Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Report: Derby County 1-1 MK Dons

10 April 2023

Match Reports

Report: Derby County 1-1 MK Dons

10 April 2023

MK Dons came from behind, once again, to earn a 1-1 draw away at play-off chasing Derby County.

Mark Jackson’s men found themselves 1-0 down at the break courtesy of David McGoldrick’s 17th-minute opener but they kept themselves in the contest, and earned a share of the spoils in the second half through Henry Lawrence’s first career league goal.

The draw, their third in a row against play-off calibre opposition, saw the Dons extend their unbeaten run to six games and moved them four points clear of the bottom four in Sky Bet League One.

Head Coach Jackson made three changes from the Good Friday draw with Portsmouth, two of which were enforced. Zak Jules and Henry Lawrence replaced Daniel Harvie and Jack Tucker, who missed out through injury, while Nathan Holland also came in for Conor Grant.

Derby made a bright start in front of their own fans and hit the woodwork inside the opening two minutes through Jamie Collins, whose bending shot struck Jamie Cumming’s left-hand post and bounced away to safety.

Jonathan Leko won his side a corner shortly after, as MK Dons responded well, but the corner wasn’t capitalised on. Neither was a chance down the right two minutes later – Henry Lawrence unable to pick out a teammate with his cross, after being set free down the right by Tennai Watson.

An effort from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing deflected wide of the post on 10 minutes, as the hosts threatened once again. From the resulting corner, Collins glanced a header over the bar.

With a little under a quarter of an hour, space opened up for Leko to have a go on goal from Watson’s pass inside. The MK Dons number 12 was 20 yards out and his low drive was blocked on its way through by a Rams defender.

There was a chance for Holland moments later, after Paris Maghoma had won possession for the Dons on half-way. The winger got to the edge of the D but saw his left-footed attempt saved by Joe Wildsmith.

Derby reacted well and had a glorious chance to open the scoring through Mendez-Laing but he was denied one-on-one by the legs of Cumming. Eisa thought he had a one-on-one opportunity moments later but he was flagged for offside.

It was the home side who would open the scoring, though, and they did so from a corner on 17 minutes – Conor Hourihane’s delivery, flicked on by Collins, taking it through to McGOLDRICK, who had the simple task of converting from close range. 1-0.

Jules got his head to a Hourihane free-kick in the 22nd-minute, preventing the hosts from doubling their lead from another set piece. A terrific save from Cumming then denied an attempt by Hourihane while he also kept out Tom Barkhuizen’s long-range drive.

The chances kept coming for the home team and a blocked clearance just before the half-hour mark led to an opportunity for Hourihane who, fortunately for the Dons, sliced his attempt wide from the edge of the area.

Hourihane had another chance from a free-kick but saw his strike blocked by the wall. Mendez-Laing’s follow-up attempt was also stood up by an MK Dons man – the Derby winger also drilled wide from a good opposition, three minutes later.

Lewington got himself in the way of McGoldrick’s 25-yard strike with seven minutes to play in the half, taking it away from goal and allowing Cumming to gather. Stewart then hacked clear from a dangerous Haydon Roberts ball, intended for McGoldrick.

The Dons were having very little of the ball and, subsequently, were struggling to threaten the Rams backline. Holland was almost able to poke a ball through to Leko with 42 minutes played but his teammate wasn’t able to hold his run for long enough.

They then had a free-kick, sent into the area by Holland and headed back into the mix by Jules – Cashin was there, though, to head clear for Derby. The resulting corner ended up in the arms of Wildsmith.

Jackson’s men were, in truth, fortunate to go into the half-time break only one goal down and they returned for the second half with a change to their side – Grant on in place of Leko, as Jackson shuffled his attack.

There was an early chance for Holland but he was crowded out as he made his way into the penalty area, ultimately losing possession and seeing the ball ending up in the arms of Wildsmith.

Hourihane lashed over from the edge of the area as Derby had their first chance of the second half in the 53rd minute. The Dons then worked a good move down the right but just as it was beginning to really develop, Grant put too much on his ball through to Lawrence.

Cumming made a routine save from Hourihane’s header on the hour. The hosts then wanted a penalty for what they felt was a handball by a Dons man in a crowded penalty area – referee Benjamin Speedie thought otherwise.

The Dons almost caught them in their moment of frustration but Eisa, played in down the right, was dispossessed by Roberts as he went to pull the trigger.

Mr. Speedie’s not to award the hosts a penalty certainly raised the temperature inside Pride Park Stadium, and both sides threatened with respective counter attacks for the next five minutes. The Dons, crucially, made one of theirs count on 68 minutes, levelling the scores through LAWRENCE.

Watson started the move with a cross-field pass over to Holland, who shrug off his man and drove into the area. Holland looked up and saw the run of Lawrence, sliding the perfect ball across for the Chelsea loanee to slam home, first-time, from 10 yards. 1-1.

McGoldrick shot just wide as Derby threatened an instant response. Jason Knight then headed wide from a corner with just over a quarter of an hour remaining.

Jackson went to his bench again on 78 minutes, adding Max Dean and Will Grigg to his attack in place of Eisa and Holland. Dean was the targer of McEachran’s long pass immediately after coming on, but Eiran Cashin did well to prevent the striker connecting.

Jake Rooney headed wide again for Derby, as they threatened from another teasing set-piece delivery. Bradley Johnson came off the bench soon after, as Jackson made a fourth change – McEachran was the man who made way for the former Rams midfielder.

With five minutes to play, Cumming was called into action to prevent Lewis Dobbin’s first-time effort creeping in at the near post from Mendez-Laing’s cutback. Lewington then produced a vital block to keep out another Dobbin try in the final minute of the 90.

Seven more minutes were added on by the fourth official and in the fourth of those, Jules was forced off with an injury, replaced by Ethan Robson.

Robson played his part late in helping the Dons deal with the onslaught of Derby pressure that came in the closing stages. They sent numerous balls into the box and went close on two occasions through McGoldrick and Dobbin, but Jackson’s team were able to see the draw through until the final whistle. Another massive result in their bid for survival.

MK Dons: Cumming, Watson, Lewington, McEachran (B Johnson 85), Eisa (Dean 78), Holland (Grigg 78), Leko (Grant 46), Stewart, Lawrence, Jules (Robson 90+5), Maghoma

Subs: Ravizzoli, Devoy

Goal: Lawrence (68)

Booked: Maghoma, Watson

Derby County: Wildsmith, Hourihane (White 72), Cashin, Barkhuizen, Collins (Dobbin 72), McGoldrick, Mendez-Laing, Smith (Bird 72), Roberts, Rooney, Knight

Subs: McGee, Forsyth, Sibley, Davies

Goal: McGoldrick (17)

Booked: Rooney, White

Referee: B Speedie

Attendance: 26,793

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account