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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 3-2 Rochdale

Dons win five-goal thriller at Stadium MK...

16 September 2017

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 3-2 Rochdale

Dons win five-goal thriller at Stadium MK...

16 September 2017

MK Dons overcame Rochdale in a five-goal thriller at Stadium MK on Saturday afternoon.

Two fine strikes from man-of-the-match Gboly Ariyibi - the second from 25 yards - cancelled out Brad Inman’s early opener.

Matt Done pulled the visitors level before the break but the Dons pushed on in the second half and got their reward late on when Ryan Seager finished a good move.

Robbie Neilson made four changes for the visit of Dale – Ed Upson, Aidan Nesbitt, Gboly Ariyibi and Osman Sow returned to the starting XI.

After an even opening, the visitors went ahead on eight minutes when Inman controlled and fired home a fine finish from the edge of the area, giving Lee Nicholls no chance.

The Dons were back on level terms within five minutes, though, Ariyibi smashing home 12 yards after Sow’s cross had made it all the way to the far post.

That goal lifted the men from MK1, who began to look brighter as the game ticked towards the midway point of the first half.

Shortly afterwards, a burst from Callum Brittain won a corner, which was recycled and led to Ariyibi forcing a save from Brendan Moore from a tight angle.

Neilson’s side were now much more a threat and Ariyibi saw a cross turned behind before Alex Gilbey tried an acrobatic effort from a Nesbitt corner.

Dons’ No.7 scored a stunning second to hand the hosts the lead for the first time, receiving the ball from Nesbitt, nutmegging his marker and then rifling a 25-yard effort into the top right-hand corner.

However, the Dons were only in front for a minute as Done turned home at the second attempt after Nicholls had initially parried his close-range effort.

As the half-time whistle approached, a brilliant run and cut-back from Brittain set up Sow, who flicked it goalwards but it was comfortably saved by Moore.

Sow was again picked out at the start of the second period but he couldn’t get enough on Ariyibi’s cross from the right.

The latter continued to threaten, terrorising the visitors’ defence and asking questions when he got into dangerous positions.

Aaron Tshibola saw a shot deflected narrowly wide while, at the other end, Nicholls got down very well away to his right to push Steven Davies’ free-kick around the post.

Davies forced Nicholls into another save three minutes later when he directed Kgosi Ntlhe’s cross goalwards from close range.

As well as battling each other, the two teams were battling the conditions as the game ticked past the hour mark – the rain was coming down very heavily and lightning was threatening.

As the weather eased so did the chances with the next one not arriving until 74 minutes but Sow slipped as he prepared to shoot following a clever flick-on from substitute Kieran Agard.

Sow certainly didn’t slip a couple of minutes later when he gathered a pass and let fly from 20 yards, the shot going narrowly over the top of Moore’s bar as the Dons looked to regain the lead.

Dale and Davies threatened on the counter at the other end when the striker drove down the left and fired an effort off target as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Two substitutes combined with six minutes remaining to restore the Dons’ lead in style – Ousseynou Cisse perfectly picked out Seager, who held off two defenders before finishing with aplomb.

The latter linked up with Sow in the final minute of normal time but after latching on to his flick-on, he couldn’t get enough power on his shot.

Seager’s first league goal proved to be the difference as the Dons made it two wins from three.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Williams (c), Wootton, Golbourne; Upson (Cisse 70); Ariyibi, Gilbey, Tshibola (Agard 62), Nesbitt (Seager 69); Sow.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Lewington, McGrandles, Muirhead.

Goals: Ariyibi (13 & 41), Seager (84).

Attendance: 7,670 (261 Dale fans).

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