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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Nombe and Healey on target in Stadium MK succes

7 September 2019

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Nombe and Healey on target in Stadium MK succes

7 September 2019

MK Dons returned to winning ways in Sky Bet League One courtesy of a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon at Stadium MK.

Nombe, on his first league start for the Dons, opened the scoring with his fourth goal in as many games before Rhys Healey doubled the lead midway through the first half.

Marcus Forss pulled one back for AFC Wimbledon late on but it didn’t prevent Paul Tisdale and his men securing three points in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Nombe and David Kasumu retained their place in Tisdale’s starting XI following Tuesday’s win in the Trophy while the likes of Alex Gilbey, Rhys Healey and Jordan Houghton all returned to the line-up.

The Dons started well and were awarded a free-kick inside the opening four minutes. That led to successive corners and a long throw by Healey from which Williams headed over.

Nombe was involved for the first time a minute later, driving down the right and delivering a cross for Gilbey, whose header was saved by Joe McDonnell. From the resulting corner, Gilbey sent an 18-yard effort over the crossbar.

The Dons then took a deserved lead on 10 minutes and it was Tisdale's in-form young forward who got it. Racing onto a Conor McGrandles through pass, Nombe shrugged off defender Paul Kalambayi before confidently firing past McDonnell and into the net courtesy of the inside of both posts. 1-0.

AFC Wimbledon responded with two corners which the Dons defence dealt with. Then, with their next attack, Tisdale’s men doubled their lead.

McGrandles did well in the build-up but it was Gilbey who picked out Healey, 30 yards out. The striker beat his man before drilling a low right-footed shot across goal and into the bottom left corner. 2-0.

Nicholls was forced into his first save on the half-hour mark, getting down and gathering a powerful header from Joe Piggott. At the other end, Nombe went close to his second goal but couldn’t keep his left-footed half-volley down.

Piggott threatened again for AFC Wimbledon soon after as he sent a dipping strike onto the roof of the net. Kwesi Appiah then had a great opportunity to reduce the deficit for the visiting side but headed straight at Nicholls from 10 yards.

MK Dons had a penalty appeal waved away with two minutes to play in the half – Healey the man going down inside the area but referee Ben Toner was unmoved. That was the final action of the first half.

At the start of the second, Nombe broke the offside trap and made his way into the AFC Wimbledon penalty area once again but could only come away with a corner, from which Gilbey lashed into the side netting.

AFC Wimbledon responded through substitute Michael Folivi, whose effort was blocked brilliantly by a sliding Martin. The visitors then forced a corner which was dealt with by a huge punch from Nicholls inside his six-yard box.

The Dons then went close at the other end after a well-worked throw-in routine down the right. It involved Williams, McGrandles and Houghton and it was the latter’s ball which was fumbled by McDonnell – unfortunately, nobody in a Dons shirt could pounce.

On the hour mark, Nicholls produced a fine save at his near post moments before Kalambayi cleared the bar from Piggott’s low cross. The Dons’ number 1 did well again on 68 minutes to keep out an effort from Folivi.

Healey had an opportunity to add a third Dons goal with 17 minutes to play but, after doing brilliantly to bring down a long ball forward from Martin, he saw a curling shot saved by McDonnell. Gilbey then had a header kept out from a chipped Lewington cross.

Tisdale then made his first substitution, replacing Gilbey in midfield with Hiram Boateng. It was a change from the opposite bench that saw AFC Wimbledon pull one back with seven minutes to play - Marcus Forss heading past Nicholls at the far post, not long after entering the contest. 2-1.

Kieran Agard and Jordan Bowery came on before the re-start and helped see out the late onslaught from the visitors.

Kalambayi did go close in the final moments with a close-range header but the Dons held on, returning to winning ways in the process.

Starting XI: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Walsh, Gilbey (Boateng 77), Healey (Bowery 84), Martin, McGrandles, Houghton, Nombe (Agard 84), Kasumu.

Unused subs: Moore, Dickenson, Boateng, Harley, Asonganyi.

Goals: Nombe (10), Healey (25)

Attendance: 8,627 (560 away)

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