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Match Reports

Report: Accrington Stanley 1-0 MK Dons

MK Dons suffer defeat at the Wham Stadium…

21 October 2023

Match Reports

Report: Accrington Stanley 1-0 MK Dons

MK Dons suffer defeat at the Wham Stadium…

21 October 2023

MK Dons fall short at the Wham Stadium after Accrington Stanley’s Shaun Whalley separated the sides through the only goal scored within the Sky bet League Two fixture.

Mike Williamson took his first game in charge of the Dons as the team faced Accrington Stanley in a Sky Bet League Two clash at the Wham Stadium.

Mo Eisa and Warren O’Hora made their return to the starting XI, much the same as Daniel Harvie, who was reintroduced into the squad following his suspension served last weekend.

A promising chance arose for MK Dons within the opening minute of the match. Max Dean, who gathered the ball in the centre of Accrington’s final-third located Mo Eisa in-behind the defensive line. The number ten just couldn’t quite keep his shot down with the first attempt of the game.

The travelling team continued to search for the front two in Max Dean and Mo Eisa, another attacking threat was created, but a few loose touches would see the chance fall through.

Accrington then answered back as they progressed up the other end of the field, this led to the first free-kick of the game. The set-piece seemed too far out for an attempt at goal, so the hosts opted to work the ball into the box instead, Gilbey was called upon to clear the delivery.

Joe Tomlinson would see the next shot of the game, but his strike on the edge of the area would be unintentionally thwarted by his own teammate.

13 minutes into the tie, Accrington Stanley saw their first shot on target. Joe Pritchard’s low effort was matched by a strong hand from the Dons number one, who denied what could’ve been an early setback.

A creative move almost sparked an incredible opening for Mike Williamson’s men. Fortunately for the Accy, Rosaire Longelo was able to intercept Max Dean’s flick through intended for Eisa. It might’ve caused real trouble for the home side without Longelo’s defensive presence.

On the 30-minute mark, Accrington Stanley opened the scoring. Shaun Whalley found the ball at his feet before his stop and turn granted him enough space for a shot at goal. MacGillivray was helpless to meet with it in his diving attempt as Whalley’s effective effort found the top-left corner of the net. 1-0

Max Dean continued to search for the runs in behind Accrington’s rear-guard and was successful in his attempts at doing so. However, the home side matched each advance as they reacted rapidly to every oncoming threat.

MK Dons tried to find an equaliser within the first half of action. Mo Eisa looked set to score, but the Accy defenders swarmed the striker, which made it difficult for him to find the target within the peanlty area.

Minutes later, Cameron Norman had eyes for goal from close-range as it looked destined for the Dons to draw level. Alas, an awkward bounce resulted in a handball against Norman, which saw the chance diminish.

MK Dons trailed by one as both teams were signalled for the break.

A sharp start to the second 45 minutes would’ve seen Mo Eisa through one-on-one, but the forward hit the deck during his advances. The referee denied any appeals for a foul or possible red card offence.

Accrington came close to a second, but a pivotal stop from MacGillivray turned away a close-range headed attempt at goal.

Mike Williamson made his first change of the game during the 53rd minute, which saw Ethan Robson take to the field in place of Mo Eisa.

A short-corner routine was played consistently by the Dons throughout the fixture. 54 minutes in, Payne played a pass in towards the front post for the head of O’Hora. However, the connection from the defender saw the bounce of the ball loop over and behind the goal.

Another scare arose from an Accrington Stanley corner, Craig MacGillivray produced an incredible reaction stop from close-range to turn away a stabbed attempt at goal following a goalmouth scramble. During the process, Harvie was fouled, but the ‘keeper wass none the wiser until after his heroics.

MK Dons then ventured forward as the ball made its way around the middle of the field before it found Gilbey on the left of the pitch. The Captain poised to shoot, but his curled attempt couldn’t cause trouble for Jon McCracken.

Another set-piece from the corner flag benefitted the visitors – this time, Tommy Smith would connect with the delivery, but his glancing header snuffed out the Dons' hopes for an equaliser as it was cleared off the goal-line.

Williamson made two further changes with the intent to increase the attacking threat for MK Dons as fresh legs in both Matt Dennis and Jonathan Leko took to the field. The two attacking players replaced were Max Dean and Jack Payne.

Mike Williamson’s Dons didn’t hault in their pursuit to find an equaliser, which saw most of the play occur within the home side’s half. However, McCracken wasn’t called upon frequently, and as a result, MK Dons couldn’t find the goal they so desperately went in search for.


MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, O’Hora, Williams, Gilbey (C), Eisa (Robson 53), Payne (Leko 78), Tomlinson, Smith, Dean (Dennis 74), Harvie

Kelly, Tucker, Ilunga, Devoy

Yellow cards:
Harvie 56

Accrington Stanley:
McCracken, Rich-Baghuelou (Gubbins 70), Mellor, Hills, Whalley, B Woods (Leigh 45), Pritchard (C), Longelo, Nolan (J Woods 70), Andrews, Martin

McIntyre, Shipley, Conneely, Adedoyin

Whalley 30

Yellow cards:
Woods 40, Whalley 61

1,995 (208)

Referee: Simon Mather

Wham Stadium

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