Saturday, 30 March 2013

March Blog

MK Dons 1-1 Preston North End

So we went into March 13th in league on 46 points and a very busy month and what better way to start than watching the Chairman having a right rant and rave before the Preston game.

I wont go on to much about what he said as he said it later on Three Counties radio but to be amongst the three or four fans he tested his speech on was quite surreal.

Pete had he alluded to read or been told things people were posting on "your forum" which was odd as he said it to me and I don't post on forum's let alone run one lol Pete was actually quite livid he had had words with an employee of club and that seemed to have got his back up I said how lucky we were Martin's injury happened when McLoughlin had returned and he said what a good keeper MacKenzie was ! I said but the majority of fans would not know that and besides Gary had by then been sent on loan so point was rather a mute one.

He avoided the Harley question saying he had gone back and had a neck injury which I knew was not the full story and asked was Wright still at club as no one had seen him for weeks then one of us mentioned he had applied for the Swindon job Pete just said "has he" then went on about Southend and Swindon and we should not compare MK Dons to them (none of us had) as he had seen them go up and down league's and he was trying to build stability I did not find him aggressive but more annoyed and passionate but I was alone and everyone else thought he was aggressive.

I was just playing devils advocate and was merely asking what everyone else seemed a bit wary to ask directly and was surprised at his demeanour I had not seen him so angry and he admitted he made a mistake by saying at the start of the season we would get promoted and it put too much pressure on the team who could not handle it the, whole thing was quite odd and his wife Bernie eventually got him inside the hotel entrance.

The game itself was a bore draw between two poor teams Preston did not play a registered striker and just had one man at the front and they seemed to come for a draw we just seemed to follow their lead.

Officials were terrible and I can remember writing about the useless Mr Bates before quite why he is still a referee is a mystery.
Teams lined up
MK Dons (4-2-3-1) McLoughlin, Otsemobor who has gone into hopeless mode (Bowditch 68), Kay, Williams, Lewington (c) Potter, Lines, Powell, Chadwick who signed a new 2 year deal that morning, Chicksen M.O.T.M for his goal, Lowe who would have been M.O.T.M for work rate but missed a sitter (McLeod 90 quite why he was brought on so late only Robbo knows).

Subs not used: Doumbe, Flanagan, Baldock, Rasulo. Booked Lewington silly booking for petulant behaviour, Powell
Goal by Chicksen on 2 mins then followed 88 mins of pure torture.

Preston North End: Rudd, Buchanan (Robertson 81), Huntington, Wright, Connolly, Hayhurst, Welsh (c), Wroe, Holmes (Garner 89), King, Beavon (Monakana 77).

Subs not used: Stuckmann (GK), Beardsley, Mousinho, Proctor.

Goal: Hayhurst 7 proving once again you are never more vulnerable than when you score.

Referee Tony Bates as I said once before appropriately named (Master Bates) !1 out of 10 just for finding the ground.
Attendance was 8,412 (678 of them)

MK Dons 3-0 Doncaster Rovers

Next up was the game with top of the league Doncaster and we were all probably a bit nervous I thought we might get a draw but was not very optimistic after Saturday's display.

But as usaul I was wrong and we played as well as I can remember this season Chadders went off injured after 37 mins
which whilst upsetting meant we almost went two up front (although Lowei did fall back a bit) it was as close as we'll see to 4-4-2 and Izale got his much anticipated goal three minutes later.

We had started the game looking a bit shaky with passes going astray but had looked better as the Izale goal loomed and after that we were in control of the game.

Second half we pushed forward and Powell who had that day extended his contract made it two nil with a rocket of a shot.

Doncaster never looked like getting back into it and with seven minutes of normal time remaining to great applause from the crowd Gleeson made his return and with his second touch scored a thunderous goal that had the home fans
in football heaven, three scorers and each could have stolen the headlines post match.
The teams lined up
MK Dons (4-2-3-1) McLoughlin, Chicksen, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c), Potter, Lines, Powell, Chadwick (McLeod 37), Bowditch (Doumbe 74), Lowe (Gleeson 82).
Subs not used: Flanagan, Baldock, Rasulo.

Goals by McLeod a much needed one on 40 Powell who signed new contract on 56′ and returning from injury Gleeson on 83

Doncaster Rovers (4-4-2) Woods, Quinn, McCombe, Jones (c) (Griffin 46), Spurr; Cotterill, Harper, Lundstram, Husband (Bennett 63); Coppinger, Hume (Paynter 67).

Subs not used: Maxted , Wakefield, Sinclair, Howieson, Bennett.

Booked McCombe and Cotterill

Referee who was pretty okay was Keith Stroud from Hampshire 8 out of 10.

Attendance was 6,804 with 453 away fans.
More importantly we now had fifty points the first magic figure of season albeit a month late.

Sheffield Unt 0-0 Dons
Next up was an away trip to Sheffield and the much fancied for promotion team who were second in the league when we arrived.

The game was a hard fought battle with both sides cancelling each other out and most of us were happy with a point on the day.
Not a game for the football purists but a point well earned and the mood amongst fans had certainly lifted, the return of Bamford after his injury was a boost the gloss slightly taken off by the injury to Powell on the day but Gleeson got some more match time and Doumbe playing enabled Chicksen to move further up field which on reflection was probably a good move as Doumbe had a good game and coped well with Kitson who I think would have eventually got the better of Chicksen.

Bamford got booked for diving after being tripped when it should have been a penalty but the referee missed one for United so I guess it all balanced out.
Teams lined up
Sheffield United: Long, Maguire, Hill, Flynn, Doyle (c), McDonald, Kitson, Collins, Robson (Poleon 83), Murphy (Forte 62), McMahon.
Subs not used: Coyne (GK), Westlake, Higginbotham, Ironside, McFadzean.
Booked: Maguire

MK Dons 4-2-3-1 McLoughlin, Chicksen, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c), Lines, Potter; Powell (Doumbe 32), Smith (Bamford 58), Bowditch, Lowe (Gleeson 68).
Subs not used: Otsemobor, McLeod, Flanagan, Baldock.

Referee was Boyeson who let the game flow but missed a few decisions and therefore just a 7 out of 10.

Attendance was a massive for League one 17, 936 with 385 Dons faithful.

Dons 2-3 Shrewsbury
After the draw at United Tuesday nights game took on a must win status amongst the fans as that would keep us up with a shout of play off's baring in mind we still had two games in hand on most teams.
The Shrews have had a bit of an up and down season and as we were at home I thought we should win this one but true to form this season it did not go that way.

Within twenty minutes we were two goals down both goals coming after the defence fell asleep and the two chances Shrews got they scored.
Robbo then took Doumbe off (who was the one defender not at fault)this despite most of us scratching our heads proved to be a good move as within eight minutes we pulled one back.

Second half Lowe got his second and we put Shrews under a lot of pressure for the whole of the second half but could not find the net.
Then in what was probably the stupidest thing I have seen this season we conceded an own goal under no pressure.

McLoughlin came running out of his goal and Kay either not hearing him shout or Ian did not shout (which I thought)played the ball into his own net.

We continued to pile pressure on but could not get an equaliser, in the final moments Alan Smith had his effort at goal turned over the bar by the Shrews keeper.

And for even the most optimistic fan that was the play off hope gone with MacKenzie and Flanagan out on loan and no scout (other than chairman's son)it does look like the towel had been thrown in and money saving is the order of the remaining season.
Teams lined up
MK Dons (4-2-3-1) McLoughlin Doumbe (Gleeson 38), Kay, Williams, Lewington (c) Potter, Lines (Smith 83), Bowditch, Lowe, Chicksen, McLeod (Bamford 54).

Subs not used: Otsemobor, Flanagan, Baldock.

Goals by Lowe on 27 and 47 minutes and my M.O.T.M.

Shrewsbury Town (4-4-2): Weale who made a great save to earn the three points, Gayle, Jones, Mambo, Jacobson, Taylor (Parry 87), Summerfield, McAllister, Richards, Eaves (Porter 90), Morgan.

Subs not used: Anyon (GK), McGinn, Goldson, Rodgers.

Goals by Eaves 16, 19 who was pretty decent, Kay O.G was on 68
Referee was David Phillips from West Sussex who I can not remember doing too much wrong other than usual L1 ref trait of missed fouls but gave others a 6 out of 10 Attendance was 6,672 with 233 away fans.

MK Dons 3-0 Tranmere Rovers

Friday before the match I went to Woughton to watch the training and thought we had a new trialist when I asked Mick Harford said he was the referee from Yeovil game ! which I thought was a wind up but on closer inspection it was clear he was not a player.
He was joining in with the training but I was not quite sure why he was here, but I stopped wondering why we get some strange faces at MK a long while back lol

John Motson a familiar face was here again for the game and had brought his son with him and they were treated to a good comprehensive Dons win, not quite as comprehensive as the Doncaster win as I thought Sidibe and Akpa Akpro looked like they might grab at least a goal but overall Rovers passing and finishing were poor and we were on top of the game for the most part.

Of course the win against a top side gave some a hope the play off dream might be alive but personally I think that train has left the station.

We were now 12th in league after 37 games played and have 54pts probably seventeen points from the target needed for the last play off place.

Personally I think we'll finish around 8th or 9th in line with the budget(at start of season) and Robbo will talk about injuries and a good cup run and money that has made the club, the fact we have no scouts or anyone to recruit players after Rae left will be brought up and rightly so, taking pressure off himself and onto the Chairman.

Teams lined up Dons 4-2-3-1 McLoughlin, Chicksen, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c) (Otsemobor 64), Potter, Lines, Bamford (Baldock who Id like to see more of 71), Gleeson (McLeod 71), Bowditch, Lowe.
Subs not used were Doumbe and Smith we again had no keeper on bench.
Booked just Kay
Goals by Lewington who scored with his head 9, Gleeson who ran to Rovers fans to "celebrate" this was in response to a Rovers fan tweeting "I hope you break both legs" 43, Potter headed in after another rebound of bar on 50

Tranmere Rovers Fon Williams (c), Holmes, Black, Taylor, Palmer, Harrison (Bell-Baggie 63), Bakayogo (Stockton 81), Power, Gibson, Sidibe, Akpa Akpro.
Subs not used: Mooney (GK), Amoo a former loan player here, M Kay, O'Halloran, Corry.

Referee was Oliver Langford from the West Midlands an eight out of ten.

Attendance on family fun day was 9,682 with 601 away fans.

Crewe 2-1 Dons

So next up a trip to Crewe a game I thought we would lose as we struggle against teams lower than us in the league and seem to go all cocky after a win and I got the call right.
With only four players on the bench we looked a forlorn and down to bare bones team, hardly a team with between 6th(Winkelman quote) and 9th highest budget in league depending on who you believe, its bigger than Crewe's anyway for what its worth I think its the 9th with the players out on loan.

Again we lost the game late on after starting brightly with a goal from Bamford the railwaymen got one back just before half time.
Second half both sides pushed for a winner and game got niggly and six minutes before time Pogba got his second and then Kay got himself sent off for a second yellow and the game was lost and Kay got another ban and we had another up hill task for the next game.
Teams lined up
Crewe Alexandra Phillips, Davis, Ellis, Murphy (c) (Turton 59), Pogba, Leitch-Smith (Tootle 85), Mellor, Robertson, Osman, Colclough, Ellington (Aneke 75).

Subs: Martin (GK), Dugdale, West.

Goal were by Pogba on 40 and 84 minutes.

MK Dons (4-2-3-1) McLoughlin, Otsemobor, Kay, Williams, Chicksen (Smith 85), Potter, Lines, Bamford, Gleeson (c), Bowditch (Baldock 64), Lowe (McLeod 69).

Subs: Doumbe only sub not used which I really can not understand after last couple of games he played.
Matt Doumbe who has been needed lately despite not seeming to be in Karls preferred team.
Booked: Kay who is fast becoming more a liability than an asset.

Sent-off Kay who undoes his previous good performances with his stupid temper on 87minutes.

Goal by on Bamford 31

Referee was nice but dim Tim Robinson who made a bizarre booking for a player shouting, poor for both sides a 5 out of ten not one of West Sussex finest.

Attendance was a lowly 3,770 and 143 of the MK Army made the trip.
Goalscorer Patrick Bamford

With the ban of Kay I noticed Flanagan made his debut for the Bees as a substitute that weekend and played the full 90 minutes as Edgar Davids side put an end to their losing streak.

The Dons 21-year-old centre half put in an assured performance and helped Barnet not only pick up a valuable three points but also keep a clean-sheet for the first time since February and I hoped we would recall him.

In other news Dele Alli came on for England's U17s who beat Portugal 1-0.

As we know the Colchester game was postponed due to snow on 23rd March ! and there was us hoping winter was long gone but it gave us a chance to get the injured players fit ahead of

Another academy player Giorgio Rasulo helped England U-16s to a 1-1 draw with Holland and Dele Alli featured again for the U-17s who were beaten by Russia.

Hartlepool 0-2 MK Dons
The last away game of month saw the long trip to Hartlepool who sat at the bottom of the table despite some well known and pretty decent players.

The team stopped and trained at Leeds United training ground on the way to Hartlepool to stretch out the muscles and Karl commented on the radio match day it is nice to train there on a good pitch and I thought he was having a little dig at our training ground which he has mentioned before being hard on players.

On current form Dons fans would probably have been worried playing a team below us in the table but we started well with a brilliantly taken goal by Bamford making it two in two, also on this season's form taking an early goal was a bit worrying.

The Dons continued to press forward with Bamford looking sharp the Poolies did not look to threatening but we never came close to a goal the rest of the first half.
Second half Hartlepool had a man sent off for a boot to the back of Bamford who later was subbed as Patrick got yellow and Karl sensibly subbed him.

Bowditch swung a shot into the net to make it two nil and against a ten man side at the bottom of the league not even the most pessimistic fan could see a loss happening.

And even though we had the odd wobbly moment we got the win and looked forward to Easter Monday's game against Brentford.
We moved up to eleventh with 57 points(helped by Coventry's ten point deduction) 9 off play off's making Monday's game massive.
Teams lined up
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood (Holden 46), Walton, Baldwin, Sweeney (James 24), Monkhouse, Franks, Wyke
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Rowbotham, Hawkins, Rutherford, Boagey
Booked: Horwood (16), Monkhouse (18), Baldwin (90)
Sent Off: Walton (51)

MK Dons: McLoughlin, Otsemobor, Doumbe, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Smith (Powell 56), Chicksen (Galloway 72), Lowe, Bamford (Chadwick 58)
Subs Not Used: Baldock, Lines
Attendance was just 3,269 with 157 very cold Dons fans Dave Martin and Dean Lewington are still not recovered from injury and Izale McLeod has picked up an injury somewhere, all were missing at Hartlepool.

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