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MK Dons 0-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 12th Feb 2022 17:02

Town recorded their first draw of the Kieran McKenna era as their game away against MK Dons ended 0-0. The Blues were on top for most of the game with Kayden Jackson and Wes Burns coming close to breaking the deadlock in each half.

Skipper Sam Morsy returned following his four-match, while Jackson was surprise selection up front.

Morsy came into midfield alongside Tyreeq Bakinson for Lee Evans, who has continued to suffer with a groin problem and who misses out.

Jackson, making his second start since Kieran McKenna took charge, was the lone central striker with Conor Chaplin and Bersant Celina behind him with Macauley Bonne and James Norwood on the bench.

For the Dons, who are managed by ex-Town academy midfielder and coach Liam Manning, former Blues loanee Troy Parrott started and one-time striker Connor Wickham was on the bench.

Town, wearing all blue, were backed by this season’s biggest EFL away following of 6,850 behind the goal, many armed with inflatables, probably the club’s biggest ever league travelling support.

Large numbers were still outside as the game kicked-off after the Blues had taken a knee and MK had linked arms in a similar anti-racism gesture, to applause from both sets of fans.

The home side forced the first opening of the match in the third minute, Theo Corbeanu breaking away beyond Luke Woolfenden before scuffing his shot into the side-netting.

MK saw most of the ball in the early stages on a difficult-looking pitch, but Town were beginning to get more into it in the ninth minute when a pass behind the home backline was too strong for Jackson and MK keeper Jamie Cumming claimed.

On the quarter hour, Josh McEachran got to the byline on the MK left but his cross was cut out by Morsy, who deftly turned away from his man inside the box before seeing Town on a counter-attack. Celina fed Burns breaking down the right but the Welshman shot over from just inside the area.

There was a scare for the Dons in the 19th minute when, following a spell of Town possession, Chaplin chipped a cross into the six-yard box which Cumming mishandled towards his own net having collided with one of his defenders but was able to claim in front of his line.

A minute later, Burns sent another ball into the box from the right with the Blues starting to get on top with Morsy’s driving runs from midfield having provided impetus.

On 24, Woolfenden tried to clip a ball over the top for Chaplin but the pass was too strong.

Town were by now having most of the ball and a minute later Celina hit a 25-yard effort which flew straight to Cumming.

In the 28th minute, Celina fed in Jackson on the right of the box and the striker hit a well-struck shot which Cumming palmed behind. Just before the half-hour, the Kosovan tried similar on the left of the box but overhit his pass.

Town continued to control the game and in the 37th minute Celina smashed a free-kick into the MK wall after Jackson had been fouled 25 yards out.

Christian Walton was forced into his first save of the game in the 41st minute when Bakinson lost possession midway inside the Town half, allowing MK a break towards goal from which Corbeanu hit a low shot which the Blues keeper got down to his left to palm past the post.

The home side went close again in the final scheduled minute when Scott Twine hit an acrobatic effort from inside the box from a right-wing cross which Walton tipped over.

Despite the two late MK efforts the Blues had been the better side for most of the first half.

The Dons had started on top but Town gradually took charge and created a number of opportunities, the best Jackson’s effort which Cumming turned behind. However, a couple of moments of sloppiness led to the home side’s late opportunities.

The Blues, now playing towards their huge away support, began the second half on the front foot.

Tennai Watson was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 52nd minute for fouling Morsy and then squaring up to the Town captain, then two minutes later home skipper Dean Lewington joined him for dissent having fouled Chaplin.

Burns was close to giving the Blues the lead in the 55th minute when he was sent away on the right in space by Bakinson and broke into the area before hitting a shot which went just wide off a defender.

The volume of the Town fans behind the goal increased with Celina finding Jackson with a chipped pass inside the area but the ball was stabbed away from the striker, who had his back to goal.

Home hearts were in mouths as the game reached the hour mark as a corner from the Town left bounced across the six-yard box without anyone getting a touch. It was sent back in from the right and Jackson shot over when he should have hit the target but with the flag having already been raised.

Ex-Town striker Wickham replaced Corbeanu for the Dons on 62 with the home side having been very much second best since the break. Two minutes later, Thompson was booked for a foul on Parrott, the on-loan Brentford man appearing to come off worse having suffered an ankle knock.

There was more danger for the Blues on 65 when Parrott hit a low shot which Walton claimed down to his left following a free-kick. Two minutes later, Bakinson was booked for a foul on Conor Coventry.

Town quickly regained their earlier control, however, on 72 Parrott headed over for the Dons from a corner on the right.

Two minutes later, Chaplin hit a shot which curled away from goal but was enough to excite the 6,850 behind the goal.

MK swapped McEachran for Hiram Boateng, then on 76 the Blues made a double change with Jackson, who had been hard-working and effective, and Chaplin switched for Bonne and Norwood.

Coventry was booked for hauling back Celina as the on-loan Dijon man burst towards the area in the 83rd minute with the Blues comfortably on top but still looking for the opening which would lead to a goal.

Town’s changes had given them a boost and on 87 Bonne wasn’t far away from a goal when he rose highest to nod just wide from a corner on the right.

The Dons had hardly been in the second half but in the 88th minute Boateng forced Walton into a save with a shot from just inside the box after a throw from the right had fallen to him. The loose ball was cleared ahead of Wickham.

Moments later, Morsy was booked for a foul, then Norwood was spoken to after an off-the-ball collision with Boateng.

As the fourth official’s board indicated four additional minutes, Sone Aluko replaced Bakinson for the Blues.

Walton turned a Wickham cross-shot over from a tight angle on the left with the home side looking more dangerous in the closing stages.

The Town keeper was forced into another save just before the whistle when he got across to his right to push Twine’s free-kick wide.

Despite their late chances, the Dons will be the side happiest with the draw with Town having been well in control for most of the second half.

Clear-cut chances were rare however, with Burns’s shot perhaps the closest the Blues came to taking the lead after the break.

But a draw away against MK is still a decent result and the 6,850 travelling Town fans will travel home pleased with their team’s display and showing against the division’s third-placed side.

The draw sees the Blues stay ninth but now five points from the play-offs ahead of back-to-back home matches against Burton and Cheltenham.

MK Dons: Cumming, Watson, Lewington (c), O'Hora, Darling, Twine, Corbeanu (Wickham 62), Coventry, McEachran (Boateng 75), Parrott, Harvie. Unused: Ravizzoli, Smith, Eisa, Kemp, Kesler-Hayden.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Burns, Bakinson (Aluko 90), Morsy (c), Thompson, Chaplin (Norwood 76), Celina, Jackson (Bonne 76). Unused: Hladky, Burgess, Vincent-Young, Carroll. Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands). Att: 15,311 (Town: 6,850)

Photo: Pagepix

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BromleyBloo added 17:02 - Feb 12
Sounded like really tight game between two good sides.

Didn’t and will never understand Jackson playing?!? But decent team apart from that with Aluko available from the bench and only Evans missing.

Dons started the better and took the game to Town in the first 10 mins, but after that we came in to it and started to dominate with Morsy leading from the front and Chaplin, Celina and Burns pushing to create the opportunity. MK then pushed back in the last 10 mins before half-time and had a couple of chances that we did well to stand up against.

Second half pretty even as well, albeit Town continuing to push, but game deteriorated as both teams got a bit edgy. Walton, as usual, crucially stood strong when necessary!

So another clean sheet, take the away point and Oxford lose! Now need to really capitalise in the next few games and then…………………


BangaloreBlues added 17:05 - Feb 12
Taking into consideration league position and current form, that's a great result and I'd have snapped your hand off for it before kick off. We march onward and upward!

Billysherlockblue added 17:06 - Feb 12
I watched game on ifollow. Tight game but we creared very little! Our front line playing poorly for me. Possession good but not attacj minded enough. Great result though guys .well done.

Lukeybluey added 17:08 - Feb 12
Tight game. Fair result. Two evenly matched teams.
The best game I have seen Jackson have for us to be fair....
Pitch didn't help, looked dry as a bone...
Onto the next! COYB's

johnwarksshorts added 17:11 - Feb 12
Special mention to all the 6,850 supporters who travelled to MK today.👏👏. Good point and another clean sheet. 👌

ButchersBrokenNose added 17:11 - Feb 12
What a great game of football! Given the opposition, that's probably the best I've seen us play in a while. Against one of the best teams in the division, we gave them a game (on their patch) and they'll be happy to take a point from it.

The defence looks solid, and from that foundation we can build going forward. I was very happy to see Morsy back. He made the difference in both protecting the defence and getting attacks moving. It's a shame Evans was injured, because I think Bakinson is weak.

I thought we looked threatening going forward and we had a couple of good shots on goal, but scoring goals is still our weakness. Bonne again missed a header he should've scored. And still we can't score from a corner.

A lot of positives to take from this game, not least of which is we competed with one of the teams who will be in the play-off picture and were not found wanting. Mr. McKenna continues to impress me with his management of the game. There was clearly a lot of thought behind his substitutions, and they almost paid off. I'm certain we have the right man to take our club forward and for the first time in a while I'm optimistic for the rest of the season.

arc added 17:14 - Feb 12

Decent performance for the most part, and so much better than Tuesday. Morsy makes such a difference. We are just lacking up front at the moment: Jackson tried, but he isn't sharp; Boone is so out of form. And Norwood is back to looking like a park player—miles off on every touch, mistiming every jump, picking fights, and giving away stupid free kicks. I'd love to see Simpson given twenty minutes off the bench.

Gforce added 17:14 - Feb 12
An excellent point all in all,against a side in good form.
Must now win the back to back home games coming up,to stay in the mix.
Also a massive 👏 round of applause to the brilliant away following today,absolutely awesome 👌
Must be up there with the best in the country.

jas0999 added 17:16 - Feb 12
Overall a decent and fair result. Most pleasing thing again is we look very difficult to score against. Sadly, our strikers are also lacking goals. We move on to next week. Well done to the away support. Superb!

Bluearmy_81 added 17:21 - Feb 12
Chesterfield conceded a 98th minute equaliser today. It was obviously a Cook thing!! 😄

ImAbeliever added 17:23 - Feb 12
Great to see so many positive comments. 💪

rfgasmith added 17:24 - Feb 12
We were the better team on the day and it's a real compliment to us that they were wasting time from the 75min mark. Lacked a bit of punch up front and would have liked to have seen the team that finished the game to have started it. I would have taken a point before the game but left Stadium MK disappointed not to have all three points.

TimmyH added 17:25 - Feb 12
Content with a draw and probably didn't deserve anymore...Walton MoM again which is happening more times than not of recent matches, we're looking certainly more solid than under Cook but just need to get more proficient up the other end where we don't look like scoring many.

As per after the Sheffield game we now have some winnable games coming up which we need to take advantage of...

Suffolkboy added 17:25 - Feb 12
We cannot ‘complain ‘ about the pitch which KM alluded to as ‘difficult ‘ mid- week ; it is what it is for both sides .It is however still disappointing to read of either lack of creativity ,or the inability to be creative .
KM’s defensive record is little short of wonderful ,and he has obviously shaped up our system and pattern of play at the back , creating along the way greater team and individual confidence which has boosted performance and built resilience .
Mid- field the craft of creating and opening up opposition to goal scoring opportunities our strike force will/ can capitalise upon is quite a different challenge : but there’s little doubt our Manager and his team have the intelligence and skill sets to match up !
Well done today : keep up this enthusiasm and performance level and ITFC will achieve promotion and continued success .

Robcol added 17:31 - Feb 12
You watched the game on ifollow?????

Bert added 17:38 - Feb 12
We were definitely the better team today. Unlucky not to find the net. Every player made a contribution. A jobs worth ref. Jackson actually had a decent game and I think that was the verdict by most in the ground.

Runner added 17:42 - Feb 12
I am thinking iFollow available outside the UK, I couldn't get it from my home in Ipswich UK.

pg888 added 17:46 - Feb 12
Everyone in the uk can get it on I follow. Having watched it today Jackson actually played really well I thought. Won more in the air than bonne or Norwood wasn’t offside as much and was unlucky not to score.

Morsy coming back into the team is a huge plus our best player by a mile

inghamspur added 17:48 - Feb 12
Ordinarily, a decent result but unfortunately we cannot afford to drop any points from here on in if there is any chance of going up this season.

Alarmingly for me is why the manager thinks Jackson is the answer. He may have pace, but his ball control is poor, he doesn't know how to stay onside and has no idea where the goal is. He is a proven failure yet we're still persisting with him.

ringwoodblue added 17:49 - Feb 12
Would’ve been great to snatch a late winner but a draw was a fair result on the day.

Keeps us up with the chasing pack - just hope SW don’t beat Rotherham tomorrow.

Orraman added 17:49 - Feb 12
Great performance from the entire team and management as well as the record breaking 6870 super fans but we really have secured a real gem in Christian Walton. The whole team must benefit from being inspired by his consistent ability in securing clean sheets.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 17:51 - Feb 12
A bit disappointed we didn’t win today. I thought we were the better team in an admittedly fairly tight match. All we lack is a powerful threat up front. Norwood, Bonne Mark 2, and Jackson are ok, but not more. If we had a top class centre forward, we would walk this league. Anyway, well done today, and well done the brilliant away support.

billlm added 17:54 - Feb 12
Decent point, Jackson done well, Walton's very good at this level,our two other strikers I won't comment on,

ArnieM added 17:54 - Feb 12
Oh for an in form Macauley Bonne , we’d rip up this league we really would . We have inconsistent or ineffective strikers at this club . This needs sorting for next season I’m afraid !

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 18:02 - Feb 12
Just to clarify for some of you above: iFollow is available - all matches, home and away - for a yearly fee.

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