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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

Full summary of the action from Stadium M

13 September 2022

Goals on the half-hour and the hour saw MK Dons beaten 2-0 by Bolton Wanderers at Stadium MK.

Dion Charles put the Trotters ahead from the penalty spot with 31 minutes played before Gethin Jones headed in a second with half an hour remaining.

Liam Manning made four changes to his starting XI as Zak Jules, Daniel Oyegoke, Matt Smith and Matthew Dennis all came in to the side. Josh McEachran, meanwhile, returned to the squad for the first time since the opening day of the season - he was amongst the substitutes.

Both teams took a little while to get used to the sodden conditions with neither team finding any real groove early on.

It took until the 14th minute for the first real chance of the game, after Bolton got fortunate with a missed offside. Dion Charles eventually had a shot on goal, which was blocked by Jack Tucker and then gathered by Jamie Cumming.

Cumming was forced into a much better stop three minutes later as he showed great reflexes in order to divert George Thomason’s looping goal-bound effort over his crossbar. Kieran Lee blazed over from the resulting corner.

The Dons first glimpse of an opportunity came on 20 minutes when Daniel Harvie collected a loose ball and spotted the run of Smith into the area. His through ball was accurate but had a little too much on it for the MK Dons number 7 to reach it.

They were awarded a free-kick shortly after for a foul on Dennis, though Devoy’s delivery was well-read by James Trafford. Moments later, Devoy tried to turn provider again, following a good attacking move, but Grigg wasn’t able to fashion a chance from his cross.

However, Bolton were handed the opportunity to take the lead on the half-hour mark when Gethin Jones was brought down inside the penalty area by Devoy. Charles took the spot-kick and converted, to give the visitors the lead. 0-1.

Grigg and Dennis combined as the Dons searched for an equaliser with seven minutes to play in the half. Grigg’s first touch from Cumming’s long pass was sublime, before he teed up Dennis, whose effort was deflected away from goal.

Oyegoke then went for goal with a rasping drive from the edge of the area which was deflected just past Trafford’s left post. That led to successive corners and, from the latter, Harvie had a decent low drive diverted wide by the back of a defender. Smith then had a go from similar range – an effort on the bounce which flew over the crossbar.

The Dons, who were unable to get back on level terms in the first half, went about equalising at the start of the second and an early cross in from the left was met by Grigg, though the touch wasn’t enough to truly trouble James Trafford.

On 50 minutes, Dennis was brought down midway inside the Bolton half which provided Devoy with a chance to send a ball into the area. It was Dennis who got onto the end of Devoy’s ball in but his glancing header went wide.

A loose pass saw Manning’s men back inside the Bolton area within seconds but Harvie’s low cross towards Dennis was snuffed out by an alert Trafford. The Dons then had Cumming to thank for keeping the deficit at one when he made a stunning point-blank save to deny Charles a second goal.

Shortly after, Smith went agonisingly close to playing in Dennis only for a sliding tackle from George Johnston to prevent the strike a clear path to goal. Their attempts at salvaging a result, though, were dealt a further blow on the hour when Bolton doubled their lead – Jones heading in off the underside of the bar following a free-kick delivery. 0-2.

The visitors almost had a third four minutes later but Jack Iredale somehow failed to find the target when well-placed at the far post. Manning then went to his bench, introducing Joshua Kayode and the fit-again McEachran in place of Grigg and Johnson.

Smith was replaced by Burns as the Dons made a third alteration with 15 minutes left to play. However he, nor his teammates could do much to affect the way of the result, with the Dons frustrating in the final exchanges by a resilient Trotters outfit.

MK Dons: Cumming, Tucker, O’Hora, Smith (Burns 75), Grigg (Kayode 67), Oyegoke, Johnson (McEachran 67), Harvie, Devoy, Dennis, Jules.

Subs: Ravizzoli, Lewington, Grant, Lawrence.

Booked: Tucker

Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Jones, Williams, Santos, Johnston, Charles (Sadlier 86), Iredale, Lee (Dempsey 73) Bradley, Kachunga (Bakayoko 77), Thomason (Morley 86).

Subs: John, Aimson, Afolayan.

Goals: Charles (pen 31), Jones (60)

Booked: Morley

Referee: C Pollard

Attendance: 6,339 (760 away)

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