Match Report


Tue 16 Apr 13

The U's were defeated by play-off chasing MK Dons on Tuesday night, as the race for League One safety ratched up another notch. 

Three of the sides battling to avoid the drop - the U's, Oldham and Scunthorpe - were in action on Tuesday and, at the half time interval, the gap to the bottom four had been cut to just two points. 

The U's could have considered themselves unlucky to be trailing after a fine display of football in the first half, where they struck the woodwork and pinned in the Dons. 

But the Dons grabbed a second in the second half to keep their play-off hopes alive and ensure the points went back to Milton Keynes. 

However, for the last fifteen minutes, much of the fans' attentions were on the game at Gigg Lane, where Bury had come from behind to defeat Scunthorpe and retain the five point cushion the U's had over the bottom four. 

It gives the U's some assurances to go into their last two games with, but they will want to get over the finish line under their own volition and a couple of wins, rather than just rely on others. 

The U’s made two changes for the visit for the visit of the Dons, with Billy Clifford coming in for David Wright and Freddie Sears replacing Clinton Morrison.

It was a nervous start from the home side, but they grew into the game as the first ten minutes unfolded and won a series of dangerous set pieces early on.

From one of those set pieces, the U’s had the first chance of the game as White won the header from the corner and, on the stretch, Okuonghae fired over from close range.

Sears was a danger for the home side and drew a foul from Williams that saw the Dons skipper get booked and, from the resultant set piece, White flashed a header over the bar.

Those misses looked crucial as Powell escaped down the right hand side not long afterwards, and he set himself as he got into the box, firing home across Walker into the bottom corner.

The U’s responded well to going behind, playing some nice stuff until they got to the final third where the last pass just couldn’t find its target.

They had the next decent chance of the game as a clever ball from Clifford slid in Massey, whose fierce low shot was deflected agonisingly wide by Doumbe.

Massey then did great defensive work at the other end, sweeping up from a cleared ball to get the ball off the toes of Bamford.

Dons defender Williams was a relieved man as he saw his back header from Walker’s long clearance tipped over the bar by a backpedalling McLoughlin.

From the resultant set piece, Sears found himself in space at the far post and smashed a shot against the woodwork with a low shot.

The U’s were cranking up the pressure – next Bond saw a shot deflected away from goal, before Ibehre flashed a close range header just wide of the upright.

And they had another great chance to get level thanks to some sensational footwork from Clifford. He weaved his way past four Dons men before sending in a high shot that McLoughlin tipped over.

Next up, Wright blazed down the right hand side and sent over a cross that was just too high for Sears, before Bond’s follow up was well saved by the keeper.

The half finished with both Scunthorpe and Oldham taking the lead, but the U’s seemed to be carrying on where they left off when things got started in the second period.

Ibehre was proving to be a nuisance to his former side, as the U’s pressed for the equaliser. But the Dons were seeing more of the ball, with Bamford also proving to be a useful focal point for his team.

The U’s made a change with twenty minutes to go, with Wright being replaced by George Porter. But, like on Saturday, the substitute could only watch on as the Dons played through the U’s to slot Bamford in for him to tuck home under Walker. 

That took the steam out of the U's as they looked for a way back into the game and, although they prompted and probed throughout the second half, they lacked the fluency they needed to really test the Dons. 

But this side is not short in spirit, they kept pushing until the final whistle to grab a goal which would have not only given them a lifeline in the match but that could also prove so crucial in getting them over the finishing line. 

A win in their last two games will ensure safety.

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