Wednesday, 28 November 2012

November Blog

The first game of the month was the game against Cambridge City in the FA Cup 1st round.
For a 1st round match this seemed to attract quite a lot of attention and before we all had the chance to buy tickets ESPN announced the game was to be televised.

The club had put into effect the rule used for limited availabilty tickets and so
tickets did not go on general sale till the Wednesday before the Friday game ST holders had from the Monday, so the bulk of tickets went in the two days before the game leaving many thinking we were going to be left with a load left over.

The capacity of ground was 1700 which has been set by the police and the local authority we were alloated 470 I assume there were some left as the club did not give out the away attendance and saw nothing on the OS saying sold out and I got no response when I tweeted the club so apologises for those who check blog for match stats.

I had a look at the City forum and noticed none of our fans had joined to say hello
so I joined up and was followed by one other Dons fan, I was then contacted by a City fan via personal message asking if I could arrange an interview with Luke Chadwick for the match day programme on the night I emailed Andrew Cullen who then contacted Simone Corgan but never heard back from the City fan or our club so not sure whether an interview was arranged.

I got no replies (but 200 odd views)either to a link I put up to our OS interview with Luke (obviously idea was adopted by us as well)and it reminded me why I don't bother with forums anymore lol.
I think in future I'll just ignore requests for help.

As for the game well it did not matter that the opposition was 100 odd places in pyramid lower than us we reverted to the familar way of all the possession but nothing up top, Mick Harford said it was the story of our season and yes we all agreed but also thought goals win games so we better start getting some or else it wont just be the FA Cup we are out of if we lose the replay.
Cambridge City (4-4-2): Man of the Match Zak Barrett, Pepper, Theobald, Chaffey, Brighton; Allen, Prada, A Cambridge (c), Abbs (Marriott 61); Hammond, Bryant (Lester 79).
Subs not used: Ordonez, Midgley, Nightingale, Death, Stynes.

MK Dons (4-2-3-1) Martin, Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Lewington; Potter, Gleeson; O’Shea (Alli 65, Chadwick (c) (Smith 85), Chicksen, Lowe.
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Kouo-Doumbe, Galloway, Hickford, Rasulo.
Only attendance stat was 1700 which was the capacity I know a few of our fans were held up in traffic and did not make it so figure must have been tickets sold rather than actual people there I did however hear we were 12 short of allocation on the night whether that meant we sold and fans did not get there or that we did not sell 12 I have no idea.
Referee was James Adcock from Nottinghamshire.

During the first week of the month I was down at Leon Leisure Centre with my daughter and noticed there was some Primary school lads there, then the day after some older lads playing on the all weather pitches and had a feeling they were going through some kind of trials.

I got talking to the manager of the centre and was told that it was indeed trials organised by Chelsea FC.
As some of you will know I thought the abolition of the fifty mile rule to in effect poach players and the limit as to what clubs can receive as compensation for young players was a bad decision and indeed Wycombe Wanderers closed their academy as I think other League clubs will do.

I was pleased to hear that there was a man from the Dons there but I dont think in an official capacity as he manages a local boys side.

I know that it is not just Chelsea and all the Prem clubs do it (in fact Manchester City are increasing the size of thier academy probably as they can now cast net wider) but it did make me think that the talented young lads that might have been future Dons will be whisked away to London.

Also those that dont make the grade may just give up on the game at sixteen when they perhaps could have played in League One or Two and had a good career had they not had their hearts broken at not being wanted by a big club or heaven forbid end up like Leon Knight! but I suppose thats all football politics and not really Dons so I'll stop going on except to say I spoke to Mike Dove about it when I saw him and he knew about it and said they wont be there again but did not expand any more.

In other Dons news I heard the screens had all been delivered and came on six or eight lorries there seemed to be a bit of confusion ! or I just did not hear properly, if you thought the screens would come ready made up they don't they come in several parts and are made up on site and are delivered on pallets.

Also the under-soil heating was given a test run ahead of the boiler being set up and running and I was told it needs to go on four days before a game to have the full effect and the system has its own weather forecaster built in and is automatic which knowing how the weather changes so quickly in this country I was not overly confident of it to turn itself on in time ! But I guess there is a manual override somewhere.

Ahead of the game we heard we had signed striker Ibra Sekajja on a youth-loan deal until and including 1st January.
The next game was the League game against Orient the following Wednesday the game was moved by the League at Orient's request although we did object surprise surprise we were ignored and to rub the salt in the O's cup game was cancelled so could have been played Tuesday after all.

Danny Wilson was there ahead of the Sheffield game quite why Nigel Clough was due to be there I don't know but it was nice to see John Motson make another appearance but he did not have his sheepskin on for those wondering and I never got to speak to him this time either as I did not see him till he was going through the door.

As for the game we started brightly and were the better team throughout the first half and really should have been two or three up by half time but guess what, we failed to convert the chances we created.
Allsop was having a great game as goalies seem to do against us lately .

The half time team talk did not seem to inspirational as we looked out of sorts and although again had chances we were never very threatening and I did not think we would get another it had that feel about it.

The O's could have quite easily nicked a point but in truth they were as poor as us in front of goal the game got a bit testy and Slade got sent to the stands right at the end of the game. The win meant we move up to eighth.
Teams lined up
MK Dons 4-2-3-1 Martin, Otsemobor, Kay (Doumbe 83), Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch (Chicksen 75), Chadwick who was M.O.T.M, Balanta who looked unfit Lowe (MacDonald 81).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, A Smith, Alli, Sekajja.
Booked just Gleeson
A bright spot was the goal by Lowe on 41 which may restore his confidence.
Leyton Orient Allsop, Sawyer, Chorley, Griffith (Cox 74), Clarke (c), Odubajo, Cook, Rowalands (J Smith 81), James, Wagstaff (Lisbie 66), Mooney.
Subs not used: Jones, McSweeney, Baudry, Brunt.
Booked just Cox
Referee was Robert Lewis who was another 7 out of 10 who came from Shropshire.
The attendance was 6,985 with 299 although looked less very silent away fans.

With three home games in a week and this one with Sheffield United coming just three days after the O's match I was not to confident.
United were strong last season and I like many others fancy them to go up automatically this season and when I met up with the match day crowd they were also predicting a home loss.

The game was very entertaining and I thought we played some of the best football I have seen this season Lewie deservedly got M.O.T.M and Im not even going to be too harsh about the missed chances as I thought overall it was the result that counted that day.

Danny Wilson former Dons manager arriving for MK Dons v Sheffield United game.

Back again on loan from QPR Angelo Balanta

Ibra Sekajja on loan till January 1st from Crystal Palace.

Before the game I thought how we played today would give the best indication to date of whether we really are promotion contenders and I thought we more than matched United and although biased were the better team and created the better of the chances.

I thought the referee was perhaps one of the worst I have seen this season getting some major decisions wrong, the linesmen on the east side was flagging for offside's that were not, for both sides and I say this after we won so hopefully it means more !
To highlight just the main bad decision were Angelo Balanta who was turning away from goal when he was brought down by David McAllister a soft penalty by anyone's standard.

Bowditch's non penalty was the worst though when he was brought down by Harry Maguire
and caused a near incident minutes later at half time when the players had to be escorted off by Robbo as some surrounded Darren Sheldrake for not awarding the penalty.

The Dons have now won three league games in a row without letting in a goal and we are looking forward to Tuesday and more of the same we move up to seventh but more importantly was the performance.
Dons lined up Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Lowe (Smith 58), Kay, Chadwick, Balanta (Doumbe 91). Unused subs: McLoughlin, MacDonald, Chicksen, O’Shea, Sekajja.

Booked just Chadwick for his trademark late challenge.
Sheffield United lined up Long, Maguire, Hill(McAllister 46), Flynn, Doyle, Porter, Blackman (Miller 73), McDonald, Collins, McMahon (Westlake 25), Williams. Unused subs: Willis, Cresswell, Ironside, Kennedy.
Booked for United was Maguire who was lucky to finish the game.
Referee the bloody awful Darren Sheldrake.
Attendance was 9,835 there were 1,854 United fans though looked more who did not make that much noise surprisingly. The Dons fans were in great voice and were the twelfth man that day which you could say we needed as the ref seemed to be a blade.

Next game up was the replay with Cambridge City
in the FA Cup. And I did laugh when I think it was the Sky camera man was looking for City fans and had to go up to bar in hotel to find some.

When he came back down with a dozen or so he had them walk to the Hotel entrance as if arriving what I thought was funny was that two had on back packs one with a Chelsea crest on the back and one with a Spurs crest and I thought blimey its like the early days at the Hockey Stadium before we got our own identity and fans started buying the Dons gear.

Steve Claridge turned up as did a number of folk from the FA including Peter Braybrook who is a very nice chap to talk to.

I thought when Williams got that first goal it would be three or even four but I did not expect six.

I thought the team played well and was really impressed with Deli Alli who I gave the man of the match to , even Jay said when he collected the award from the match day sponsor he thought Deli was the man on the night.

So we all know who we will face next and I'm not going to go on about it here as there are other matches this month.

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Kouo-Doumbe, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Alli (Galloway 78); Bowditch (Chicksen 61), MacDonald, O'Shea; Lowe (Rasulo 68).

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Smith, Spence.

Goals: Williams 12, 74 (pen), O’Shea 43, Bowditch 45, Alli 75, Chicksen 77

Cambridge City had some brilliantly named players and lined up 4-4-2 Barrett, Pepper who was not to be sneezed at , Theobald, Chaffey, Brighton; Allen (sub was man with six pack Joey Abbs 69), aptly named Cambridge (c) (Nightingale no Florence joke from me 61), Prada one for the ladies (Lester 69), Marriott; Bryant, Hammond.

Subs not used: Ordonez, Midgley, Stynes. The goal by Theobold was on 60

Referee: Neil Miller from County Durham who I thought was pretty good 8 out of 10.

The attendance was not bad for a first leg replay of 4,129 with 579 away fans though I suspect they wont get that many next home game.

The next game was away to Tranmere Rovers who are still top of the league and like the Sheffield Unt game I was again not to confident and again was proven wrong.

The Dons were totally dominant especially in the first half and even in the second rarely troubled. Chadwick seemed to go where he wanted and all the midfield had shots on goal even Lewie had a shot and header on target but we again could not get the ball in the bloody net Lowe missed a gift of a chance when one on one with Fon Williams but somehow put the ball wide !

With the minutes ticking away most of us thought oh well a point on the road is okay when Gleeson toe poked in after some good work from Bowditch found the ball in the crowded box.
Ronnie Moore said Tranmere were out footballed and we got some great comments from neutrals watching the match on Sky , tickets were a fiver and the gate was over ten thousand on the night.
The win took us up to second for a night (as it was Friday night and our rivals played on the following day).

The Dons have played three games in ten days and beaten the two top sides and played again on Tuesday night when they travelled to Shrewsbury Town.
Teams lined up
Tranmere Rovers Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Gibson, Bakayogo, Robinson, Wallace (c), Palmer, McGurk (Stockton 90), Cassidy, Jervis (Harrison 46).

Subs not used: Mooney (GK), M Kay, Goodison, Power, Kirby

Booked: Cassidy, Jervis

MK Dons 4-2-3-1 Martin; Otsemobor, A Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Potter; Bowditch, Chadwick (Doumbe 90), Balanta (Powell 65); Lowe (Smith 54).

Subs not used: McLoughlin (GK), Chicksen, Powell, O’Shea, Sekajja.

Goal by Gleeson on 87

Referee was M Naylor from South Yorkshire who again was okay 7 out of ten.

Attendance: 10,587

After beating the top two sides it was probably always going to be a tougher game than it looked on paper and it proved to be just that.

We had slipped down to 4th after the Saturday games so with a win at Shrewsbury we could have gone up to 3rd so understandably a few of the fans got a bit carried away with their predictions, as it turned out a draw was enough and we did move up to 3rd.

I did actually think we might lose having been on a good run, it would be just our luck to lose to Shrewsbury, another of the clubs you can put in the don't let facts get in the way of a good fairy tale club.

In fact Robbo got very annoyed at the comments in the match day programme which were unprofessional, and a rehash of an article they used years ago but still just as crap.

We really were not at the races on the night and probably did deserved to lose but Bowditch managed to save two points in injury time the goal listed as 90th minute.
After beating the top two sides it was probably always going to be a tougher game than it looked on paper and it proved to be just that.

Teams lined up Shrews Weale, Grandison, Jacbson, Summerfield, Jones, Wright the former Don scored against his former club, Richards, Morgan, Taylor, Bennettt, Rodgers. Unused subs: Anyon, Purdie, Hall, Doble, Goldson, Wildig, Helan.

Dons lined up Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington who appeared to pick up a knock(Chicksen came on and livened us up a bit on 58), Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Smith, Kay, Chadwick (MacDonald came on and again looked like his confidence has gone 74), Balanta (Powell came on and shortly limped off 58). Unused subs: McLoughlin, Doumbe, Lowe, Sekajja still has not got a decent run out. Balanta scored on 46 and Bowditch the M.O.M on 90 so late goals both halves.

Att: 4747 the traveling Dons army totaled 183 on a wet night.

The Referee was Darren Drysdale who let game flow a 6 out of 10 was okay but missed some incidents.

In other news Jay O'Shea went out on loan to Chesterfield the day Powell limped off at Shrewsbury but Angelo's loan was extended till January.

Flanagan returned from Gillingham needing an operation on his ankle.

On Thursday 22nd we signed on loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford the 19 year old is here till the New Year.

On Friday we heard we had signed from a winger from Wolves at the last minute of emergency loan window quite why it is an emergency I don't know ! but anyway it is 18-year-old Zeli Ismail.

I met both players on the Friday before Colchester game and both were very polite and happily posed for pictures.
A funny story I can tell you was when the players had finished training they put all the boots in a container to be cleaned ahead of the game and Zeli chucked his in with the rest but Patrick asked Karl " don't we clean our own boots" Karl said well you can if you want then laughed and Patrick threw his in as well. I thought that was really quite refreshing to see, a young footballer who cost Chelsea one and a half million ask if it was okay and not just assume it was going to be done it also showed that he was used to (and said he does)doing his own at Chelsea.

Karl then asked Zeli what he did with his and he replied in the container to which Karl said jokingly "big time charlie" but with more a player banter type comment attached, suppose you had to be there but it was very funny and proved how down to earth these young talents are.
Zeli Ismail on loan from Wolves
Patrick Bamford on loan from Chelsea

And so onto the game against Colchester Gleeson had pulled up injured during training so I was wondering what formation Robbo would use as Gleeson was due to play but he captained the side in Lewie's absence so injury was obviously not as bad as we thought.

The game was like the weather first ten minutes or so pretty dreary but then we started to put some nice moves together.
Chadwick and Bamford seemed to be on the same wavelenght and looked like they had played together for years.

The goal came on 28 after some nice play between the Chelsea loanee and the former Man Unt player after that we kept pushing and making chances until Bamford was brought down and Williams duly despatched the penalty.

The second half slighty swung Colchesters way as Massey came on but not for long as from a corner Otsemobor scored and that was game over.

Just three minutes later the U's got lucky and grabbed a consulation goal but you are never as vulnerable as when you have just scored they say and a minute later Chadwick made it 4-1. Lowe came on and worked hard and was rewarded with his name on the score sheet when he curled his shot into the top corner.

It was as dominant and near perfect performance as you will see anywhere and we move up to second in the league and into the automatic spots.

Still a long way to go but it sets up the cup game next week perfectly.
Teams lined up Dons 4-2-3-1 Martin, Otsemobor, Williams sponsors M.O.M, Kay, Chicksen, Gleeson (c), Potter, Bowditch (Sekajja 85), Chadwick my M.O.M(Ismail 76), Balanta, Bamford JUST pipped by Luke for M.0.M(Lowe 69).

Subs: McLoughlin, Doumbe, MacDonald, Galloway, Sekajja.The goals were Chadwick 28, 64, Williams (pen) 37, Otsemobor 60, Lowe 82

Colchester United (4-3-3) Sullivan, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman (Thompson 70),Potts; Bond (Massey 46), Eastmond (Duguid 70), Wordsworth, Henderson, Morrison former Dons loan player, Sears.

Subs: Cousins , Rose, Bean, White, Thompson.

Booked Okuonghae, Morrison Sent-off Massey for the nasty tackle on Chicksen was on 66

Goal: Hendersen 63
Attendance 7443 330 away fans
Referee Darren Deadman and amazingly he was okay for a change 7/10.
Martin, Otsemobor, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch (Sekajja 85), Chicksen, Kay, Chadwick (Ismail 77), Balanta, Bamford (Lowe 69). Unused subs: McLoughlin, Doumbe, MacDonald, Galloway.

The next game is the FA Cup 2nd round with us playing hosts to the team from Kingston upon Thames as they have acted unprofesionaly in not giving our club its full name I will not refer to them by the name they use.

The game is looking to be a near sell out as area's will be closed to segregate fans and nuetral sections will not be as used as the club thought they would be.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is AFC have not boycotted as they always said they would (and in fact told other fans of clubs we have played to so do)but have sold the allocation they asked for and indeed asked for another thousand !

I can only think/hope that the AFC fans are not as full of hate as the board members and hierarchy of the club and though will never like us perhaps they prefer to support the team rather than listen to the few elite that run the "fans" club and seem more interested in MK than what the majority of the fans want.

On Sunday 9th December there is a darts night at the stadium in aid of Prostate cancer and S.E.T there will be at least seven members of the first team including Mick Harford.
Adrian Lewis and Steve Beaton will be amongst the darts players there and there will be celebrity guests on the night but I dont know who they will be yet.
It promises to be a great afternoon and night and tickets can be bought by calling box office at MK Dons.

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