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Match Reports

First pre-season run out for Dons

12 July 2019

Match Reports

First pre-season run out for Dons

12 July 2019

MK Dons enjoyed their first run out against an opposing team in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday afternoon.

While the official pre-season programme starts on Tuesday, this was an opportunity for the squad to pick up valuable match minutes.

It was opponents Oxford City, playing their second match of the summer, who would strike first within minutes off the kick-off. An Oxford City corner found Joe Osler who hammered home after a scramble in the area. 0-1.

However, it was a positive reaction from the Dons as both Jordan Bowery and the Dons trialist went close within quick succession.

Bowery then picked out Sorinola who was unmarked on the left, the youngster cut back onto his right but his cross was seen wide by Steve Caro.

Oxford City, however, added to their advantage on 11 minutes from the penalty spot. Stefan Brown was fouled inside the area before Nana Owusu stepped up to convert from 12-yards. 0-2. 

The Dons dominated the possession thereafter and soon found a way back into the clash through Hiram Boateng. The midfielder picked out the far corner of the net as his curling strike from the top of the box beat Caro. 1-2.

It was almost two within a matter of minutes with Boateng at the heart of the move once again. He kept the ball well in the middle of the park before spreading play out to Brittain on the right - his teasing cross was just out of Bowery’s reach.

It was Bowery’s chance to look to provide on the half-hour mark, however  his cross from the left was blocked before Sorinola forced Caro into a save.

Boateng then looked to thread through Bowery - Caro, though, was aware to the pass and was off his line quickly to prevent the MK Dons striker having a shot on goal.

Nicholls was forced into a good save with 37 minutes gone - he tipped over Craig Fasanmade’s effort before claiming the subsequent corner. Houghton then attempted to draw Dons level but his right-footed shot was blocked.

Come half-time, 11 changes were made to the side, with both Regan Poole and Joe Mason earning their first appearances in a Dons shirt.

Just four minutes into the second half, the Dons were almost level. Conor McGrandles’ corner found Russell Martin who was prevented from close range.

McGrandles then found himself high up the pitch as he won back possession in the final third. He picked out Ryan Harley, whose delightful cross set up Sam Nombe who hit the side netting.

Poole was always looking to get forward down the right, and looked dangerous whenever he did so, with bis delivery from wide positions causing Oxford City problems. One of his crosses was met by Mason, who headed narrowly wide before Bird’s effort was claimed by Caro.

Stuart Moore was called into action for the first time shortly after the hour mark as he denied Owusu at the front-post with a strong save.

McGrandles, Mason and Bird then combined well inside the Oxford City box, with Bird finding the side netting from a tight angle.

Sam Nombe showed his pace and power to meet Harley’s well-weighted pass, his cross-cum-shot, however, rebounded off the top of the bar.

With three minutes left to play, the Dons did deservedly draw level with a well-worked team move. Pattison picked out the run of Harley who, after bringing the ball down on his chest, delivered a perfect cross for Nombe, who converted on the slide. 2-2. 

Mason almost won it for the Dons in the closing seconds. Having picked up the ball inside the box, he played a clever one-two with Poole before cutting onto his left only for his effort to hit the post.

MK Dons first-half XI: Nicholls, Brittain, Lewington, Houghton, Sule, Trialist, Kasumu, Boateng, Bowery, Agard, Sorinola.

MK Dons second-half XI: Moore, Poole, Nombe, Pattison, Martin, Trialist, McGrandles, Harley, Mason, Bird (Davies 75), Brennan.

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