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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 4-1 Maidstone United

Robbie Neilson's men into the Third Round...

2 December 2017

MK Dons scored four second-half goals to beat Maidstone United at Stadium MK and progress through to the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Maidstone led at the break courtesy of Magnus Okuonghae’s tap in but winger Aidan Nesbitt drew the Dons level with a fine finish nine minutes into the second half.

Kieran Agard then came off the bench to score twice before fellow substitute Peter Pawlett put the seal on a comprehensive victory with a late goal - his first for the Football Club.

Boss Robbie Neilson made three changes from the side which faced Doncaster Rovers.

One of those three additions was Gboly Ariyibi and he fired in the first effort of the tie after just two minutes - a left-footed drive from 25-yards out which was blocked by a defender on its way towards goal.

The Dons’ number 7 followed up with another effort on six minutes - this one dragged wide of the right post from the edge of the area.

Ariyibi continued his strong start to the contest and had a shot deflected into the side netting on 18 minutes after getting behind his marker in the penalty area.

The winger on loan from Nottingham Forest was enjoying his time down the right-hand side and a superb run down the wing in the 22nd minute, which saw him beat three Maidstone defenders, provided another shooting chance - this one, lifted over the crossbar.

Midway through the first half, Maidstone created their first opportunity on goal. Pigott did well to hold the ball up before finding Zavon Hines, whose strike was deflected wide.

From the resulting corner, Jai Reason produced a save out of Lee Nicholls and the loose ball fell kindly to Magnus Okuonghae, lurking in the six-yard box, who side-footed home to give his side a shock lead. 0-1.

Chuks Aneke drilled wide from a tight angle as the Dons went in search of an immediate response. Stones striker Delano Sam-Yorke then sent a shot over the bar from the edge of the D.

A better chance for the Dons to level arrived with eight minutes to play in the half. Aneke worked his way into the area and picked out the lively Ariyibi but the wide man’s effort was saved by Worgan.

Seager and Upson then combined well on a quick break forward but the former’s shot was deflected up in the air and into the arms of the Stones goalkeeper.

On the stroke of half-time, Pigott found himself well-placed in the Dons’ penalty area but took too long with his decision-making and his eventual effort was blocked by Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

Hines also went close in first-half stoppage time but, after latching onto Sam-Yorke’s pull-back, he blazed over.

There were no changes made by Neilson at the break, with the Scotsman trusting his 11 on the field to find a way back into the match.

That faith was almost rewarded straight from kick-off after Aneke got in behind the Maidstone defence. His shot was saved by Worgan and although the ball fell kindly for an on-rushing Upson, the midfielder couldn’t keep his first-time effort down, firing over via the crossbar.

Upson was denied again soon after, this time by a superb stop from the Maidstone keeper, but there was little Worgan could do in the 54th minute as he was beaten by a left-footed drive from Nesbitt, which nestled in the far corner of the net and restored parity at Stadium MK. 1-1.

The Dons’ tails were now up and Ebanks-Landell threatened the Stones goal from a Nesbitt corner on 56 minutes - the defender was first denied by Worgan before sending the follow-up shot into the side netting.

In the 63rd minute, Neilson brought Agard off the bench and the striker’s introduction had the desired impact.

Within seconds of coming on the field, he got himself on the scoresheet - tapping home after Upson’s initial effort was parried by Worgan. 1-2.

The striker wasn’t done there, though, as on 70 minutes he doubled his tally with an excellent right-footed shot which went across Worgan and in off the far post. 1-3.

Agard’s double completed a spirited turnaround from the Dons, who pressed on for more goals in the final quarter of the match.

With 77 minutes on the clock, McGrandles placed a right-footed shot just wide of the far post after the midfielder created the opening with an excellent run down the right.

The Dons then saw a decent penalty appeal waved away in the 83rd minute - Scott Golbourne’s cross looked to have clearly struck the arm of Josh Hare but referee Martin Coy was unmoved.

Peter Pawlett was introduced late by Neilson and it was the winger who capped off a superb second-half by finding the net at the second attempt.

The goal was his first for the Football Club and it also made absolutely sure of the Dons’ place in the Third Round draw, which will take place on Monday evening.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Ebanks-Landell (Walsh 70), Wootton, Golbourne; Ariyibi, Upson, McGrandles, Nesbitt (Pawlett 80); Aneke; Seager (Agard 63).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Muirhead, Nombe, Thomas-Asante.

Goals: Nesbitt (54), Agard (64, 70), Pawlett (88)

Attendance: 4,804 (1,541 away)


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