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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 4-4 Sutton United

MK Dons settle for a draw after eight-goal thriller at Stadium MK

27 April 2024

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 4-4 Sutton United

MK Dons settle for a draw after eight-goal thriller at Stadium MK

27 April 2024

MK Dons played out a 4-4 thriller at Stadium MK, after goals from Jack Payne and Alex Gilbey put the Dons 2-0 at halftime.

Stephen Duke-McKenna pulled one back for Sutton in the second half before substitute Emre Tezgel made it 3-1.

Charlie Lakin fired in a powerful effort to make it 3-2 before Ellis Harrison did brilliantly well one-on-one to add a fourth for Mike Williamson's side.

Sutton then rallied though with goals from Duke-McKenna again and eventually Harry Smith in the 91st minute.

The draw wasn't enough for the U's though who were relegated from League Two, while MK Dons know they'll now face Crawley Town in the play-offs.

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


MK Dons had the first chance of the match after just four minutes, Max Dean was played through by Alex Gilbey and looked to cause Sutton problems as he ran towards goal with pace. The young striker got his shot away from the edge of the area but it was comfortably saved by Steve Arnold.

Sutton created a chance themselves a few minutes later, Josh Coley jinxed in between two MK Dons defenders to create a shooting opportunity from a few yards out, but couldn’t beat Michael Kelly from a very acute angle.

A few minutes later MK Dons took the lead! Joe Tomlinson found space on the left-hand side of the pitch and fed Alex Gilbey in the Sutton penalty area. The midfielder then found Max Dean who looked up to see Jack Payne arriving and laid the ball off for the Dons’ number 11 to fire home from close range. 1-0. 

Not long afterwards Sutton had a chance to equalise from a corner, but Joe Kizzi couldn’t generate enough power on his header and Michael Kelly was able to palm his effort away.

In the 20th minute MK Dons nearly scored from an unlikely source when Jack Tucker latched onto a loose ball in the Sutton area and fired goalwards, but his half-volley was well blocked by Omar Sowunmi.

Five minutes later MK Dons crafted a brilliant team move. Lewis Bate picked the ball in midfield before sending a ball through with pace for Kyran Lofthouse to chase on the right wing. The defender took two touches before firing a cross all the way over the top to his fellow wing-back Joe Tomlinson. Showing no signs of rustiness on his return from injury Tomlinson sent it straight back across to Max Dean who shot first time, but was ultimately denied by a strong hand from Steve Arnold.

On the half-hour mark Sutton created a great chance when Charlie Lakin bundled through the MK Dons defence, but Michael Kelly was alert and forced the midfielder to shoot from a tricky position eventually making a smart save.

MK Dons responded with a brilliant chance of their own. Joe Tomlinson looked productive on his return to the side and was having some real joy on the left-hand side of the pitch. The wingback sent a pinpoint ball through to Max Dean to chase, with the forward sending his shot fractionally wide of Arnold’s left post.

With five minutes left of the half MK Dons doubled their lead! After keeping possession for a few minutes the Dons looked to up the pace, with Lewis Bate threading the ball through to Daniel Harive. The defender kept the momentum going as he ran towards goal before playing the ball out to Joe Tomlinson, who quickly found Alex Gilbey. The midfielder then combined with Max Dean before getting the ball back and squeezing his curled effort in off the post. 2-0.

In first-half stoppage time Sutton fashioned a half chance from close range, but Michael Kelly held on to it comfortably.

The Dons saw out six minutes of stoppage time to go in at the break two goals up.


Sutton had an early chance in the second half after a mistake from the MK Dons defence, but Michael Kelly pulled off an unbelievable save to deny Stephen Duke-McKenna from point-blank range.

The keeper was then on hand from the resulting corner to pull another brilliant save and stop Omar Sowunmi’s header finding the back of the net.

Eventually though Sutton did score. The U’s took a corner short before Charlie Lakin fired a ball into the box towards Stephen Duke-McKenna. The substitute took the ball down well before firing a powerful strike into the roof of the net. 2-1.

Not long afterwards there was a chance for the Dons, Alex Gilbey had possession in Sutton’s area and sent  a short ball towards Max Dean. The striker turned and shot but his effort was well met by Steve Arnold.

In the 55th minute Mike Williamson made his first changes of the afternoon, with Max Dean and Stephen Wearne coming off for Ellis Harrison and Emre Terzgel.

Five minutes later the Dons added a third! Emre Tezgel made an immediate impact when he latched onto Joe Tomlinson’s deflected shot. The young forward kept his composure one-on-one and slotted past Steve Arnold to his right to score. 3-1.

Immediately after the goal Mike Williamson made another double change, with Alex Gilbey and Joe Tomlinson coming off for Cameron Norman and Ethan Robson.

Sutton then managed to quickly pull a goal back. Charlie Lakin picked the ball up in midfield and sent a ferocious shot from distance into the top corner. 3-2.

In the 64th minute Craig Eastmond was booked for a nasty tackle on Jack Payne on the edge of the area.

Payne took the free-kick himself which hit the wall, but did well to recycle it to Kyran Lofthouse who immediately played then midfielder back in. MK Dons thought they’d added a fourth when Emre Tezgel turned Payne’s ball home from close range, but the assistant referee had blown his whistle for offside.

Minutes later though MK Dons did have a fourth! Emre Tezgel split the Sutton defence with a pinpoint pass through to Ellis Harrison who only had the keeper to beat. The substitute kept his cool and took the ball round Steve Arnold brilliantly before rolling it into an empty net. 4-2. 

Mike Williamson then made his fifth and final change, with Kyran Lofthouse coming off for Dan Kemp.

With 15 minutes to play Sutton scored the game’s seventh. Stephen Duke-McKenna was set up by Tope Fadahunsi and managed to stee4 the ball in from close-range. 4-3.

Around five minutes later Ellis Harrison nearly scored a second! The striker broke through Sutton’s defence again to create another one-on-one, he saw his powerful effort beat the goalkeeper but crash agonisingly into the underside of the crossbar.

Emre Tezgel nearly scored a second himself not long afterwards, but dragged his shot from just inside the box fractionally wide. 

Not long afterwards Emre Tezgel had another chance. The forwards picked the ball up after some intricate MK Dons play in Sutton’s box, but his curled effort was well blocked by the trailing leg of a U’s defender.

In the 90th minute Sutton equalised. Harry Smith headed home from Stephen Duke-McKenna’s cross to bring the scores level. 4-4.

Emre Tezgel almost immediately restored the Dons lead, the striker beat two or three Sutton defenders on the wing before bursting into the area and firing a curled shot just wide of the post.

After six minutes of stoppage time the game ended level, with MK Dons set to face Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium in the first leg of the play-offs on Monday the 6th of March.


MK Dons: Kelly, Tucker, O’Hora, Gilbey (C) (Norman 62), Payne, Tomlinson (Robson 62), Dean (Tezgel 55), Harvie, Wearne (Harrison 55), Lofthouse (Kemp 74), Bate

Subs: Marschall, Lewington

Goals: Payne 15, Gilbey 40, Tezgel 60, Harrison 68

Yellow cards: O’Hora 67

Sutton United: Arnold, Adom-Malaki, Sowunmi, Coley (Duke-McKenna 30), Smith, Beautyman (Fadahunsi 74), Kizzi, Jackson (Moore 74), Lakin, Sanderson (Eastmond 45), Hart

Subs: John, Clay, Kerbey

Goals: Duke-McKenna 50, 75, Lakin 62, Smith 90+1

Yellow cards: Eastmond 64, Hart 67

Referee: Thomas Parsons

Stadium: Stadium MK

Attendance: 8,685 (860)

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