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MK Dons 1 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 3rd October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
MK Dons 1-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 3rd Oct 2020 17:02

Town dropped points and conceded in League One for the first time this season as they drew 1-1 away against the MK Dons having ended the game with 10 men after sub Flynn Downes was forced off with an injury. Jon Nolan gave Town the lead in the seventh minute, Daniel Harvie scored a deserved leveller for the home side five minutes after the break and the Blues, who drop to third, held on for a point.

Town boss Paul Lambert named the same team which beat Rochdale 2-0 at Portman Road last weekend, while Kayden Jackson and Alan Judge returned to the 18 after injury.

Tomas Holy continued in goal behind a back four of - from the right - skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Stephen Ward.

In midfield Andre Dozzell was joined by Nolan and Teddy Bishop, while Oli Hawkins was the central striker with Gwion Edwards to his right and Freddie Sears to his left.

Jackson, who had been sidelined with a groin injury since pre-season, was on the bench for the first time this season where he was joined by Judge, who missed the last two matches due to a hamstring problem.

Luke Woolfenden, who has also been out with a groin injury, was initially named among the subs in error, and was at the ground, before the club issued a correction and included Emyr Huws instead.

MK Dons boss Russell Martin made five changes to the team which lost 2-0 at Crewe last week with veteran centre-half Richard Keogh, who the Blues were keen on in the summer, and Scott Fraser making their full debuts for the club.

George Williams returned from injury to make his first appearance of the season, while David Kasumu and Harvie also came into the XI.

The first chance of the game, played on a very wet pitch but with the rain having stopped, fell to the home side in the sixth minute, a loose ball dropping to Keogh in the area following a corner but the Irish international scuffed to Holy.

Within a minute, the Blues were in front. After Hawkins picked up a loose pass from Keogh on the right, Edwards crossed and Sears sent it back in from the left, past Bishop as he and a defender tussled.

Edwards, who had made his way to the edge of the six-yard box, sought to chest it down and it fell to Nolan, who hit into the ground and past home keeper Lee Nicholls for his third goal of the season, already one more than he scored in 2019/20.

Town were close to making it 2-0 in the 18th minute when Wilson intercepted a pass on halfway and brought it forward before playing it Sears to his left. The former West Ham man cut in and hit a curling shot which flew just past Nicholls’s left post.

The Blues were forced into a change in the 22nd minute when Ward, who had undergone treatment for an achilles problem after the Town goal, made his way off with Myles Kenlock taking over and making his first league appearance of the season.

The home side were seeing most of the ball but without looking threatening, while the Blues appeared potentially more dangerous every time they broke, usually through Sears.

On 26 Dozzell played a looping ball over the top for Hawkins, who took it down but shot deep into the empty stand behind the goal.

However, it was the Dons who were seeing virtually all of the ball but with the Town backline resolute and Holy not forced into a save.

There was a big scare for the Blues in the 33rd minute when Kenlock’s loose pass back to Holy from the right played Carlton Morris in on goal. However, as the keeper advanced, Chambers slid in superbly to send the ball behind. From the corner, Keogh’s looping header was claimed by Holy.

In the 36th minute Harvie was probably lucky to see only a yellow card after kicking out at Chambers with the ball long gone.

Play continued and home skipper Lewington prevented Nsiala from putting it out of play for the Blues captain to receive treatment before referee David Rock stopped play, liaised with his fourth official, cautioned Harvie and awarded Town a belated free-kick.

That stoppage and a subsequent interruption for a Dons injury briefly knocked the home side off their stride and the Blues began to see more of the ball, albeit in their own half of the field.

In five minutes of injury time, Nsiala blocked from Joe Mason on the edge of the box with the Dons again dominating possession.

Just before the whistle, the former Wolves, Cardiff and Plymouth man should have levelled. Having been played in behind the Town backline on the left of the box the forward hit a low shot which the advancing Holy saved with his feet, much to the frustration of home manager Martin on the touchline.

That was the final chance of a half in which the Dons had had the lion’s share of the possession but had been unable to create a really serious chance until Mason’s effort just before the end.

Having got their noses in front early on through Nolan, as they did in the corresponding fixture last season, Town seemed not unhappy allowing the Dons the ball and attempting to break on them, which might well have led to a second goal through Sears.

The second half began in a similar manner to the end of the first period with the home side seeing most of the ball.

On 50 Fraser claimed he had been fouled as he scraped a shot wide under pressure but referee Rock waved away the somewhat ambitious protests.

The Dons had been pressing and in the 55th minute they equalised. Chambers slipped as Lasse Sorensen crossed from the right and Harvie had time to curl a shot past the advancing Holy, the first goal the Blues have conceded in the league this season and the first the Czech keeper has let in in all competitions.

Town immediately swapped Sears and Bishop for Judge and Downes, changes which were being prepared prior to the goal.

In the 58th minute Edwards broke away down the right, cleverly beat his man with a flick then sent in a cross which Hawkins was unable to get enough on and Williams cleared.

Having made their switches of personnel, the Blues started to see more of the ball than earlier in the half. On 62 Edwards robbed a defender of the ball in his own area but referee Rock harshly awarded a free-kick.

Two minutes later, Downes was booked for a foul on Morris and underwent treatment for a knock picked up in the incident.

The substitute was clearly in trouble due to the injury, hobbling around during the next passage of play before requiring the attention physio Matt Byard again and eventually making his way off. With Town having already made all their subs, they were forced to continue with 10 men.

In the 70th minute, Holy failed to deal with a cross from the right and the ball was played back in from the left and turned goalwards by Morris, fortunately straight at the Town keeper. Either side of him and it would have been 2-1 to the home team.

Two minutes later, the Czech keeper was unable to hold on to a Fraser shot but came off his line quickly to block Callum Brittain’s rebound with his chest.

The 10-man Blues were finding it tough to get out of their own half but on 77 Edwards played a ball forward down the left for Hawkins, who did well to get away from two men but was pulled back by Kasumu, who was booked.

A minute later, Edwards outpaced Williams down the Town left but failed to find Judge with his low cross towards the far post. In the 79th minute the Dons replaced Sorensen for Regan Poole, then five minutes later Sam Nombe took over from Morris.

With two minutes remaining Holy, not having his best day for the Blues, seemed to leave a Williams cross from the right but it struck Harvie on his midriff and bounced behind.

Soon after the former Gills man and Kenlock appeared to miscommunicate as a ball was played into the area from deep but the full-back was able to clear.

The Blues backline remained resilient during five minutes of injury time to see out the draw.

Town will ultimately be happy to have gained a point against an MK Dons side better than their disappointing start to the season had suggested and having played the last 22 minutes with 10 men following Downes’s injury.

The Dons, who perhaps surprisingly drop to the bottom of the table, will feel that having deservedly got on terms - they had started the second half much the better team - and given the extra man, the game was there for the taking.

The Blues were only briefly in control following the substitutions but Downes’s swift exit handed the impetus back to the home side.

In addition to the first dropped points of the season and a disappointing overall display, Town leave Stadium MK with Downes and Ward, one of the early season’s best performers both having suffered knocks.

Town are down to third in the table behind new leaders Lincoln and Hull City, now the only two sides in the division with 100 per cent records.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington (c), Keogh, Kasumu, Morris (Nombe 84), Fraser, Sorensen (Poole 79), Mason, Harvie, Brittain. Unused: Walker, Cargill, O’Hora, Houghton, Sorinola.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Ward (Kenlock 22), Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop (Downes 55), Edwards, Sears (Judge 55), Hawkins. Unused: Cornell, Huws, Lankester, Jackson. Referee: David Rock (Hertfordshire).

Photo: PagePix

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Bergholt_Blue added 17:08 - Oct 3
The game changed when Ward went off. Lucky to get a point in the end so take that and move on

Buryblue78 added 17:08 - Oct 3
Desperately poor performance
Totally outplayed even before Downes injury
Very lucky to get a point
Take it and move on

Nobbysnuts added 17:08 - Oct 3
Well its a point and unbeaten still but it didn't sound great........mmmmmmm not quite sure what to think about this one.

cat added 17:12 - Oct 3
Disappointing and 2 points dropped against the bottom side. Defensive frailties costing us again. Need to get Wolf and Young back in. Delighted for Nolan, can’t complain too much as we are still unbeaten and third in league

Counagoal added 17:12 - Oct 3
Hope Ward isn’t out for long as he’s solid. Not only that but his replacement is barely national league quality!!!

blue86 added 17:13 - Oct 3
Just relieved to get the point in the end.... not the best performance, mk dons looked good with the ball and aren't a bad side. Holy did well, and hawkins all round play is decent. Positives are we are still unbeaten and hung on for a point with 10 men, negatives..... more injuries!! We have no luck with poxy injuries.

tractorboybig added 17:14 - Oct 3
waiting with baited breath for motor mouth

6niland3missedpens added 17:14 - Oct 3
Good result considering .
As much as I admire Lamberts policy of keeping the Jersey, isn't it strange that you have to slip up to get your best team on the pitch (?)

ITFC_95 added 17:15 - Oct 3
Much weaker team with Kenlock playing instead of ward. Outplayed by a team fancied for a relegation scrap even with 11 on the pitch. Lucky to get a point

Nobbysnuts added 17:15 - Oct 3
The stats don't lie paul. Learn from it.....something wasn't right today....

Bluearmy_81 added 17:17 - Oct 3
The quality is so poor. Its easy to become desensitised to it after years of decline. Watch a Town game from the early 2000s though or ever from 2007 and then watch that. It's embarrassing and pitiful. Town fans just seem so apathetic and resigned though, is that what being a good fan is all about, just accepting such mediocracy in an irrelevant league? Not demanding better? Sit clap, grin and accept if you like but not in my book

afcfee added 17:18 - Oct 3
The boys are back

Suffolkboy added 17:18 - Oct 3
It’ll be very interesting to understand the injuries , how they occurred ,what’s involved and how long a recovery period is expected .
Particularly worrying that FD lasted only such short while : hope he’s not overdone it not having featured for any meaningful appearances this season .
We need all our team fighting fit , performing well and rewarding us all especially as we cannot be there in person — which is such a shame !

Nobbysnuts added 17:19 - Oct 3
we must have better than kenlock surely??? He's a Sunday league footballer at best....please let wards injury not be to bad.🙏🙏 Thank god we've got two weeks off.

budgieplucker added 17:19 - Oct 3
Outplayed even before we went down to 10 men by the team that sit bottom of the table.

Wilson and Nasiala kept us in the game.

Bishop and Edwards did not show up.

Kenlock not anywhere near good enough at this level.

Holy whilst he has a good game still scares me at times.

Chambers ok today.

Nolan did well for goal but had the wrong studs on falling over several times.

Judge really doesn’t add anything, headless chicken mode.

Shouldn’t be negative after a good start to the season, but having turned the game against the run of play when we scored we should have had enough about us to have made there goalkeeper work much much harder. But will take the point with great sigh of release. Some shirts may have been lost today, We need everyone to be scoring an average out of 7 out of 10 week in week out to sustain a serious challenge, I have to say today there were too many 5’s and maybe even a 4. If you drop to 6 out of ten one week you need an 8 out of ten next to maintain your 7 average.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 17:20 - Oct 3
I sat through the first half thinking how bad MK Dons are as a squad. After we scored, we sat back and waited for the game to end. Even slow on restarts, delaying and kicking the ball out when there's 75 minutes to go in the match. At halftime, I thought...we don't have player worthy of MOM. Then the second half started...FFS, boys.

ArnieM added 17:26 - Oct 3
Is it just me or is Downes now a hot head liability ?

BromleyBloo added 17:26 - Oct 3
Yep, not great! Two more injuries and, more worryingly, the overall performance was very reminiscent of last season. Luckily went ahead and could’ve gone on, but didn’t and back to the meandering, leaderless football of last year. MK should’ve been down to 10 men, but ref bottled/didn’t see it and, I guess understandably, just hanging on at the end with little to be positive about. Didn’t understand the bench - was Woolfy injured in the warm up - and subs poor Kenlock average, but no Ward, Downes maybe unlucky, but contribution only a negative and Judge, as per last year, just not at the races. Man up and stand up for god’s sake! Poor, but maybe just a bad day at the office - move on quickly, but surely you have to show more than that?!?

Cloddyseedbed added 17:28 - Oct 3
Last seasons performances have returned. Totally 2nd best all over the pitch. Missed Ward. Kenlock weak in that position. No midfield today, no guile, no fight. Didn't look up for it. Hawkins up front on his own with no support. Felt sorry for the guy, no service, no support. We were happy to sit back all game. Whats happened Mr Lambert? Interesting team selection for next game and I wonder who will be fit and who wants to keep in the team, todays performance looked like they weren't bothered. Interesting to see how we bounce back from this.

ArnieM added 17:28 - Oct 3
Cat: defensive frailties , maybe, but also nowhere near clinical enough at our shooting end I’d suggest .

Dear_oh_Dear added 17:30 - Oct 3
Downes to blame....Needs to get that temper in check

Suffolk_n_Proud added 17:30 - Oct 3
Blue army 81
It's not 2000 or 2007 so we're neither a premier league or championship club. I cant stress this enough, we are in league 1 so we're a league 1 team, that's the facts and the reality in front of us.

itfchorry added 17:32 - Oct 3
Sadly - MK should have been seen off after we
took the lead -

Sat back - Allowed a team to gain confidence which
was always going to lead to them equalising.

Substitutions were very poor - And sadly Downes
is a ticking time bomb- waiting to be injured or
Sent Off 🚜

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:32 - Oct 3
Not great, but still unbeaten, take a point away and move on.
Lots of quality to return to the team in the coming months and also Bennetts who looks promising.

Bluearmy_81 added 17:37 - Oct 3
Suffolk and proud, true but that in itself is a tragedy. Its all of one man's making but town fans mystifying ignore the cause and just hope beyond vain hope that things will magically change on the pitch when nothing changes off it? Fans of other clubs I know are as baffled as me by this, it really is incredible.

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