Ipswich Town 2-2 MK Dons - Match Report
Saturday, 21st Aug 2021 17:08
Macauley Bonne scored twice but the Blues were pegged back twice by the MK Dons in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Portman Road. Bonne netted an excellent opener in the 16th minute but the visitors levelled on 58 through Scott Twine. Bonne put the Blues back in front on 72 before Town gave Matt O’Riley a helping hand to level again three minutes later.
Hayden Coulson was handed his Town debut at left-back as Blues boss Paul Cook made three changes.
The on-loan Middlesbrough man came in for Matt Penney, who dropped to the bench, while Kane Vincent-Young returned in place of Janoi Donacien at right-back with the former Accrington man also among the subs.
Wes Burns was back from injury and started on the right with former Don Scott Fraser moving into the middle behind Bonne with Joe Pigott dropping to the bench.
Centre-half Cameron Burgess and left winger Kyle Edwards were making their home debuts for the Blues.
The mystery player manager Paul Cook had said was ill at his Friday press conference appeared to be Kayden Jackson, who is missing from the 18.
For MK, manager Liam Manning, returning to the club where he was an academy player and coach, made two changes from the team which beat Charlton 2-1 on Tuesday with Dean Lewington replacing Daniel Harvie, who was out with a concussion, and Aden Baldwin came in for Tennai Watson.
Former Town loanee Troy Parrott started for the Dons, while ex-Blues striker Charlie Brown was among the subs.
Prior to kick-off, both teams and staff took a knee to applause from around Portman Road with the Dons keeping possession in the early stages. In the second minute Mo Eisa shot at goal from distance but Vaclav Hladkey claimed confidently.
On four, Coulson sent Edwards away running at pace at the MK defence from deep his own half, skipping past one defender before being upended by Warren O’Hora, who was booked. The free-kick was underhit and headed away from the edge of the box.
A minute later, Matt O’Riley scraped a shot wide for the visitors, before Edwards drew another foul a third of the way inside the Dons’ half, this time from Tennai Watson.
Both teams were having spells on the ball, although with MK looking a little more practised, and opportunities. In the 13th minute, Parrott shot low to Hladky’s right and the keeper saved comfortably.
A minute later the Blues went closer when Burns whipped over a ball from the right and Bonne headed off a defender and over.
But the striker from Chantry didn’t have to wait too long for his first goal in front of the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.
In the 16th minute Vincent-Young played a superb ball from deep on the right to the on-loan QPR man breaking towards the area on the left. O’Hora allowed it over his head and Bonne, who fluffed a gilt-edged opportunity to make it 2-0 at Cheltenham on Tuesday, deftly took it down before smashing a shot into the roof of the net.
The striker from Chantry gleefully celebrated behind the goal before eventually hugging kitman James Pullen in front of the tunnel.
MK were an inch or two away from an equaliser in the 26th minute when they broke quickly after Edwards had been dispossessed following a Town corner - although the former West Brom man appeared to have been fouled - and eventually Ethan Robson hit a well-struck shot from the left of the box which scraped the top of Hladky’s cross-bar.
A minute later, Vincent-Young tricked his way beyond his man on the right of the area and his low cross was deflected over by Zak Jules. From the corner on the right, the ball was played to Burns 25 yards out and the former Fleetwood man shot not too far over.
Town were very much on top by this stage and in the 31st minute Edwards brought the ball in from the left beating Harry Darling and back from the byline before his low cross was diverted behind.
A minute later, Fraser’s free-kick from the right was sent into the box ahead of his team-mates but after Lewington left it keeper Andrew Fisher was forced to dive to push past his post with the ball otherwise set to nestle in the corner of the net.
Evans tried an audacious effort from distance with Fisher off his line on 34 but the ball looped just over.
Three minutes later, Edwards tricked his way past a number of defenders before cutting in and hitting a 25-yard strike beyond Fisher’s left post.
The visitors began to get more into the game as the half passed the 40-minute mark, Twine’s snap-shot from 30 yards arcing past the post the Hladky’s left and into the side-netting with the Town keeper not panicking.
On 43 a Darling shot deflected through to Hladky from the edge of the box in the wake of a corner from the right.
As the half moved into one minute of added time, Bonne won the ball on the left of the box and fed Edwards to his right. The winger feinted away from a defender before hitting a shot which was blocked by Darling.
That was the last action of an entertaining half in which both sides had had spells on top and chances with the difference Bonne’s brilliantly executed goal.
The Blues had looked much better going forward than in previous games, although stil without creating many clear-cut opportunities, with Bonne the focal point up front, while Edwards and Burns had both looked a threat down the flanks and Fraser had been more comfortable in the role behind the main striker.
While MK had kept the ball for long periods at times, their best opportunities had come on the break as the Blues sought to get numbers back after their own attacks or corners.
Five minutes after the restart, Darling headed to Hladky following a Dons free-kick to the left of the box but again the keeper wasn’t particularly troubled.
Almost immediately at the other end, Edwards tricked his way to the byline on the left and cut across the area but behind everyone in a blue shirt. Vincent-Young brought it back in from the right and played low into Fraser, who teed-up Bonne, whose shot deflected wide when the striker looked certain to claim his second of the game.
A minute later, Burns intercepted a loose MK pass not far outside the area and drove into the box on the right before hitting a shot which Fisher somehow managed to turn on to his far post, the ball managing to avoid Town players on its way out.
Evans scraped a shot wide from distance on 55 and two minutes later another Edwards ball flashed across the box without a Town player making the final contact.
The Blues having been on top and dangerous since the break but with MK having won a number of corners and free-kicks in threatening areas.
And in the 58th minute a set piece paid dividends for the visitors. After Woolfenden had fouled Twine 30 yards out and been booked as a result, the former Swindon man took the free-kick and Hladky was only able to palm his curling strike into the net to his right.
Portman Road is proving a happy hunting ground for Twine, who scored a long-distance strike for the Robins in their 3-2 victory in Suffolk last season.
Town swapped the tiring Coulson for Penney two minutes after the goal, before Twine hit another effort from distance, this time from open play, which Hladky did well to palm behind. On 67 Town switched Burns for Tom Carroll, who was making his home debut.
The Blues had struggled to get back in firm control following MK’s leveller and substitutions for both sides, but in the 72nd minute Bonne restored their lead.
Sub Penney fed Fraser on the left of the box with an incisive pass and the Scot crossed towards the far post where Bonne slid in to score his second of the game and his third of the season.
However, the lead lasted only three minutes with the Blues once again gifting their opposition a goal. Evans hesitated on the ball midway inside the Town half and was robbed by O’Riley, who took it into the area and confidently beat Hladky.
On 77 Eisa shot over for the Dons, whose tails were unsurprisingly up following their second equaliser.
Two minutes later, Armando Dobra replaced Fraser, who had picked up a knock and received a less than friendly send-off form his old fans. Ex-Blues youngster Brown took over from Eisa for MK.
Edwards sent Bonne away in space on the left in the 85th minute and the striker hit a shot from a tight angle which Fisher batted into the air and grabbed at the second attempt.
There was a big scare for the Blues a minute later when Twine, who had been a big threat with his shoot-on-sight policy in the second half, brought the ball to the edge of the box and played in the untracked Jules, whose effort at goal was blocked by the advancing Hladky. The MK defender will think he should have made more of the situation.
As the game moved into five minutes of injury time it was the visitors on top and looking for openings from which they would score the winner.
Town started to show more of a threat but seconds before the end the visitors almost won it when Twine teed-up sub Josh Martin to his right inside the area and his shot slammed against the bar and away. The final whistle was met by boos and then applause.
A second 2-2 home draw for the Blues in League One this season and as in virtually every match this season it was a game Town will feel they ought to have won having led 1-0 and then 2-1.
Too many set pieces had been given away prior to Twine’s first equaliser that it seemed inevitable a Dons goal would eventually come, while the second was another which stemmed from an individual error.
The Blues were again good in patches, playing their best football of the season at times, but again suffered for self-inflicted wounds at the back.
Town remain without a win after four league games - plus the cup defeat to Newport County - with AFC Wimbledon at Portman Road next Saturday.
Town: Hladky, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Burgess, Coulson (Penney 60), Evans (c), Harper, Edwards, Burns (Carroll 67), Fraser (Dobra 79), Bonne. Unused: Holy, Pigott, Barry, Donacien.
MK Dons: Fisher, Watson, Lewington (c), Jules (Baldwin 90), O’Hora, Darling, O’Riley, Twine, Eisa (Brown 79), Robson, Parrott (Martin 70). Unused: Ravizzoli, Baldwin, McEachran, Boateng, Ilunga. Referee: Josh Smith (Bedfordshire). Att: 18,622 (MK Dons: 501).
Photo: Matchday Images
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