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Report: MK Dons 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Russell Martin's go back-to-back at home...

1 February 2020

Second-half strikes from Rhys Healey and Ben Gladwin saw MK Dons beat second-placed Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 at Stadium MK and move nine points clear of the bottom three.

Healey broke the deadlock on 68 minutes, converting from close-range after Carlton Morris flicked on a Jordan Houghton corner.

Both Healey and Morris limped off shortly after but their replacement up top, Ben Gladwin, stepped up to the mark, firing home a superb curling strike to seal the points with five minutes to play.

Russell Martin’s men move up to 19th place in Sky Bet League One. They are nine points clear of the bottom three, and only eight off 12th spot.

Boss Martin made one change to his starting XI for the visit of Wycombe, replacing David Kasumu with fellow Academy graduate Sam Nombe. On the bench, there were returns for Ben Reeves and Conor McGrandles, following respective spells on the sidelines.

Wycombe had two half-chances to start the match but neither Curtis Thompson nor Alex Samuel threatened Lee Nicholls. They then had a corner, on 11 minutes, but that was dealt with by Louis Thompson at the near post.

Chairboys captain Joe Jacobson tried his luck moments later, firing over the bar from 30 yards out. Then Dons then threatened for the first time, with Dean Lewington sending a ball into the area – one which was gathered by David Stockdale.

Houghton had the Dons’ next chance – a left-footed shot which was blocked on its way through to goal. The opportunity arose following some brilliant play down the right from Callum Brittain.

With eight minutes to play in the half, Brittain worked his way inside the Wycombe box but saw his low cross deflected back off him for a goal kick. The visitors then went close through Alex Samuel, who turned a Thompson ball goalwards – Nicholls tipped it over.

The MK Dons number one kept out a looping header from former Don David Wheeler shortly after. Strike partner Nick Freeman then sent a volley into the back of a Dons defender.

It was Martin’s men, though, who would have the final opportunity to break the deadlock before half-time and they managed to find the net – however, the assistant on the far side deemed Nombe to be offside when he converted a loose ball from Morris’ saved shot.

Nombe had the first real sniff in the second half, chasing down a through ball from Healey down the right. He had Morris and Alex Gilbey for company in the area but saw his cross towards them blocked.

Gilbey did have a chance on 66 minutes with a free-kick that was blocked by the wall. That then led to an opportunity for George Williams, who was denied at point-blank range by a superb Stockdale save.

The Dons came away with a corner, though, and from that, they took the lead. The routine led to Jordan Houghton delivering a cross from the left and his ball was flicked on by Morris, into the path of an unmarked Healey, slotted home his second goal of the week. 1-0.

Wycombe made a substitution before the re-start, adding Josh Parker to their attack and he almost had an instant response – however his slight touch from a low cross wasn’t enough to guide the ball past Nicholls.

The Dons were dealt a blow with just over 10 minutes to play when goalscorer Healey was forced off with an injury. He was replaced by Ben Gladwin. Martin also took the opportunity to make a switch in midfield – McGrandles on for Thompson.

Martin was forced into another change two minutes later when Morris when down with an ailment. He had to come off and was replaced by David Kasumu.

Those alterations forced Gladwin into a more advanced role and that tweak worked to perfection, as four minutes from time he fired home his first MK Dons goal to double the lead.


Picking the ball up with his back to goal, 30 yards out, Gladwin worked his way out of trouble before curling a delightful strike around the arm of Stockdale and into the bottom left-hand corner. 2-0.

That was all she wrote at Stadium MK, despite seven minutes of added time. Another big win for Russell Martin's men at Stadium MK, who travel to Shrewsbury Town in their next outing.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington (c), Gilbey, Healey (Gladwin 79), Moore-Taylor, Thompson (McGrandles 79), Morris (Kasumu 85), Houghton, Brittain, Nombe.

Subs: Fisher, Walsh, Poole, Reeves, McGrandles.

Goals: Healey (68), Gladwin (85)

Booked: Lewington

Wycombe Wanderers: Stockdale, Jombati, Gape (Bloomfield 87), Stewart, Wheeler, Smyth (Parker 69), Thompson, Freeman, Samuel (Pattison 74), McCarthy.

Subs: Allsop, Mascoll, Phillips, Ofoborh.

Booked: Gape, Smyth

Referee: D Handley

Attendance: 9,699 (1,834 away)

 


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