Wednesday, 29 August 2012

August Round up and Capital One Cup News

Picture MK Dons Official Team Photograph

The pre season came to a close and the new season was nearly upon us and in a curtain raiser to the new season we had the League Cup match against Cheltenham.

But just before the Cheltenham game the Don's signed Anthony Kay on the Friday , nobody expected him to feature but when Williams limped off injured it was the former Barnsley,Tranmere Rover's and Huddersfield man's chance to make his debut with only half an hour played.

In the forty first minute Gleeson got sent off for an alleged dangerous follow through on his tackle, but he got the ball and even the Cheltenham manager thought it was a harsh decision along with all the Don's fans and a fuming manager.

That seemed to spur the team on and Bowditch then managed to convert after a Jay O'Shea cross right in first half injury time just minute's after the sending off.
It was always going to be tough second half with ten men and in the fifty eighth minute Mohamed made it 1-1 and it was then a case of holding on with a three man defence.

Robbo decided to move Kay further up the field in a brave move that left us vulnerable down the right.
But the Dons held on and it was penalty time.
Dean Bowditch, Charlie MacDonald, Gary MacKenzie, Antony Kay and Ryan Lowe all netted their penalties for Cheltenham Darryl Duffy saw his kick saved by David Martin which meant the Don's go through to next round of the competition.

The Dons lined up 4-2-3-1 with Martin; Chicksen, MacKenzie, Williams was subbed for Kay on 29, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch, Chadwick (Lowe 71), O’Shea (Smith 61); MacDonald.
Subs not used were: McLoughlin and Powell, and in this early stage we managed to get three booking's in Chadwick, Kay, Potter and the red of Gleeson Cheltenham just got the one yellow !

Our goal by Bowditch was listed as 45 the Referee Steven Rushton was from Staffordshire and let's hope he has a re-think over his red. Attendance was 1,660 with 352 Don's.

Tuesday after the match we heard the red would stand and Gleeson would miss the first three games of season in a decision Karl called a disgrace "they can go shove it, it's us against the world" he added.

So the season was almost here and the squad looked to be complete so we started shipping out those who would not likely be needed at least early on.
Tom Flanagan went out on loan to Gillingham under the watchful eye of former Don's manager Martin Allen poor lad.

George Baldock his loan spell with Icelandic side IBV until August 31st who are in third place only six points off top spot.
Charlie Collins and Jordan Ivey-Ward are at Tamworth in their Blue Square Premier so good luck to them as many are saying this is Charlie's last chance to prove himself before his contract is up in the new year.

Dean Lewington and Alan Smith arrive for Oldham game.

So the first game of the season was finally here and it was the hottest day of the year so far but apart from the end it was not really a hot headed affair.

Before the game I got to speak to one of the Oldham director's about how his season looked and what Oldham expected he said "we haven't got the budget the Don's have and it was a different world there" to which a couple of us laughed and said we are not a rich club and it may be in the top ten but no better, the director then said their budget was one and a half million and we conceded yes ours is bigger ! He was a really nice bloke and very friendly and I thought was Oldham's version of Pete the way he engaged with us ordinary folk. He then went off to meet the Oldham team coach and spoke to Dickov and the players as they arrived.

Oldham players arrive led by Paul Dickov who stopped to sign autographs.

Another surprise was meeting Darren Gough who most will know lives in Milton Keynes and has done for twelve years now. Darren told me he has a box at the Dons( but never invited me to watch the match there lol)he stood and had his picture taken with a few of us that hang around the hotel on match days then went off for his lunch with the other good folk in the posh bit.

Paul Dickov's Oldham were the team we would spend our opening day entertaining Oldham have had a bit more actively than us in the close season losing some of last season's squad amongst those leaving were Rueben Reid, Kieron Lee,Zander Diamond,Felipe Morias ,Chris Taylor and Josh Parker to name a few even our former loan player Marsh-Brown was gone.

In came Johnathan Grounds,Daniel Taylor,Lee Croft,Connor Brown and Cliff Byrne a mixture of loans and regular signings but they were still predicted to finish mid table and 14th seemed to be the most common prediction.
Jordan Slew on loan from Blackburn Rovers was the one we were told to watch but apart from some snazzy looking headphone's when he got of the bus I didn't see anything to catch my eye really.

As I have said previously I dont do match reports as Im crap at them and you can read them on the official site so a summary is what you get lol I thought it was a professional performance without being rude to Oldham the Dons never looked in danger of conceding let alone losing.

A pin point cross to Potter from Bowditch resulted in the first goal just before half time, a lovely well taken header that had a few behind the goal flinching as it hit the net thinking it was going through.
Daniel Powell had one of the best games I have seen him play if not the best ! and his goal was top drawer a real cracker( and all the other cliche's )and had his shot not hit the crossbar and gone in it would have been a nomination for goal of the season .

The game was marred by an altercation in injury time when the horrible Robbie Simpson who had been baiting MacKenzie amongst other's all game clashed with Anthony Kay resulting in Kay getting sent off, reaffirming the Robbo quote that it's us against the world, Simpson the instigator let off Scott free.

Really the Don's should have won four nil and been top of the table Saturday evening bit Cisak made some good saves and Lowe and other's could have done better.But it was a convincing win if not a spectacular one and you cant ask for anymore than three points on opening day but I couldn't shake that memory of losing on opening day to Bury but then going on to win the league and hoping that it was different this time ...sometimes I over think things !!

Team's lined up Dons 4-2-3-1: Martin; Chicksen, MacKenzie, Kay, Lewington (c); Potter, Chadwick (Smith 81); Powell, O’Shea, Bowditch (MacDonald 65); Lowe (Ibehre 75).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Otsemobor, the two academy lads Alli, Galloway made up the bench.
Booked: MacKenzie, Chadwick, Smith
Sent-off: Kay 90
Goals: Potter 34, Powell 59

Oldham Athletic: Cisak; Byrne, M’Voto, Tarkowski, Grounds, Croft, M’Changma, Furman (c), Montano (Hughes 66); Simpson, Slew (Taylor 80).
Subs not used: Brown, Bouzanis, Smith, Millar, Winchester.
Booked: Simpson
Referee: Ian Williamson who's eyesight went several times during the game was from Berkshire which seemed apt.

The attendance was a disappointing but usaul summer holiday figure of 7,409 with 512 not very happy Oldham fans.

But the games come thick and fast and there was no time to saviour the win before it was off to the seaside at Bournemouth.

I thought as I always do with most away games a draw would have been a good result with the cherries seeming to have pots of money this season, the eight hundred thousand pounds Tubbs now settled in Bournemouth who also managed to add Barnard to the squad on loan during close season.

Bournemouth started the brighter and within seventeen minute's Grabban had put them one up and we looked second best but that was not the worst of it Smith then got sent off for a reckless studs up challenge on Arter and we were down to ten men with most of the game still to go. It seemed to be a case of hanging on till half time and hope the half time team talk was inspirational.

Chadwick came on after twenty two minute's and we seemed to find our way a bit.
Second half came and Bournemouth seemed to play into our hands with the intruduction of Fletcher and the high balls up to him, then on sixty two minute's the until then out of sort's Powell managed to rescue the game with a goal and the draw was on the cards .

Then followed a real dig the heels in battle and the Dons showed the fans that old never say die attitude so apparent in the promotion winning season , when Jabo came on with twenty minute's left I thought I reckon we can do this and so we did and a point on the road was ours.

Probably wrong to single out a player after that but the concensus of opinion was Gary Mac was M.O.T.M which was good after Robbo had praised him before the game for his maturity during Olldham match.

Worringly we now had three red's from three game's which was more akin to the season with Ince second time round so some very mixed reaction's from the fan's after the game.

The team's lined up AFC Bournemouth Jalal, Francis, Daniels, Barnard, Addison (c), Pugh, O’Kane, Partington, Arter (Fletcher 46), Cook, Grabban (Tubbs 79).
Subs not used were Flahavan, Thomas, Wakefield, Gregory, Zubar Goal was Grabban on 17
Dons lined up 4-2-3-1 Martin, Otsemobor (pronounced Semi-bore), MacKenzie, Lewington, Chicksen, Potter, Smith; Powell, MacDonald (Chadwick 22) Bowditch (O'Shea 90), Lowe (Ibehre 71).Subs not used were McLoughlin, Alli and Galloway. Smith was sent off with 21 minute's on the clock. The goal from Powell was on 62.
Attendance was 5,407 with 271 Don's fans.
The referee was Brendan Malone from Wiltshire.

And Wiltshire was next up as the games come thick and fast and it was away again to newly promoted Swindon who were unbeaten at home in a year and had only conceded one goal in 1710 mins of football last season.And Wiltshire was next up and it was off to newly promoted Swindon who were unbeaten at home in a year and had only conceded one goal in 1710 Min's of football last season.
With Smith Gleeson and Kay suspended along with the injured we looked thin on the ground and the team looked to pick itself

Swindon started the better and if truth were told it stayed that way for ninety minute's.
But the big talking point was the dismissal of Captain Dean Lewington in what on reflection and with benefit of replay's was a harsh decision but not a completely wrong one.
I have seen players get away with pushing others away with their arms up but also seen them sent off or yellow carded which I though would have been the right action in this instance.

Dean by his own admission should not have got involved but he did that when he picked the ball up when Ferry tried to get the ball back (as it was Swindon's free kick although O'Shea's tackle looked okay to me) Dean pushed him away with his arm or elbow it was not violent behaviour more petulant and the ref did not see it and consulted the 4th official, who saw it as an elbow to the head or face the replay showed Ferry not hurt or that I could see made contact with, so to my mind it was a yellow I would point out that Ferry had grabbed Lewington from behind although I wouldn't say he grabbed him by the throat as Winkelman said but his arms were also raised more a case of handbags.
But Dean struck out with his arm high and he should know better, after the recent reds and yellows refs will be looking that bit closer at MK Dons I don't think its because we are MK Dons but because for whatever reason we have those reds against our name.

The chairman stopped Karl speaking to the media after the game and I think that was to save Karl from another fine and make matters worse I also think by the chairman speaking about the incident's regarding red cards all referee's might look at some of the inconsistencies during their referee meetings but maybe that's wishful thinking but after Winkelman said Lewie was grabbed by the throat when he clearly wasnt perhaps they wont !

But it did lead to questions asked such as how many times have we wondered what the 4th official actualy does ? when in some games seemingly nothing then here at Swindon send a player off.
Yet in the same game ignore De Canio running on the pitch .
This to me has been the problem.. inconsistency with the officials .

Three of our reds have been offences that might have been a yellow or even ignored by other refs on another day, even the red on Kay one could argue both players should have been sent off as Kay had his nose broken by an elbow that went unpunished not one official 4th or otherwise saw it !! bizarre.

But back to the game and just before half time Swindon took the lead and the Dons had forty five minutes to either hold out and make the result look respectable of snatch a draw which to be fair would have been tough on Swindon.
Swindon continued to worry the defence and Martin deservedly our fans M.O.T.M making some classy saves including Jamie Collins deflected shot that De Vita hit low and a one handed tip over from the shot of Collins.

With fifteen minutes left Robbo decided to go three at the back and Chicksen came off and Jabo came on but it was not enough to grab a point and the game ended with our first loss of the season.

The teams lined up Swindon Town Foderingham, McEveley, Flint, Devera, Ferry, Collins (Storey 87), Ritchie, McCormack (c), Williams, Miller, De Vita (Navarro 73).
Subs not used: Bedwell, Rooney, Risser, Thompson, Smith
Goal: Ritchie 40

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Lewington, Chicksen (Ibehre 75); Potter, Chadwick; Powell, O’Shea (Williams 42), Bowditch; Lowe (MacDonald 64).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Alli, youth team captain Mason Spence even got a place on bench.
Just the one booking MacKenzie for kicking the ball out of play after a foul on him was not given.

Lewington got his marching orders on 40

Attendance was 8,299 and 497 Dons fans watched the game and some chanted sort it out and we want our money back which whilst I would not have joined in with you cant help but hope we do sort it out.
Blackburn arrive at Milton Keynes
Colin Hendry first team coach

Steve Kean signs an autograph for an MK Dons Rovers fans never asked lol

Next game up and the last of the month was the Capital One Cup game against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night and we all hoped for eleven men to finish rather than the right result such is the state of things at the moment.

Rovers were without Danny Murphy, Paul Robinson or Morten Gamst Pedersen and we were without Lewington, Kay or Doumbe so even in terms of players not featuring.

The Dons to a man played some nice passing football and there could have been a number of players up for M.O.T.M award Chadwick got two goals and I thought it he would get the award but the match sponsor gave it to MacKenzie which I could understand and did not have a problem with.

Rovers were in the Premiership last season but it was hard to see evidence of that with the Dons looking like the team a division above.

I watched Kean standing motionless on the touchline and Rovers disjointed play made me think what do they actually do at the training ground ? at times nobody seemed to know where his fellow player was and I could understand the Kean out chants that rang out from the away end from the minute we scored till the end of the game. In fact the scoreline did not give the Dons credit as it was more one sided than 2-1 suggested.

I could not help but remember the QPR game last season and wondered if Kean would be sacked in the morning, the Blackburn fan's were certainly very very unhappy as they left.
The teams lined up
MK Dons 4-2-3-1: Martin, Otsemobor, MacKenzie, Williams, Chicksen; Potter, Gleeson; Powell, Chadwick (O’Shea 76), Bowditch (Ibehre 90); MacDonald (Lowe 74).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Alli, Galloway. Goals by Chadwick were on 52, 67mins
Blackburn Rovers 4-4-1-1 Kean, Orr, Nunes, Marcus Olsson, Dann (c), Jorge, Etuhu (J Lowe 58), Junior (Goodwillie 58), Rochina (Formica 68), Hanley, Vukcevic.
Subs not used: Usai, Martin Olsson, Morris, Ribeiro.
Goal: Goodwillie 83
Referee was Mick Russell from Hertfordshire who let play flow and I thought had a good game with two assessors at the game I guess he wanted to make a good impression.
Only attendance figure I got was from BBC 5873 no away figure but looked to be 800 or so.
Before the game we were introduced to Jimmy Bullard and he was presented with the number 13 shirt till end of of December, and he provided my say hello to someone who has not got a clue who you are moment as I saw him arrive just after Blackburn had arrived . Karl came out of the players entrance to meet him as his car arrived (well bloody great four by four Japanese number)I turned around to see him and chirped up hello Jimmy he said hello mate and went in with Karl I told you its a quirk of mine lol..
I only managed to get a photo of the back of his head he went in pretty quickly.

August has not been great in terms of points on the table or discipline and the reds will make officials look that bit more closely at us ,but we are going to have another round at least in the League Cup and I think we have good squad that will be up there challenging the top two if not one of them.
Gary MacKenzie man of the match

On Thursday 30th August we learnt that MK Dons are to play Sunderland at Stadium MK on the week commencing 24th September, Sunderland have a lot of fans down south and a fair few in Milton Keynes there is also a London based supporters club so we are expecting a good away following for this game.
Another Prem team can we cause an upset ?

Picture Daily Mail

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