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Match Reports

TOWN 2 MK DONS 2

21 August 2021

Bonne bags brace but spoils are shared

MK Dons came from behind twice as Town were held to a draw at Portman Road.

Macauley Bonne had netted a brace either side of Scott Twine's free-kick equaliser but Matt O'Riley's 75th minute strike ensured the spoils were shared.

Paul Cook made three changes to the side who played at Cheltenham in midweek. Kane Vincent-Young and Wes Burns returned to the starting XI while Hayden Coulson began at left-back in what was his debut for the Club.

The lively Kyle Edwards looked set to create the first opening of the game within the first three minutes after skipping past a defender but the winger was clinically brought down by Warren O'Hora at the expense of a booking.

On 12 minutes, Scott Fraser drove through the defence of his former employers before feeding the ball out to Burns on the right wing, who saw his dinked cross into the box headed over the bar by Bonne via the head of an MK Dons defender.

Bonne opened the scoring shortly afterwards with a spectacular goal. The QPR loanee brought down a 60 yard diagonal pass from Vincent-Young to get in behind the visitors' defence before lashing a left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

Macauley Bonne cele vs MK Dons (H).jpg

The visitors looked for an instant response and could have had one a few moments later but former Town loanee Troy Parrott hit his effort over the top from the middle of the box after O'Riley's through ball.

MK came even closer to an equaliser midway through the half. Mo Eisa pinched possession to launch a counter attack before playing the ball left to Ethan Robson, whose left-footed strike from the edge of the area hit the crossbar. 

The Blues continued to push for the next breakthrough at the other end, Vincent-Young seeing his dangerous cross deflected just over the top by Dean Lewington before Burns' effort from the resulting corner was also too high.

Andrew Fisher in the Dons goal came up with an impressive save to turn away Fraser's in-swinging free-kick which had been allowed to bounce through a busy penalty area, Edwards continuing to be a constant threat as he jinked past two defenders before curling wide of the mark shortly afterwards.

Twine, who had scored a stunning goal when he visited Portman Road with Swindon last season, sent a long-range half-volley towards Vaclav Hladky's goal which found the side-netting. 

Another diagonal pass from Vincent-Young to Bonne caused further problems for the visitors, the latter threading a sideways pass to Edwards, who saw his well-struck shot blocked by the legs of Harry Darling late in the half.

The first chance of the second half went the way of the Dons, Hladky collecting Darling's header after a ball into the box from Twine.

Town had two chances to double their lead in quick succession a minute later. First, Bonne saw an effort deflected wide from eight yards after Vincent-Young and Fraser had recycled the ball back into the area following Edwards' dangerous cross. 

Just 30 seconds later, Burns robbed Lewington of possession before his low shot was palmed onto the inside of the post by Fisher.

The Dons equalised with just under an hour played. Twine was brought down on the edge of the area by Luke Woolfenden, the attacking midfielder picking himself up to score with a dipping free-kick which Hladky wasn't able to keep out.

Twine tried his luck from even further out a few moments later, Hladky tipping his swerving strike over the top of the bar.

Macauley Bonne second goal cele vs MK Dons (H).jpg

Town began to re-assert their dominance of the game and moved back in front on 71 minutes. Fraser latched onto a ball into the box before his pinpoint low cross was slid into the back of the net by Bonne for his second of the match.

MK equalised just three minutes later, O'Riley slotting the ball past Hladky after stealing possession deep inside Town's half.

In what was an entertaining encounter at Portman Road, both sides continued to push for a winner as Hladky was equal to Zak Jules' left-footed effort from the corner of the area.

MK could've snatched the points with 15 seconds left on the clock but Josh Martin hit the crossbar with a powerful strike from inside the box.

Town: Hladky, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden, Burgess, Coulson (Penney 60), Harper, Evans (C), Burns (Carroll 66), Fraser (Dobra 80), Edwards, Bonne.

Subs: Holy, Donacien, Barry, Pigott.

Booked: Vincent-Young, Woolfenden.

MK Dons: Fisher, Watson, Lewington (C), Jules (Baldwin 90), O'Hora, Darling, O'Riley, Twine, Eisa (Brown 79), Robson, Parrott (Martin 70).

Subs: Ravizzola, McEachran, Boateng, Ilunga.

Booked: O'Hora.

Attendance: 18,622.

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