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Report: MK Dons 1-2 FC Jumilla

More minutes in the bank as Spanish trip comes to an end…

20 July 2018

MK Dons wrapped up their Spanish training camp with a pre-season friendly with FC Jumilla at the Pinatar Arena Football Center.

Minutes were handed to the majority of the travelling squad, including midfielder Alex Gilbey, but it was the Spanish side who came out on top 2-1.

It was the Spanish side who had the first chance of the game, Diego Sanchez saw his right-footed shot rebound off the post before Wieger Sietsma claimed the loose ball.

Minutes later, Oscar Rico collected the ball and from range, saw his shot sail over the crossbar.

The Dons soon found their rhythm, however, and after Sam Nombe found George Williams the right-back saw his cross hit the side netting.

Pawlett then tried to find Nombe – his chipped through ball was claimed by Matias Flaco at the feet of the academy graduate.

Nombe, who was dangerous throughout the first-half, displayed his strength before his marker was forced to drag him to the floor. Pawlett stood over the dead ball, his whipped cross found the head of Robbie Simpson whose header was turned behind for a corner.

At the other end, both Diego Sanchez and Salvi Blazquez went close – neither could find the vital touch to turn the ball past Sietsma.

Both Simpson and Houghton then went close for Paul Tisdale’s side as the former had his header blocked before Houghton’s effort was deflected into the arms of Flaco.

The deadlock was broken by the Spanish hosts with 25 minutes on the clock. Ming Yong Yong floated a cross into the box that was fired into the top right-hand corner. 0-1.

Soon after, their advantage was doubled by Sanchez, he was found on the edge of the box by Alejandro Peque, and found the back of the net with his first-time shot. 0-2. 

Determined to find a way back into the clash Hancox floated a cross towards Simpson and after some good hold up play his shot was deflected behind for a corner – to the frustration of the Dons side – the referee awarded a goal-kick. 

The remaining minutes of the first-half saw Jumilla pinned in their own half, however, the Dons couldn’t reduce the deficit, and at the break made 10 changes with Oran Jackson the sole survivor. 

The Dons dominated the early stages of the second half with Alex Gilbey’s shot grazing the post on its way wide.

Just nine minutes into the second period, the referee awarded a penalty in favour of the Dons. Gilbey won the ball in the middle of the park before driving forward – he was eventually fouled on the edge of the box. 

Kieran Agard took the free-kick, his strike was blocked by the arm of the defender leaving the ref with no other choice but to award a penalty. 

Agard took the penalty and found the net despite a touch from the goalkeeper. 1-2.

Following the goal, the Dons continued their dominance with Liam Sole and Dylan Asonganyi both going close within 5 minutes of Agard netting.

Nicholls wasn’t at all tested throughout the second 45, Diego Gregori came closest but fired wide of the frame.

McGrandles was the next Dons man to come within inches of levelling the scoring, after superb work from Dean Lewington – the midfielder headed wide from the captain’s cross. 

Finn Tapp displayed strong defensive qualities as Manolo Lopez tried to turn the defender, Tapp was there, however, to shield the ball behind for. Goal kick.

MK Dons continued to push in the second half but weren't rewarded with a goal. Sole, in particular was a threat down  the left.

In the end, the side would have prefereed a better result, the main takeaway was there were more minutes for the majority of the first-team squad - including midfielder Alex Gilbey as he continues his comeback from injury.

First-half XI: Sietsma; Williams, Tapp, Jackson, Hancox; Pawlett, Houghton, Harley; Nombe, Simpson, Muirhead.

Second-half XI: Nicholls; Brittain, Jackson, Moore-Taylor, Lewington; McGrandles, Cisse, Gilbey; Asonganyi, Agard, Sole.

Goal: Agard (54 pen)

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