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Match Reports

Report: Wealdstone v MK Dons

11 July 2023

Match Reports

Report: Wealdstone v MK Dons

11 July 2023

MK Dons played out their first pre-season friendly ahead of the 2023/24 season at Wealdstone on Tuesday evening.

Max Dean was on the scoresheet for Graham Alexander’s men in a game which ended 2-1 in favour of the home side, but saw the majority of the first-team squad get valuable minutes in the build-up to the new season.

Graham Alexander’s starting XI included two of his summer signings in Alex Gilbey and Nathan Harness, while there was also a start for Dan Kemp, who spent the second-half of last season on loan at Hartlepool United, as well as second-year scholar Callum Tripp.

After seeing an early Ashley Charles strike fly wide of the post, MK Dons had their first chance of the game through Mo Eisa, who which clipped the right upright after being teed up by Jonathan Leko inside the area.

Leko then went close with a chance of his own, collecting a loose ball and driving to the edge of the D before curling a right-footed shot just wide of the target. He then forced the Wealdstone keeper into a strong save, after skipping between two Wealdstone defenders inside the box.

That chance resulted in a corner, from which Jack Tucker saw a header cleared off the line by a home defender. Several half-chances followed, including a 25-yard drive from Dawson Devoy which whistled wide.

Wealdstone took the lead on 26 minutes through Alex DYER, who slammed home after the hosts did well to keep their attack live from a deep cross. 1-0.

Mo Eisa, in response, knocked one down for Nathan Holland but he sent his first-time strike wide of the left post. Holland then produced a diving save out of the Wealdstone goalkeeper, after being set up by Devoy on the edge of the area.

Early in the second half, with the Dons unchanged, Gilbey won possession and drove towards goal, only for Wealdstone to get back in numbers and snuff out the chance. At the other end, Nathan Ferguson fired wide from 25 yards.

Gilbey volleyed just wide from a Daniel Harvie cross on 51 minutes as the Dons threatened an equaliser. A string of MK Dons changes followed on the hour, as Alexander changed his entire XI with the exception of goalkeeper Harness.

One of those additions, Ethan Robson, fired wide from the edge of the area. The midfielder had another try, from closer range, on 78 minutes but couldn’t keep his strike down after meeting Burns’ delivery.

Burns was involved in the Dons’ leveller, which arrived with eight minutes left to play. His pass over the top of the Wealdstone defence was inch-perfect for DEAN, who watched the ball onto his foot and fired a stunning volley past the goalkeeper. 1-1.

The hosts did, though, restore their lead through Giovanni McGREGOR, who slammed through a crowded penalty area from 15 yards out. 2-1.

MK Dons: Harness, Tripp (Scholtz 66), Lewington (Waller 66), Harvie (Jules 66), Tucker (O’Hora 66), Gilbey (Trialist 66), Kemp (Robson 66), Devoy (Smith 66), Eisa (Dennis 66), Leko (Dean 66), Holland (Burns 66)

Subs: MacGillivray, Anker, Stirland, Boyce

Goal: Dean (82)

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