Tuesday, 17 October 2017

MATCH REPORT | Milton Keynes Dons 1 Walsall 1
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
MATCH REPORT | Milton Keynes Dons 1 Walsall 1
Tuesday, 17 October 2017

MATCH REPORT | Milton Keynes Dons 1 Walsall 1

Avatar  by Admin    9:53 pm    Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Sky Bet League One clash between Milton Keynes Dons and Walsall.
Jon Whitney's Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they continued to rattle through the League One fixture list by taking on Milton Keynes Dons at Stadium:MK. We were in attendance, and you can read our Match Report below.

MK Dons, got the match underway and got off to a good start, testing the Walsall defences in the opening few minutes, but the Saddlers were equal to them and kept their hosts from taking an early lead thanks to some good work from 'keeper, Mark Gillespie and captain Adam Chambers.

Six minutes in, the home side won the first corner of the game when Liam Kinsella was forced to put the ball out to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity from a Callum Brittain cross. The ball was swung into the box for Ethan Ebanks-Landell, who did well to get to it ahead of Amadou Bakayoko, but could only put the ball behind, off the Walsall man for a second corner, which was headed clear.

MK Dons continued to dominate as the game continued and twelve minutes in saw another chance to open the scoring, but Kieran Agard could only curl his twenty yard, left-footed effort wide. Shortly after, the Saddlers worked the ball up to the other end, where Kieron Morris found his way into a good position and unleashed an effort on goal, but the shot took a deflection en-route and MK Dons 'keeper, Lee Nicholls, made comfortably saved.

The Saddlers went on to enjoy a good spell of possession which culminated in an ambitious thirty yard effort from Leahy, which flew wide of goal. Much better from the visitors who had taken time to grow into the game.

Walsall's brief dominance didn't last long, as twenty three minutes in, they conceded a free-kick for a foul on Agard. Ed Upson swung the ball into the area where Chuks Aneke was waiting to head it home, putting his side ahead.

There was little action following the goal as the Saddlers attempted to recover from going behind, but it was the hosts who looked most likely to get the second of the match as it continued. As we headed past the half hour mark, a lovely cross from Scott Golbourne set up an unmarked Alex Gilbey, but the Dons captain could only guide the ball over when he really should have scored. Moments later, the hosts saw another superb chance go begging as Aneke found his way through the Walsall defences only to fire over from close range.

The home team continued to see much of the ball as we raced towards half-time, but were unable to create any further chances of note until the final minute of the opening forty five, when the Saddlers conceded another free-kick in a dangerous position to the right, but Gillespie was alert and gathered off the line. One additional minute was played following the 'keepers late save, but neither side was able to take advantage and the hosts headed off down the tunnel with a one-goal lead.

MK Dons 1 Walsall 0

The Saddlers got the second half underway, but it was the hosts who started the brighter, patiently passing the ball around the pitch as they looked for a breakthrough, but they were unable to increase their advantage thanks to some solid defending. Five minutes in, the ball came to Gilbey from a blocked Agard shot, but the Dons captain's effort was deflected wide. The resulting corner was played into the box by Upson, but Gillespie got a fist to it ahead of the attacking players and cleared the danger.

Eleven minutes into the half, some good link up play from Gilbey and Ousseynou Cisse culminated in a shot from the latter, which sailed over the bar without troubling the man between the sticks.

In the fifty seventh minute, Ebanks-Landell felled Tyler Roberts in the box, for which the referee awarded a penalty. Roberts took the spot-kick, and coolly slipped the ball into the net, sending Nicholls the wrong way.

The hosts responded well to the Saddlers goal, enjoying further good spells of possession, but the Walsall defences stood firm, limiting them largely to the midfield area. Sixty six minutes in, Gilbey did manage to get a shot away, under pressure from Chambers, but Gillespie was alert and saved the deflected effort.

Sixty seven minutes in, MK Dons opted to make the first change of the evening, replacing Kieran Agard with Osman Sow.

Sow was quick to get involved, and won a free-kick for his team in a central position thirty yards from goal, just three minutes after his introduction into the game. Upson curled the ball goal-wards, but it sailed harmlessly over the bar without testing Gillespie.

The Saddlers saw a chance to take the lead for the first time in the game missed in the seventy second minute when Bakayoko headed the ball down across the face of goal for Roberts, who could only prod it tamely towards goal, where Nicholls claimed.

There was a brief pause in proceedings in the seventy third minute whilst Morris received treatment. It was soon determined that Morris would be unable to see out the remainder of the game, and Zeli Ismail took his place.

A mistake from a Dons defender after the re-start set Roberts through on goal, but the forwards effort from a tight angle was turned away by Nicholls. Ismail soon had the ball back in front of the hosts goal, cutting it back for Roberts whose low shot sailed wide of the near post. Some better play on display from the visitors, but it was only a minute later that the home side had the ball back up at the other end, where Gillespie did well to claim the ball to prevent a Cisse headed goal.

With just ten minutes left to play, the Saddlers made a second change to their line-up, introducing Maziar Kouhyar in place of Florent Cuvelier. Moments later, the hosts also made another substitution, replacing Ed Upson with Aidan Nesbitt.

Eighty five minutes in, the hosts almost re-took their earlier lead when Sow picked up the ball following a mistake from Jon Guthrie, but through one-on-one with the 'keeper, the Dons striker curled his shot wide. The Saddlers lucky not to have conceded a late goal. Sow went down after getting his shot away and, unable to continue, was soon replaced by Gboly Ariyibi. The Saddlers also took the opportunity to make a change, replacing Roberts with Erhun Oztumer for the final four minutes.

The visitors almost scored in the ninetieth minute, with the recently introduced Oztumer doing well to chase down a pass from Kouhyar, before cutting inside and firing an effort goal-wards from twenty yards out, but the shot sailed over the bar without troubling the 'keeper.

Five additional minutes were added during which both Bakayoko and Oztumer had chances to snatch a late victory for the Saddlers, but neither was able to convert and the game drew to a close with the sides still level with one goal apiece. Despite a decent second half performance, the men from the Banks's were lucky to take a point away from Stadium MK following a dire first half display.

MK Dons 1 Walsall 1
Aneke (24') // T.Roberts PEN (58')
REFEREE | John Brooks

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