home from the penalty spot after Lewington had been brought down in the area, sending the home crowd into raptures.
That proved to a rare chance for the visitors, who were again on the backfoot shortly afterwards as Agard directed a header goalwards which deflected behind for a corner.
After another lung-bursting run, Baldock cut inside and forced a save from Shea while, at the other end, some brave goalkeeping from Martin denied AFC Wimbledon.
Like the first half, the Dons started the second on the front foot and Bowditch headed a Baldock cross wide of the target when well-placed, albeit there were people blocking his line of vision.
Dean Lewington & Co comfortably dealt with AFC Wimbledon’s offensive threat, with the only chance they created being a long-range shot from Jake Reeves which was easily gathered by virtual-spectator David Martin.
Reeves himself then saw a shot blocked at the back post after more good work from Baldock before Bowditch was flagged offside in a good position as the Dons continued to dominate.
Shortly afterwards, Upson saw an effort blocked before Reeves’ rebound was deflected just wide as Neilson’s side maintained the pressure.
A brilliant break down the right by George Baldock then presented an opportunity for Kieran Agard, who didn’t get a great contact on his shot and it was saved by James Shea.
Carruthers and Reeves were again involved minutes later as the men from MK1 countered in style, which ended with Ed Upson seeing a curling shot saved.
The Dons started firmly on top and some superb pressing from Samir Carruthers won a free-kick – Ben Reeves delivered but Dean Bowditch couldn’t quite get enough on it.
George B Williams replaced the injured Joe Walsh in the starting XI, with the former slotting in at left-back and Dean Lewington moving inside.
Dean Bowditch’s penalty proved to be the difference in a game the Dons dominated – one which also saw the men from MK1 record their first league win at Stadium MK this season.