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Match Reports

Report: Accrington Stanley 2-1 MK Dons

Dons fall to their second defeat in eight matches...

5 December 2020

A brace from Dion Charles saw MK Dons fall to only their second defeat in eight matches at the Wham Stadium.

Charles netted either side of a terrific solo goal from Carlton Morris, handing red-hot Accrington Stanley a 2-1 victory and denying Russell Martin and his men a second successive league win.

Despite the defeat, the Dons remain 17th in the Sky Bet League One table. They do, however, fall five points adrift of the top half.

Boss Martin named an unchanged starting XI from Wednesday’s win at Charlton Athletic. The subs bench was also the same, as his side set about making it back-to-back road victories.

The Dons survived early pressure from their in-form hosts, which came courtesy of two long throws into the penalty area. They also dealt with a fifth minute corner from Accrington, but were almost punished from the return ball in – an unmarked Colby Bishop, however, headed wide.

Stanley dominated the opening exchanges and took a deserved with nine minutes on the clock – Charles converting at the near post with a first-time finish from Tariq Ukawkwe’s low cross. 1-0.

MK Dons worked their way into the Accrington box soon after the re-start but Carlton Morris and Cameron Jerome were unable to link up.

On the quarter-hour mark, the latter had a terrific opportunity to level the scores but, after latching onto a through pass and beating the offside trap, he saw a right-footed shot saved by Toby Savin. Soon after, Matthew Sorinola blazed over.

Morris was the next to try his luck after creating space for a shot 25 yards from goal. He, though, was unable to keep his curling attempt on target.

It took a while after that for either side to threaten the score. Eventually, Charles spun and shot from the edge of the area but sent his drive high above the crossbar.

At the other end, Sorinola and Gladwin tried to deliver balls into the box from opposite flanks but both saw their crosses blocked. Fraser was able to find a teammate with his 38th-minute pass, but Jerome’s heavy touch prevented any threat to the Accrington goal.

Martin’s men threatened again down the left with six minutes to play in the half but Morris’ pull-back for Surman was intercepted on its way through to the midfielder.

The Dons threatened from a corner in the first of three additional minutes at the end of the first half, but were unable to take advantage of Gladwin’s teasing ball in. A vital touch from Michael Nottingham then prevented Jerome from finding Morris with a cross of his own.

Fraser later saw a deflected cross kept keep out by Savin at his near post. Sorinola had the final chance of the first-half – a low shot which was blocked by a diving Stanley defender.

Returning from the break unchanged, the Dons went about levelling the scores. They did, though, have the linesman to thank, four minutes in, for the deficit remaining at one goal – the referee’s assistant ruling out Charles’ finish due to an offside.

Martin’s side then won a corner from which Jerome fashioned a header on goal, although it produced a routine save out of Savin at his near post. A minute later, however, they were level – and it came from a moment of brilliance.

Morris collected O’Hora’s pass on the half-way line and took about taking on the entire Accrington defence, after bringing it under control. Driving 40 yards into the penalty area, the MK Dons number nine then composed himself before squeezing a low shot under Savin and into his near corner. 1-1.

Accrington threatened an immediate second but the Dons managed to see out the danger. At the other end, a low cross from Gladwin glided through a crowded penalty area untouched.

Martin made his first substitution two minutes before the hour, replacing Gladwin with Poole out wide.

Three minutes later, his side were faced with coming from behind once again as Charles reinstated Stanley’s lead – finding the net with the simplest of finishes after MK Dons failed to prevent, and then deal with, a looping ball in from the left. 2-1.

The Dons went close to levelling the scores almost immediately, but Cameron Burgess managed to get himself between Sorinola’s cross and a lurking Jerome, who would have had an easy header on goal had the defender not got a touch.

Poole threatened too, with a turn and shot from the edge of the D which Savin managed to palm away at full stretch.

With 16 minutes left to play, Fisher kept the score at 2-1 with a save from Pritchard. MK Dons then broke forward but Poole’s low drive was blocked.

Martin turned to his bench straight after, introducing Lasse Sorensen and Daniel Harvie. The former almost made an immediate impact but couldn’t quite connect with Lewington’s cross.

Stephen Walker was the Dons’ final change as he came on for Jerome in attack. His strike partner Morris almost turned provider moments later, but Fraser slipped after latching onto his pass and failed to trouble Savin.

Four minutes of time were added on after the 90, and in the second of those Walker flicked a header over the bar.

Fellow sub Harvie had an even later attempt from the edge of the area which Savin just about kept out - the final chance of a disappointing day in Lancashire for the Dons.

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Keogh, Gladwin (Poole 59), Kasumu, Morris, Fraser, O’Hora, Surman (Sorensen 76), Sorinola (Harvie 76), Jerome (Walker 82)

Subs: Nicholls, Williams, Cargill.

Goal: Morris (53)

Booked: Gladwin, Kasumu, Sorinola, Harvie

Accrington Stanley: Savin, Nottingham, Hughes, Burgess, Butcher, Pritchard, Uwakwe, Rodgers, Bishop, Conneely, Charles.

Subs: Baxter, Russell, Cassidy, Barclay, Sama, Fenlon, Mansell.

Goals: Charles (9, 62)

Booked: Pritchard

Referee: A Coggins.


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