MK Dons 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 17th Sep 2019 20:48
Jon Nolan’s first goal of the season has given Town a 1-0 half-time lead away against the MK Dons.
Emyr Huws, James Wilson, Luke Garbutt and Nolan returned to the team for Myles Kenlock, who was left out of the 18, Luke Woolfenden, Gwion Edwards and Alan Judge, who were all on the bench.
Town, with 3,000 fans vociferously backing them from one corner of the ground, appeared to start in a 3-5-2 formation with Skuse at the centre of the back three, matching the home side’s regular system.
However, the Dons instead began the game with one man up and five in midfield, and the Blues almost immediately moved to a diamond with Skuse in the deeper lying midfield role.
Huws, who was making his first league start since the final day of the 2016/17 season, was paired with Flynn Downes with Nolan, making his first league start of the campaign ahead of them behind strike pair James Norwood and Kayden Jackson.
Town, wearing their Barcelona-esque away kit, started brightly with Nolan and Garbutt both sending in early crosses from the left which were dealt with by the home defence.
The Blues continued to dominate and Norwood saw a snapshot blocked by a defender on the edge of the box on 11 after Jackson had nodded Skuse’s cross from the left into his path.
A minute later Nolan was unable to get enough on the ball with his header from Norwood’s cross from the right, the striker having played down the flank by Kane Vincent-Young.
But when the ball was sent back in from the other flank by Huws, having been played back to the Welshman by Garbutt, the former Shrewsbury man made no mistake, deftly guiding his first goal of the season into the corner of the net to keeper Lee Nicholls’s left from six yards.
And Town should have doubled their lead in the 19th minute. Skuse won the ball from Conor McGrandles in midfield and Norwood was sent away before feeding Jackson. However, Nicholls was quickly off his line to block from the Blues striker who suffered a knock as the two collided but was OK to carry on.
The Blues continued to prod and probe but without finding their way through with the Dons unable to threaten at the other end.
There was a blow for the Blues in the 35th minute when Norwood was forced off having suffered a knock. The striker looked frustrated to go off as Will Keane took over, his second appearance since rejoining last month.
Town weren’t too far away from a second in the 39th minute when Jackson broke away down the left, cut in and crossed for Vincent-Young, who had burst into the box from right-back but somehow the former Colchester man diverted it the wrong side of the post from six yards.
The home side seriously threatened for the first time two minutes later when a deep cross from the left somehow reached George Williams but the skipper’s unconvincing scuffed effort bobbled wide of the post when Tomas Holy ought to have been tested.
Three minutes of injury time passed without any notable incident - aside from keeper Holy almost allowing a backpass under his foot - and Town were warmly applauded off by their big following.
Boss Paul Lambert will have been happy with the half, his side having been on top throughout and certainly good for their lead against a Dons side who struggled to compete against the Blues midfield.
The only frustration for Town was that the lead hadn’t been bigger with Jackson and Vincent-Young both having had good chances to make it 2-0.
At the other end, Holy hadn’t had a save to make with the Dons’ one opportunity scraped wide by Williams.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams (c), Walsh, Houghton, Poole, Martin, McGrandles, Kasumu, Boateng, Dickenson, Nombe. Subs: Moore, Brittain, Lewington, Gilbey, Harley, Bowery, Agard.
Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Skuse, Wilson, Vincent-Young, Downes, Huws, Garbutt, Nolan, Jackson, Norwood (Keane 35). Subs: Norris, Edwards, Judge, Dozzell, Woolfenden, Georgiou. Ref: Lee Swabey (Devon).
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