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MK Dons 0 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 17th September 2019 Kick-off 19:45
MK Dons 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 17th Sep 2019 21:48

Jon Nolan’s first goal of the season saw Town to a 1-0 victory away against the MK Dons. The midfielder turned home an Emyr Huws cross in the 12th minute to secure the Blues, who remain second in the table, their third win on the road this season.

Huws, Nolan, James Wilson and Luke Garbutt 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 3,360 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, who was playing his 250th game for the club, 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 made two changes ahead of the second half, Jordan Bowery and Callum Brittain taking over from Joe Walsh and one-time Blues target Brennan Dickenson.

Keane struck the second period’s first shot in the 47th minute but straight at Nicholls, who claimed confidently.

The Dons weren’t far from creating an opening on 49 when Brittain beat Skuse and fed the ball through to fellow sub Bowery but just too far in front of the forward, who played for Blues boss Lambert at Aston Villa.

The game was held up in the 52nd minute when Skuse and Downes clashed heads in the middle of the park and both required treatment before carrying on, although with both still appearing to feel the effects for a few minutes.

Once the game had got back under way, Keane tussled for the ball inside the Dons’ half, then fed Downes to his right but the midfielder’s low strike was too close to Nicholls.

However, it was the home side who had presented the greater threat since the break and in the 59th minute the Blues were fortunate not to concede during a goalmouth scramble following a corner, which Huws had contested and as a result was shown a yellow card.

First Holy saved from McGrandles, who had been found in space, and then only desperate defending kept the ball out of the Blues’ net.

With the Town midfield, featuring a number of players on the way back after injury absences, appearing to tire, the MK Dons were pinning the Blues back in their area.

Holy saved Bowery’s effort from distance before the Dons’ crowd - but not the players - appealed for a penalty when a cross was hit against Huws’s midriff.

Georgiou replaced Huws, who had played a big part in Town dominating the first half, in the 67th minute. The Wales international will have been pleased to get so much of a league game under his belt as he continues his comeback after his long spell out.

Town continued to find themselves pushed back in their own half but with the defence remaining resolute. On 74 David Kasumu shot well over from distance. Moments later, Edwards took over from Jackson, the Welshman taking up a role wide on the right.

Three minutes later, Nolan appeared to dislocate a finger when colliding with a defender and required treatment.

Town created their first real opening of the second half in the 78th minute when Nolan was sent away down the left. His cross was behind Keane but reached Edwards beyond the far post from where the sub struck a shot which hit a defender and flew behind.

Holy was forced to make his best stop of the evening in the 80th minute. McGrandles nodded a ball from deep back and down to Jordan Houghton on the right of the box, from where the ex-Chelsea youngster hit a low shot and Holy reacted quickly to divert it wide of his right post.

Regan Poole was booked for a foul on Nolan in the 82nd minute, then two minutes later Chambers headed Georgiou’s corner from the left over the bar as the pressure began to relent.

The Dons switched midfielder Hiram Boateng for striker Kieran Agard for the final five minutes, then Sam Nombe curled a shot high and wide.

As the game moved into its final scheduled minute, Houghton hit a freekick from the right which Holy helped over, only for referee Swabey to give a goalkick, much to the annoyance of the home fans.

The official added seven minutes of additional time in which Downes was booked for dissent after the linesman had missed what looked an obvious foul.

Holy claimed a dangerous-looking cross comfortably, then Poole headed over from a Brittain corner as time began to run out for the home team.

The Blues saw out the remaining minutes of the game to secure their third away win of the season.

At the whistle the players and manager Lambert went over to applaud the big away following, who had made themselves heard throughout, with the Blues boss emulating skipper Chambers's traditional victory fist pump.

Having been well on top in the first half, Town were forced to dig deep defensively in the second half as their midfield tired and the home side upped their game.

But the Blues’ backline remained solid - with Wilson perhaps the standout performer - and Holy made the saves required on the few occasions when the Dons broke through. Town have now not conceded a goal in their last four League One games.

The result sees Town remain unbeaten, still second with a game in hand - leaders Coventry scored a late winner at home to AFC Wimbledon - with a visit to Gillingham to follow on Saturday.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams (c), Walsh (Bowery 46), Houghton, Poole, Martin, McGrandles, Kasumu, Boateng (Agard 85), Dickenson (Brittain 46), Nombe. Unused: Moore, Lewington, Gilbey, Harley.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Skuse, Wilson, Vincent-Young, Downes, Huws (Georgiou 67), Garbutt, Nolan, Jackson (Edwards 75), Norwood (Keane 35). Unused: Norris, Judge, Dozzell, Woolfenden. Ref: Lee Swabey (Devon). Att: 10,167 (Town: 3,360).

Photo: Pagepix

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LWNR2013 added 21:50 - Sep 17

LWNR2013 added 21:50 - Sep 17
Very good in fact

ITFCsince73 added 21:50 - Sep 17
A massive and expected 3 points.
We've now played what L1 has to offer.
Were going to steam roller this.

TimmyH added 21:53 - Sep 17
Well played first half but we rarely (as mentioned before) play well over 90 minutes and this proved the case again tonight - just about deserved the win but I would have taken this result ALL day before kick-off and if we keep grinding out the wins with some draws we won't be to far off the top. Well done lads, nice to Emyr Huws back in the thick of it again!

TimmyH added 21:53 - Sep 17
Jon Nolan too I should mention...

jas0999 added 21:53 - Sep 17
Any away win is a good result. Another clean sheet. Happy Days!

ITFCsince73 added 21:54 - Sep 17
8 games unbeaten, last 4 games without conceding.
I couldn't understand the negative thoughts of some on here pre ko.
Very happy to say, I cant see where a defeat in this league is going to come from.

Pippin1970 added 21:54 - Sep 17
Our midfielders are chipping in which is great. We lacked that last season. Onwards and upwards.

Dissboyitfc added 21:57 - Sep 17
What is about us not being able to play well over 90 mins.? Oh well on to Saturday!

Well done lads!

OwainG1992 added 21:59 - Sep 17
Terrific work so far from the boys!
Played 8 won 5 drawn 3.
Can't argue with that!!

herfie added 22:00 - Sep 17
Great win - well done to the lads, and travelling support.

But we need to impose ourselves for 90 minutes, and be better at coping when the opposition changes its system - 2nd half etc. Also, our strikers have to be better at converting one-on-one situations - points to be gained.

Still early days, though, with lots more to come. Happy days!

SamsDad added 22:01 - Sep 17
Only 3 other winners tonight apart from us, none of the major competition included, I’d say that qualifies as a good night.

I know cov have won but I don’t see them as contenders.

Clinton Morrison on sky said we defended well throughout, happy to take his word for it!

StokeHigh97 added 22:01 - Sep 17
3 points! Clean Sheet! Job Done! Downside Norwood injury let's hope it's not going to keep him out long: nearly 3,500 away supporters I applaud everyone, Fantastic effort for a MidWeek away game not easy to get 2 & no direct train from Suffolk: finally hardly any positive messages when James Wilson signed, he has done nothing wrong & is proving to be a very useful squad member: Roll on Saturday COYB!!!

FenboyBlue added 22:07 - Sep 17
Tightest defence in the division too. And to think 4 weeks ago I was worried we were a central defender short. Carry on you Barcelona-esque beauties.

ShropshireBluenago09 added 22:11 - Sep 17
Good to see us rotate the squad and still get a result. Well played Lambo!
Shame Norwood got injured hopefully back soon

midastouch added 22:16 - Sep 17
Firstly, I want to give Wilson some credit. He's done well since coming here. Wasn't sure if he'd be up to the job but have to say he's proven a real steal of a deal for us so far.
Second half sounded like we lost our mojo but we dug in and took all 3 points. The two obvious downers on the night being the injury to Norwood and then Coventry scoring late to take us off the top. But if we can continue to pick 3 points up on the road when we aren't even playing our best then we have to be more than happy!
On to Saturday, COYB!!!

WhoisJimmyJuan added 22:16 - Sep 17
In mitigation about the second half struggle, there were lots of players coming back from injury so the midfield tired. With that in mind, this seems an excellent result. There is the chance of just getting better and better and better.

Beyriey added 22:17 - Sep 17
Wilson had a fantastic game at the back. Looked strong, defensively reassuring, covered the ball well.

runaround added 22:21 - Sep 17
Perfect birthday present for my daughter todoas she hates MK Dons almost as much as Norwich! Just a shame that the “real” Dons let us down by letting in an injury time winner for Cov

Linkboy13 added 22:21 - Sep 17
Great result but a bit worried about the constant tinkering with the line up. We shouldn't be worrying about other teams formations. We should walk this league with the squad we've got but you need continuity to succeed. Nice to see John Nolan score to night after a slow start he now looks a good player showing composure on the ball rarely wasting a ball and scores the odd goal he will be hard to displace from the team unless Lambert tinkers again.

runningout added 22:24 - Sep 17
Forwards need to stay behind during week for extra practice. Then maybe upon maybe.....

algarvefan added 22:24 - Sep 17
We finally have a backbone, a spine, fight, spirit, there will be games like these on a chilly Tuesday evening and the lads fought well tonight, special mention for Wilson and Chambers, what a solid pair, enjoyed the game, nail-biting second half but we got all 3 points. I think also with game time Keane looks class, Skuse was a warrior too. Well done boys incredibly proud of you all.

DifferentGravy added 22:25 - Sep 17
Great result. Unbelievable support, absolutely brilliant!

Wish we had taken one of those chances to make it two zip, would have breathed a little(lot) more easily then. To those who seem so certain of a win, think of it as vigilance.....not many games in recent years we have been more than a goal up and home n hosed. Another sold defensive display and first half we were flying. Where did Huws come from......didnt know he was available for selection....superb! Well done lads! Come on you blues!

Blue_Again added 22:31 - Sep 17
Would have sounded better in Dolby

dirtydingusmagee added 22:31 - Sep 17
3 points and clean sheet,that is great but it was hard going 2nd half, We should really be dominating with players we have imo. Anyway WELL DONE LADS, fingers crossed for Norwood.

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