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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 3-2 MK Dons

Paul Tisdale's men fall to defeat at the Lamex Stadium...

24 November 2018

MK Dons fell to only their second league defeat of the season at the Lamex Stadium, losing 3-2 to Stevenage.

Boro opened the scoring through Steve Seddon but goals from Rhys Healey and Kieran Agard put Paul Tisdale’s men in the driving seat with 20 minutes left to play.

Scott Cuthbert, though, levelled for the hosts in the 86th minute before Ben Kennedy won the contest in the closing stages of regulation time with a free-kick.

The result sees the Dons drop back to second in the Sky Bet League Two table because of their inferior goal difference to now-leaders Lincoln City.

Boss Tisdale made one enforced change to his starting XI due to the suspension of Baily Cargill. The centre-back picked up his fifth booking of campaign in the 2-0 victory over Macclesfield Town and was replaced in defence by Mitch Hancox, who made his first league appearance for the Dons.

Hancox started in the left wing-back position with captain Dean Lewington sliding inside to the centre of defence. He was involved inside the opening 20 seconds, finding Aneke who, in turn, played in Agard - his deflected effort was saved by Seny Dieng.

The debutant created another opportunity two minutes later, delivering a first-time cross for Agard, whose header fell wide of the left upright.

Stevenage then enjoyed a spell of possession but the MK Dons defend did well to deal with the several long balls sent into the box from wide areas.

On 11 minutes, Tisdale’s men had the ball in the net but Healey was adjudged to be in an offside position as he latched onto Agard’s pass and fired a right-footed shot past Dieng.

MK Dons won themselves a corner shortly afterwards from which Hancox sent an 18-yard strike over the crossbar.

Tisdale’s side arguably edged the opening exchanges but it was the hosts who would break the deadlock on 21 minutes courtesy of Steve Seddon.

Boro broke forward down the right and a deep cross into the area was met by Revell, who headed back across goal to Seddon, who dove down and nodded in the opening goal. 1-0.

MK Dons responded well and forced several corners and free-kicks but it was a moment of individual brilliance from Healey which drew them level.

The Cardiff City loanee collected a pass from Aneke on the edge of the box in the 28th minute and bent a beautiful right-footed shot around the right-stretched arm of Dieng and into the far corner. 1-1.

Tisdale’s men almost doubled their lead with 10 minutes to go until the break. Aneke played an excellent pass out win to Brittain, whose fierce cross was met by Williams - the defender, though, couldn’t convert from close range.

Stevenage threatened the scoreline with 60 seconds left to play in the half but Jordan Moore-Taylor, having a great game in the centre of defence, denied Ben Kennedy as he looked to pull the trigger inside the area.

MK Dons, though, had an even better opportunity to take a lead into the break a minute into stoppage time. Aneke raced onto a through ball, spotted Dieng off his line and beat him with a lob.

The effort bounced wide of the target but Agard reacted and met the ball with a header which struck the woodwork. Agard had a second bite at the cherry as the loose ball bounced back into play but he put over with an acrobatic effort.

Boro had the first chance of the second half and it was a decent one for Seddon, who couldn’t adjust his feet in time to trouble Nicholls from a low cross. At the other end shortly after, Aneke came within an inch of meeting a cross from Lewington.

On 56 minutes, Brittain fired wide with a right-footed strike from distance after Stevenage only half-cleared a free-kick delivered in by Lewington. Tisdale then made his first substitution of the afternoon as replaced Hancox with Ryan Watson - a switch which saw the Dons revert to a 4-4-2 formation.

Moments after the chance, Healey went agonisingly close to putting his side ahead but his goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by Dieng. From the resulting corner, Healey had another opportunity but volleyed over from the edge of the area.

MK Dons kept their foot on the gas and they were able to edge in front in the 67th minute courtesy of a man in the form of his life - Agard - who rose brilliantly to meet a cross from Watson and then loop a header over Dieng. 1-2.

Stevenage went in search of a response and Kennedy curled a shot wide with 15 minutes left to play. Moments later, Ben Nugent let fly but saw his effort deflect wide.

At the other end, the Dons went about extending their advantage and in the space of a few seconds both Healey and Houghton had a go - the latter firing over from 20 yards.

Tisdale made his second alteration with seven minutes to play, introducing Robbie Simpson in place of Aneke.

His team, though, surrendered their lead shortly after as Cuthbert fired in a loose ball after MK Dons failed to deal with a free-kick sent into the area. 2-2.

Then, with a minute to go, the hosts took the lead through Kennedy, who sent a free-kick in off the crossbar. 3-2.

Seven minutes were added on by the fourth official, which gave the Dons time to salvage a point from the contest but aside from several balls into the box they weren’t able to fashion a chance to do so.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Moore-Taylor, Lewington (c); Brittain, Gilbey, Houghton, Hancox (Watson 62); Agard, Aneke (Simpson 83), Healey.

Unused subs: Moore, Cisse, McGrandles, D’Ath, Asonganyi.

Goals: Healey (28), Agard (67)

Booked: Gilbey, Williams, Watson

Referee: B Huxtable

Attendance: 3,263 (826 away)


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