Thursday, 1 August 2013

Pre Season Part Two

And so to my last pre season blog and it starts with the news that Milton Keynes Dons had on the Saturday before the Plymouth game agreed terms to sign Watford defender Lee Hodson on a free transfer.

Lee is a 21 year old and signed a one year deal with a further one year option.
Lee had to battle Watford regular Lloyd Doyley to play in his favourite right back position but still managed play 91 times for the Vicarage Round team.

Hodson has a wealth of experience and has played 96 times in the Championship and League 1 as well as International games for Northern Ireland, he became our fourth signing of summer.

An away trip to Plymouth was the next pre season game and awaydays on twitter again made fun of our away support. Plymouth is a 500 mile round trip the game was on a Sunday so work for most the next day ! but no mention that Plymouth themselves only had 1600 fans there, now I don't care that some people don't like us but please get a perspective.
The game itself was a pretty even affair with Powell keeping the undefeated record alive in the last few minutes.

MK Dons 4-3 Rayo Vallecano And still undefeated Pre Season
Adrián González Morales, known as simply Adrián

Rayo players arrive.

Our first of two games at home was against Rayo Vallecano,

Rayo finished eighth in the Spanish top flight last season and looked to be the perfect match for the Dons with our footballing style Rayo have an impressive passing style like we try to have.

The match proved to be a great entertaining one and the supporters were spoilt for choice with some fine goals.

Our former number two Mick Harford was here with his new boss Lomas sparking rumours of scouting our players ,but it was more likely they were here to watch Rayo as they played them the following Saturday in a testimonial for Steve Robinson but it was not a widely known fact so we can forgive the paranoia.

For most it was a chance to see new guys Reeves Bantom and Hodson I wasn't overly impressed with Hodson but liked Bantam and Reeves looked to be solid.
Alan Smith seemed to roll back the years and looked very sharp as did the other golden oldie Chadders in his new no 10 shirt.

It was probably the first game of pre season where we saw at least most of what will be our starting line up.
Dons lined up as last season in the familiar 4-2-3-1 with Martin starting to be replaced by McLoughlin on 82 minutes Hodson (Baldock 73), Kay (Flanagan who I prefer came on at 61), Williams, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson who got sponsors MOTM , Banton (Alli who really looked class and Id be worried Lomas was impressed if he was indeed looking to strengthen Millwall 71), Chadwick (McLeod 82 who though off side missed to sitters !), Powell (Reeves 71) Smith my MOTM (Bamford to be a way off being fit and missed a sitter in comical fashion 71).
Goals by Lewington 3 his 2nd of pre season so thats probably it for him now lol , Powell 43, Banton 44, Potter 59

Rayo Vallecano who made their subs at half time Cobeno, Martinez, Baena, Galvez, Trashorras (c), Rida, Florez, Arbilla, Mojica, Juanito, Perea

Subs: Alberto (GK), Ismael (GK), Tito, Diamanka, Gomez, Saballs, Lass, Gonzalez, Carlos, Isi, Niguez,

Goal: Mojica who was the stand out player 11, 27, Gonalez 71 (pen)

Referee: D Whitestone

Attendance: 3,532 about 10 away fans though I was told 4 but I saw a Spanish lady who teaches in MK with her family and a few guys as I left so approx 10 Id guess.

Next up was trip to the Hive and Barnet's new 5k capacity ground. The attendance was 1,062, 189 were Don's fans so plenty of room to move about.

It was a really hot day and Edgar David's team were under pressure first half with Potter coming closest to scoring but the Don's never took full advantage of the superior possession and it was 0-0 at half time.

The second half saw the tempo step up a bit and it was goals galore with former Bee's striker and our own club top scorer Izale getting two Chelsea loan Bamford got one and Dele got the fourth after it came off Barnet player Vilhete and rolled in thhe goal was credited as an OG though.

Barnet's goal was a cracker from twenty five yards and it actually opened the goal floodgate before Izale's brace.

So far pre season we have won seven and drawn two matches scoring twenty goals and top scorer is Izale McLeod with 4 goals despite very little match time.

Barnet: Stack, Yiadom (Vilhete 79), Stephens, Acheampong (Saville 45), Johnson; Davids (Allen 88), Byrne, Weston, Marsh-Brown a former Don's player (Marciano) 88), Gambin (Luisma 66); Hyde (Sykes 65).

Barnet substitutes: Jupp like our Ian never featured, Saville, Vilhete, Luisma, Sykes, Allen, Marciano.

MK Dons: Martin, Hodson who was better than Wednesday night, Kay, Williams (Flanagan who spent time at Barnet last season 61), Lewington (Reeves 61); Potter (Bamford 61), Gleeson (Alli 61); Powell (Baldock 61), Chadwick (McLeod 61), Banton, Smith.

MK Dons substitutes: McLoughlin who never featured, Flanagan, Reeves, McLeod, Alli, Bamford, Baldock, Galloway.
Goals: McLeod 67, 83, Vilhette (OG) 83, Bamford 85

Referee was Nick Kinselly attendance as I said earlier was 1,062 (189 Dons)

Spurs players arrive and rush in without saying hello !
And so the much anticipated home game with Spurs who we seem to have a good relationship with having in the past played a friendly against and loaned Jake Livermore Adam Smith and Andros Townsend. Spurs players arrive and rush straight in.

Quite why a few of their fans decided to protest against the game on twitter as part of the Against Modern Football I don't know, as it's ten years too late for protesting against the move of Wimbledon to MK, and Tottenham with the high wages and Sky money and the pretty high ticket prices seem to me to be more Modern Football than us ! we at the Dons do loads for the disabled supporters, the kids and low ticket prices and the community generally but perhaps they don't think we should ..who knows.

Anyway that was probably just on Twitter as there was no non cyber protests in fact the attendance was more like a League game and the away end was packed (a lot of local Spurs fans watching a live game for a change ).

It was an entertaining first half by the Dons and both sides played some nice football the second half after the substitutions in particular the Dons seemed to be camped in their own half but they defended well against the Premiership side and after McLoughlin was subbed young Charlie Burns was called upon third year scholar Burns in the closing stages had to pull off an excellent save to deny Coulthirst in injury time the Dons got the just about deserved win.

MK Dons XI (4-2-3-1): McLoughlin (Martin 88); Baldock, Otsemobor (Weston 76), Flanagan (c), Galloway (Osae 58); Alli (Wiltshire 58), Reeves (Tingey 76); Summerfield, Rasulo, Hines (Grant 72); Bamford (Osei-Addo 59).
Goal: Rasulo 34

Tottenham Hotspur XI: Miles (Archer 46); Fredericks, Ward, Bentaleb, Livermore (Lameiras 73), Stewart (c), Townsend (McEvoy 73), Carroll (Gallifuoco 73), Lancaster (Coulthirst 46), Falque, Ceballos.

Booked: Livermore a former Don loan with nasty tackle he claimed to referee was a dive !

Referee: Keith Stroud (Dorset)
Attendance was 8,671 (2,423 away fans )Id guess that was probably one of highest pre season attendances in UK.

So that's it for pre season and we were undefeated which although does not mean a lot during the season proper it does feel good and gives the fans and players a boost going into the start of a new season.

Away to Shrewsbury Saturday to start the season and I will be putting the odd blog up now and then through the season so keep it on your bookmarks or favourites.

Keep the faith and COYD.

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