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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-1 Coventry City

Dons exit the Emirates FA Cup...

27 January 2018

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-1 Coventry City

Dons exit the Emirates FA Cup...

27 January 2018

MK Dons bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the Fourth Round after a 1-0 defeat in Dan Micciche’s first game in charge.

Micciche’s Dons dominated the ball at Stadium MK but a 62nd-minute finish from Maxime Biamou proved to be the only goal of the game.

Dean Lewington returned to the starting XI as one of three changes made by Micciche - the captain hadn’t featured competitively for the Dons since November. Kieran Agard and Ed Upson were the other two players brought in by the new boss.

Micciche’s side started brightly and within the opening five minutes they won themselves a free-kick on the edge of the area. Upon took the set piece but his effort was blocked.

Kieran Agard then worked it into the area and had a shot blocked before Marcus Tavernier, on his home debut, saw a left-footed drive deflect wide of the right post.

The home crowd enjoyed what they were seeing early on, with the fluidity to the team’s play certainly on show. Some neat link-up play between Ike Ugbo and Tavernier almost led to a chance on 16 minutes.

Coventry threatened for the first time two minutes later - a header from Rod McDonald which looped up and back down into the arms of Lee Nicholls. A smartly-timed run soon after from Marc McNulty almost saw him in but the ball through was just too far in front and it ran through to Nicholls.

On 22 minutes, Upson picked out Williams with a delightful through pass. Williams’ cross made it through to Sow, who saw a shot blocked. Tavernier followed up but couldn’t keep his effort down.

Nicholls was then forced into his first save two minutes later. The Dons goalkeeper got down well to keep out Maxime Biamou’s goal-bound shot before his defenders got back to deal with the loose ball.

The Dons continued to see the majority of the ball and a neat move on 35 minutes saw Ugbo released into the area. He cut it back into the mix but a Sky Blues defender was able to clear in front of the lurking Agard.

Soon after, some good defending from Wootton prevented McNulty connecting with a cross after a quick Coventry breakaway. At the other end, Sow let fly from distance with an strike that was deflected wide of the target.

McNulty produced a save out Nicholls in the final minute of the first-half. The Dons then countered and Tavernier was able to drive into the area, however he couldn’t find a way past Lee Burge.

Micciche’s Dons started the second half in a similarly dominant fashion and Gilbey had a volley blocked on its way through to Burge’s goal. Coventry then went close through McNulty, whose curling effort fell just wide of Nicholls’ right post.

The best chance of the game arrived in the 61st minute when Williams latched onto Upson’s through pass. Williams managed to pick out Agard with his low cross but the striker wasn’t able to convert from close-range, nor were Ugbo and Sow on the follow-up.

Coventry then made them pay, breaking the deadlock just 60 seconds later - Biamou turning in a low cross from inside the penalty area despite Williams’ best efforts on the line. 0-1.

The Dons went straight on the offensive in search of an immediate equaliser. Gilbey had a try after a free-kick was cleared out to him on the edge of the D but his volley sailed over the crossbar.

Within a minute, Coventry went agonisingly close to a second goal but Liam Kelly shot wide from the six-yards out.

Aidan Nesbitt was introduced by Micciche for his first appearance since recovering from injury. He was straight into the thick of the action after beating a Coventry man which his first touch, he delivered a low cross into the box which came close to finding a teammate.

Despite the Dons seeing most of the ball, Coventry remained a threat on the counter. Chris Stokes sent a 25-yard effort over the crossbar with a quarter of an hour left to play.

On 80 minutes, Tavernier watched a deflected effort loop over the crossbar with the help of a touch from Burge. The Dons continued to push but were denied by stubborn Sky Blues backline every time.

Gilbey produced a save out of Burge in stoppage-time and the loose ball fell just out of reach of the lurking Sow. Meanwhile, at the other end, Nicholls pulled off an excellent save to prevent Coventry doubling their lead.

That proved to be the final chance of the game, which meant an end to the Dons' involvement in the Emirates FA Cup - with all eyes now on Sky Bet League One and climbing out of the relegation places.

Starting XI: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington (C) (Ebanks-Landell 56), Wootton, Upson (McGrandles 75), Cisse, Sow, Agard (Nesbitt 65), Tavernier, Gilbey, Ugbo.

Unused subs: Sietsma, Muirhead, Rasulo, Brittain.

Referee: P Bankes

Booked: Ebanks-Landell, Tavernier

Attendance: 14,925 (7,833 away)

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