It’s safe to say Matt O’Riley couldn’t hide his happiness after netting his first goal for MK Dons in just his second appearance for the club.
The 20-year-old has been training with Russell Martin’s side for the last six months and was finally able to put pen-to-paper on a permanent deal in the January Transfer Window.
The former Fulham man popped up in on the hour to slot home from Cameron Jerome’s cross to put Dons ahead at Plough Lane. The goal capped a classy performance from O’Riley who boasted an 84.4% pass completion in his 75-minutes.
“I cannot tell you how happy I am,” O’Riley told iFollow MK Dons. “When the ball went in – the feeling was incredible. I’m delighted to score and I’m so happy to be here.
“Cammy said he knew I was going to be there – and I knew he’d be putting it into that area. We have a great connection as these are patterns we work so hard on in training. It’s been good to see it transition into games – these little details are really important.”
Russell Martin’s side dominated the encounter and limited the home side to just 35% possession and two shots on target. O’Riley says the side had to be patient for the breakthrough and not stray away from their possession-based football.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of the ball in general, and in the first half in particular, we just kept working and by the second half, their legs were gone.
“In the first half, we worked them well. We didn't play our best, but the game plan worked really well. They tired, so we found spaces in that second half.
“It was a relief when the second goal went in because we knew we could play our game and manage it. At 1-0, there's always a chance they could nick a goal from a set-piece.”
Both Martin and Warren O’Hora noted in the build-up to the Sky Bet League One fixture, that emotion would need to be taken out the encounter. O’Riley echoed the sentiment and spoke of the importance of treating the fixture like any other.
“We were well aware of the nature of the game coming into it. We want to win every game but this game is a little bit more important - especially to the fans so we gave it everything and we got the win.
“The aim is to build on this and win a few on the bounce. We're capable of doing that, and with two games in a week, it's a perfect opportunity to do so.”
Attention for MK Dons turns to Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy Quarter-Final tie with Sunderland at Stadium MK.
Supporters will be able to watch the action courtesy of iFollow MK Dons - to purchase a £10 Video Match Pass, click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass. Then simply log in to your iFollow MK Dons account and follow the instructions or register for an account, which can be done for free.