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Report: Harrogate Town 3-5 MK Dons

MK Dons win eight goal thriller at Wetherby Road…

20 April 2024

Match Reports

Report: Harrogate Town 3-5 MK Dons

MK Dons win eight goal thriller at Wetherby Road…

20 April 2024

MK Dons scored five goals for the third time this season to claim back-to-back wins on the road after a thrilling game at Harrogate Town.

Abraham Odoh opened the scoring after pouncing on a rebound before Alex Gilbey and Max Dean scored in quick succession to put the Dons in front.

George Thomson scored a free-kick just before halftime and a volley just after it to give Harrogate the lead before Stephen Wearne found his way through several defenders to make it 3-3.

With ten minutes to go, Emre Tezgel kept his cool from close range to score a decisive fourth goal, before Ellis Harrison combined with Dean Lewinton to finish the game off with a fifth.

Mike Williamson made four changes to the XI that started against Mansfield last week, with Jack Payne, Daniel Harvie, Stephen Wearne and Lewis Bate making way for Cameron Norman, MJ Williams, Ethan Robson and Emre Tezgel.


MK Dons had the first chance of the match in the opening five minutes, Ethan Robson did well to pounce on a Harrogate Town mistake and steal the ball in midfield before finding Alex Gilbey. The midfielder got his shot away from the edge of the area but it took a big deflection and James Belshaw comfortably claimed it.

Jack Muldoon then had a chance for Harrotagte not long afterwards, the striker fashioned a shooting opportunity in the area from a tight angle but Michael Kelly pulled off a smart save to his left.

A few minutes later George Thomson put a dangerous ball into MK Dons’ area for Muldoon to attack, but Dean Lewington took the ball away from the forward with a deft header before turning and calmly passing the ball out.

In the 12th minute Kyran Lofthouse looked to have created a great goal-scoring chance as he squared a ball into Emre Tezgel from the Harrogate byline, but referee David Webb blew for offside before the young striker could shoot.

Matty Daly did his best to create a chance for the Sulphurites a few minutes later, but the midfielder was well marshalled by Jack Tucker who used his strength to regain possession in the Dons’ half.

Harrogate’s best chance of the game so far came around ten minutes later, defender Anthony O’Conor took a shot from around 25 yards that was curling towards the left-hand side of the goal before Michael Kelly pushed it away for a corner.

Immediately afterwards the Dons had a chance of their own, Max Dean pressured keeper James Belshaw into a poor clearance which went straight to Alex Gilbey. The midfielder looked up and played the ball back into Dean who’d found space on the wing, but his cross into the box was eventually claimed by the keeper.

In the 32nd minute Harrogate Town took the lead, Ethan Robson looked to have been fouled on the halfway line by Matty Daly but referee David Webb didn’t give it. Daly then ran straight at goal and let fire from distance with his effort smashing into the post. Abraham Odoh was alert to the rebound though and turned the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0.

Five minutes later Harrogate had another chance, George Thomson had a shot from around 25 yards but Michael Kelly was never in any real danger and comfortably claimed it.

Two minutes later MK Dons were level! Some great work from Alex Gilbey in midfield dispossessed Harrogate who struggled to deal with a quick break. The midfielder found Ethan Robson who then sent Max Dean through, with the forward looking up to see Gilbey arriving late on the edge of the box. Dean then laid the ball off for him to hit, with the midfielder dispatching emphatically into the bottom right corner. 1-1. 

The Dons then immediately took the lead! Alex Gilbey looked to return the favour to Max Dean by firing a ball into the box for him to attack, at first defender Stephen Dooley looked to have stopped it but under pressure from the forward he spilt the ball and Dean was able to stab home from close range. 2-1.  

In the final seconds of the half, the referee awarded a free-kick to Harrogate on the edge of the area after Dean Lewington was deemed to have fouled Jack Muldoon. George Thomson stepped up and produced a brilliant free-kick to beat Michael Kelly to the top right-hand corner and level the game. 2-2. 


Mike Williamson made a double change at halftime, with goalscorers Alex Gilbey and Max Dean coming off for Stephen Wearne and Ellis Harrison.

In the 50th minute Harrogate pounced on a mistake in defence by MK Dons and took the lead. Abraham Odoh stole the ball away and sent a cross deep into the MK Dons area which George Thomson met with a volley. The Harrogate captain saw his effort fly into the top left-hand corner to put the Sulphurites ahead. 3-2.

Moments later MK Dons were level! Michael Kelly sent a pinpoint ball over the top for Stephen Wearne to run onto, the forward timed his run to perfection before keeping his cool to slot past a stationary James Belshaw and score the game's sixth. 3-3.

In the 58th minute Harrogate thought they’d retaken the lead, Matty Daly sent a shot towards goal from around 30 yards which thumped into the post. MK Dons immediately went down the other end and had a chance to take the lead, but Ellis Harrison’s effort flew over the bar.

A minute later Mike Williamson made his third change of the afternoon, with Warren O’Hora coming off for Dan Kemp.

Five minutes later Michael Kelly did well to stop a Harrogate Town attack, the goalkeeper came out of his goal early to close down Matty Daly and smother the chance.

In the 67th minute Kyran Lofthouse did brilliantly well to start an MK Dons attack, the wingback went on a zigzagging run through Harrogate’s defence but his short ball into the box was eventually cleared away.

Two minutes later Matty Daly should have scored for Harrogate, the forward beat MK Dons’ offside trap to create a one-on-one shooting opportunity but sent his effort fractionally wide of the post.  

In the 75th Harrogate had another great chance to score. George Thomson’s initial curled effort from around 30 yards crashed into the crossbar, Abraham Odoh headed the rebound goalwards but Michael Kelly pulled off a great save to keep the scores level.

Two minutes later it was MK Dons who could have scored. Cameron Norman found Emre Tezgel with a well-played short ball from the byline, but the forward’s shot was blocked on the line by a Harrogate defender.

In a whirlwind end to the game Ethan Robson had a great chance from a freekick, with his effort going just wide to James Belshaw’s left.

Moments later MK Dons took the lead! Dan Kemp forced an error from the Sulphurites defence before finding Emre Tezgel just outside the six yard box, the 18-year-old kept his cool under pressure from Harrogate’s defence and squeezed home from close-range. 3-4.

Not long afterwards the Dons had a fifth! Dean Lewington did well initially to find Ellis Harrison in the Harrogate box, the forward held the ball up well before smashing home his 7th goal of the season. 3-5.

In the 85th minute George Thomson hit the woodwork again, with the midfielder looking destined to miss out on a hatrick at Wetherby Road. 

The Dons saw out five minutes of stoppage time in North Yorkshire to claim Mike Williamson’s 20th win as MK Dons head coach.


MK Dons: Kelly, Norman, Lewington (C), Tucker, O’Hora (Kemp 59), Williams, Gilbey (Wearne 45), Robson, Dean (Harrison 45), Tezgel, Lofthouse

Subs: Marschall, Payne, Harvie, Bate

Goals: Gilbey 40, Dean 43, Wearne 52, Tezgel 80, Harrison 83

Yellow cards: 

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Abu (Sims 83), Thomson (C), Cornelius, Odoh, Daly, O’Connor, McDonald, Muldoon (Folarin 74), Dooley (Sutton 62), Foulds

Subs: Oxley, Burrell, Sivi, March

Goals: Odoh 32, Thomson 45+2, 50

Yellow cards: 

Referee: David Webb

Stadium: The EnviroVent Stadium

Attendance: 3,572 (573)

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