Posted by: Bescot Banter


Following Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and Milton Keynes Dons, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares his Match Report.
Following Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and Milton Keynes Dons, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares his Match Report;

MK Dons striker Izale Mcleod started the match as he meant to go on, as the bulky forward struck into the side-netting from an ambitious angle.

Almost every long ball was a lottery in the windy conditions, and the Saddlers were certainly struggling to cope with the unpredictability.

McLeod then came even closer, cutting inside and completely fooling Andy Butler, but Richard O'Donnell parried away his shot from six yards.

The MK Dons forward again capitalised on some Walsall sloppiness and tried an audacious lob which landed just over.

As Walsall began to go up the pitch, the cheers began to show support for former Saddler Kris Taylor who has recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Taylor, who now plays for Hednesford, wore number 15 for Walsall and the applause broke out in the 15th minute: a nice touch from the supporters.

After that sentiment the Dons wave continued though. McLeod flicked his volley over following a teasing cross towards the near post, and defender Lee Hodson's drive flew narrowly wide.

McLeod was involved in everything for the away side and it was him who opened the scoring on the half hour. He nullified Walsall's offside trap and took his time to dink the ball over a powerless O'Donnell to give Karl Robinson's side a deserved lead.

A quieter period ensued after the goal but the game was killed off three minutes from half-time when Butler was dismissed for giving away a penalty.

It looked harsh on the captain but if the referee deemed it to be a foul then Butler was the last man and had to go.

Midfielder Ben Reeves calmly put the spot kick straight down the middle and left the hosts in a really dire situation.

There was some hope in first-half stoppage time when Paul Downing rose highest to head a corner towards goal, however it was down the throat of keeper David Martin.

H/T: Walsall 0 Milton Keynes Dons 2

It was the first shot on target for Dean Smith's side after a poor first period, showing just how much of a mountain they had to climb in the second 45.

On-loan  Samir Carruthers tried to get in on the act after the interval but his shot bounced well off target, and O'Donnell got down well to gather a second effort from the Aston Villa youngster.

Walsall were enjoying more possession with ten men, though only because the MK Dons were happy to sit back on a convincing two goal lead.

As the match ticked past the hour mark Sam Mantom curled a hopeful effort wide before it was time for the introduction of Michael Ngoo.

Fans were forced to wait an extra week to see their new loan signing after the postponement of the Coventry game, but the 6ft 6in giant could make his mark now after replacing a despondent Craig Westcarr.

Ngoo alone couldn't stem the tide though and, after Carruthers had blazed one over, McLeod smashed his second into the top right corner on 70 minutes to banish any ideas of a comeback.

It seemed only a bit of luck would give the Saddlers a goal, and they nearly got it when Milan Lalkovic's free kick took a looping deflection off the wall and clipped the crossbar on its way over.

A consolation was on the cards when Ngoo was brought down in the area by Anthony Kay, but instead the new boy summed up a miserable afternoon for Walsall.

After a heated discussion with Lalkovic over who should take the responsibility, Ngoo ushered the Slovakian away before rolling a tame kick into a Martin's grateful arms.

It just showed nothing was going to go right for Dean Smith's men and the 3-0 defeat means they slip out of the play-offs after Peterborough shocked high-flying Leyton Orient.

F/T: Walsall 0 Milton Keynes Dons 3 (McLeod 30' & 70', Reeves PEN 44')

Attendance: 4,136
Referee: James Linington.

By: Scott Brotherton.

You can see what Walsall manager Dean Smith had to say after the game HERE.
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