MK Dons draw 1-1 at the VBS Community Stadium through Alex Gilbey’s equaliser in the second-half.
MK Dons saw Dean Lewington make his first league start this season, but Graham Alexander continued his decision to entrust Alex Gilbey with the Captain’s armband.
Ellis Harrison, Jack Payne and Joe Tomlinson remained in the starting XI following the mid-week success over Oxford United within the EFL Trophy. All three receive their first league start for the Dons.
MK Dons saw most of the ball within the opening stages of the Sky Bet League Tow fixture. Although, it was Sutton who would win the first set-piece of the match.
The home side created three consecutive corner-kicks, but eventually Graham Alexander’s men are able to clear the danger from their box.
An early scare arose for the travelling team when the ball was stole from Craig MacGillivray, who rushed out to clear the oncoming danger. Anthony Stewart produced a vital block to deny Sutton an early opener.
Stewart ensured to place himself between the open net and the effort, which saw a pivotal defensive display just ten minutes into the match.
Although the Dons controlled the ball within the first few minutes, Sutton United had put the travelling team on the back foot. Nevertheless, so far, MK Dons had limited Sutton’s sights at goal.
The team in red created a chance after Ellis Harrison’s calm and collected skill opened up space in the middle of the field. MK Dons progressed down the right, but Payne’s ball into the back-post was dealt with by United.
Jack Payne then stood over a corner-kick, the first delivery from the corner flag for the visitors 25 minutes into the fixture. Payne placed the ball in towards the penalty spot, but Bouzanis stepped forward to punch clear.
Sutton looked to counter following the Dons’ second delivery from a set-piece. The home side could’ve been successful in their attempts if it weren’t for an important defensive header from Lewington to turn behind the initial ball in.
37 Minutes into the game, Sutton united took the lead. From an in-swinging corner, Omar Sowunmi connected with the delivery and sent the ball into the back of the net with a powerful header. 1-0
Jack Payne looked to respond to the setback instantly and was inches away from an equaliser, but his curled effort from the edge of the area crashed off the upright.
Another opportunity was created by the Dons before the break. Alex Gilbey switched play over to Cameron Norman, whose ball into the box fell to MJ Williams, though, the midfielder was marked well enough to put his shot off target.
MK Dons trailed one goal to nil as the teams entered the break.
The start of the second-half saw an audacious attempt from Mo Eisa, who had spotted the goalkeeper off his line. However, his hit from the half-way mark was off target.
On the 53-minute mark Alex Gilbey levelled the score-line. Great link-up play created the chance between Tomlinson, Harrison and Eisa, but it was Gilbey’s longe-range rocket that creeped him to the bottom left corner to level the score-line. 1-1
Sutton’s Omari Patrick came close to regaining the lead, but the two efforts produced by the number 11 were both met well by MacGillivray between the sticks.
MK Dons seemed to play on the front-foot more since their equaliser as the team continued their efforts in search of a lead for the first time in the clash.
Aiden O’Brien made his way into a shooting position within the 72 minute, but his tame effort was collected by MacGillivray.
Graham Alexander’s men entered the final 15 minutes of the fixture and continued to amount pressure on Sutton’s defence.
The travelling team conjured corner after corner in their attempts to break down United’s rear-guard once again following the equaliser early on in the second 45 minutes of play.
Craig MacGillivray was called into action five minutes ahead of injury time as he made an important save to palm away a close-range effort.
The fourth official indicated a total of six minutes left to play.
MK Dons couldn’t capitalise on their pressure sustained during the second-half as the game ended 1-1 at the VBS Community Stadium.
MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, Lewington, O’Hora (Dean 88), Williams, Gilbey (C), Harrison, Eisa (Leko 88), Payne, Tomlinson, Stewart
Subs: Kelly, Tucker, Grant, Robson, Harvie
Goals: Gilbey 53
Yellow cards: Williams 71
Sutton United: Bouzanis, Sowunmi, John (C), Coley (Eastmond 58), N’Guessan, Smith (Kasimu 84), Patrick, Clay (Beautyman 79), Kizzi, O’Brien (Pereira 79), Hart (Jackson 84)
Subs: Rose, Goodliffe, Beautyman, Pereira
Goals: Sowunmi 37
Attendance: 3,288 (691)
Referee: T Kirk