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Match Reports

REPORT: MK Dons 1-0 Coventry City - MK Dons claim victory by the narrowest of margins

18 March 2017

Cardiff City loanee Stuart O'Keefe scores the only goal of the game, as the Dons ease away from the drop zone...

In a lacklustre 90 minutes, MK Dons came out narrow victors, with midfielder O'Keefe netting a second-half winner. 

With both teams looking to dominate in central areas, the opening ten minutes were of relative stalemate, despite Ruben Lameiras displaying a few bright touches.

Making his first start under new boss Mark Robins, the Portuguese forward was looking for the runs of George Thomas and Jodi Jones in behind, whilst operating in a No.10 role. 

Chris Stokes entered unfamiliar territory in the 15th minute, sparking a City attack. He was invited forward by the clever pass of Marcus Tudgay, who then looked to link with Jones, before George Baldock stepped across to intervene. 

Lee Burge was called in to action moments later, as George Williams took on a shot from distance. The ball fizzed off the wet surface, making it uncomfortable for Burge, but the stopper was equal to it.

Stuart O’Keefe was the next Dons player to try his luck, with a volleyed effort from the edge of the technical area. The strike did little to trouble Burge in the City upright, before Thomas was almost gifted a chance at the opposite end.

Williams played a blind pass across his goal, and the Welshman anticipated the mistake. Thomas attempted to gather the ball, before Williams recovered well and made a last ditch recovery tackle. 

The away side were forced in to a change before the interval, as Tudgay sustained an ankle injury and was replaced by Charles Vernam. City finished the half in ascendancy, as Jones and Jordan Willis both squandered chances. The teenager cut inside before hitting a deflecting shot goalward, while Willis miscued his header from the resulting corner. 

Harvey Barnes flashed a shot wide of the post early in the second period, sending a wake up call to the visiting Sky Blues.

And that pressure soon told, as O’Keefe put the home side in front with a well taken finish, as City failed to clear their lines from a corner. The ball fell fortuitously to the Cardiff City loanee on the edge of the technical area, and he made no mistake from 18-yards, despatching beyond Burge for his second of the season.

The introduction of Ryan Haynes sparked City in to life in the 70th minute, as he twice beat Baldock down the left, and delivered in to the area. Vernam’s effort was deflected wide, before Reilly had a shot which sailed over the crossbar. 

Lameiras reverse pass spotted the run of Thomas moments later, as City started to gain in momentum and go forward with intent. The Portuguese winger then had an effort well saved by David Martin between the Dons sticks, after Haynes provided another searching delivery. 

City weren’t able to make the breakthrough, despite a much improved second half, as the home side claimed all three points.

Yellow: Walsh.

Attendance: 9,060 (908). 

Teams

Coventry City: Burge (GK), Willis (C) (Di. Kelly-Evans 55'), Rawson, Clarke, Stokes (Haynes 73'), Stevenson, Reilly, G.Thomas, Lameiras, Jones, Tudgay (Vernam 40'). 

Subs: Charles-Cook (GK), Turnbull, Bigirimana, Reid.

MK Dons: Martin (GK), Baldock (Downing 82'), Lewington (C), Walsh, Upson, Reeves, O'Keefe, Williams, Agard (Ngombo 69'), Muirhead (Potter 75'), Barnes.  

Subs: Nicholls (GK), Bowditch, Brittain, Tilney.

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