MK Dons and Aldershot Town played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the scorching sunshine at the EBB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Liam Bellamy gave the hosts the lead at the start of the second half but Giorgio Rasulo levelled after Ed Upson’s free-kick had been pushed against the post.
George Baldock rolled his ankle in training on Friday so he wasn’t available, neither was Dean Bowditch, who is recovering from a calf problem, while the trialist goalkeeper was included as it wasn’t 100% clear whether David Martin was going to be able to play or not.
The Dons started the game at a high tempo, moving the ball quickly and purposefully which led to numerous opportunities.
Ben Reeves had the first of those but he saw his shot blocked after some fancy footwork before Maynard couldn’t quite reach Daniel Powell’s dangerous delivery from the left.
However, Maynard was clinical with his next chance on 13 minutes, latching on to Samir Carruthers' clever through-ball and finishing superbly across the Shots’ keeper Jake Cole.
Karl Robinson’s men continued to look threatening going forward while they also remained solid at the back – George Williams standing up well and denying Iffy Allen.
David Martin was called into action for the first time on the half-hour when he comfortably pushed away a free-kick from Charlie Walker.
The Shots’ striker was not to be denied, though, and he levelled matters shortly afterwards with a superb 25-yard strike which arrowed into the top right-hand corner.
That goal lifted Aldershot and they took the lead at the start of the second half when Liam Bellamy drove low under Martin from 20 yards.
The Dons responded with a better spell and Reeves almost made it 2-2 when he sent an effort narrowly over the top from an extremely tight angle.
Reeves was replaced shortly afterwards by Giorgio Rasulo, who scored within just four minutes of coming on as he pounced from close range after Upson’s free-kick was tipped on to the post.
The Dons ended the stronger of the two teams and Tom Hitchcock came close to putting the Dons 3-2 but his lobbed effort landed just the wrong side of the post with substitute keeper Mark Smith stranded.
Robinson’s men return to action at Stadium MK on Tuesday night when they host Premier League Everton.
MK Dons: Martin (Trialist 65); Williams, Walsh, Downing, Lewington (c) (Furlong 89); Upson, Potter (Tilney 65); Carruthers (Jackson 80), Reeves (Rasulo 65), Powell (Tshimanga 89); Maynard (Hitchcock 46).
Unused subs: Burns.
Goals: Maynard (13), Rasulo (69).
Image courtesy of Ian Morsman