MK Dons: A win-less September

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Few would have predicted MK Dons to keep up their early season form, especially given the fixtures they faced this September. Based on results, the didn’t. However, the performances they have put in against some of the league’s bigger teams are definitely something to be proud of. But as everybody knows, it’s goals and points that matter, not necessarily performances.

MK Dons: A win-less September

Middlesbrough 2-0 MK Dons

The odds were always in favour of the home side in this one, but despite eventually prevailing, the travelling Dons certainly gave ‘Boro a game. They held out one the Championship’s strongest sides until the 70th minute when Stewart Downing showed his quality with a wonderful curling effort. Simon Church clipped the post for the Dons before that, but David Nugent wrapped up the win, capitalising on a Kyle McFadzean mistake.

Burnley 2-1 MK Dons

An England international goalkeeper and one of the league’s deadliest strikers were in the Burnley squad as the Dons travelled to Turf Moor for the first league meeting between the two. Everyone thought it would be a complete walkover by Burnley, however it was anything but that. The Dons created a lot of early chances, but against the run of play Sam Vokes fired home for Burnley. Deservedly though, MK equalised through Carl Baker’s header just before half time. Early in the second half though, MK conceded again through George Boyd’s exquisite volley. Conceding goals would fast become an unwanted trait for the Dons.

MK Dons 1-2 Leeds United

Once again it was poor defending that let down the Dons in front of a huge crowd at stadium:mk. Leeds took the lead through Chris Wood’s penalty after Carl Baker had fouled Charlie Taylor, and it was Taylor who doubled the lead with a fine strike from the edge of the area. Simon Church halfed the deficit but it wasn’t enough and once again the better side had lost.

MK Dons 1-3 Derby County

The scoreline really isn’t a reflection of how this game was. Backed by a strong crowd in the lunchtime fixture, MK were by far the better team in a goalless first half, creating plenty of opportunities, and even thought they had gone ahead through Church, but he was flagged offside. Again against the run of play, Derby took the lead through Bradley Johnson who slotted home a square ball from the left. Finally, MK got the goal they deserved through Josh Murphy, smashing home under Scott Carson. MK thought they had taken the lead in the 85th minute but the referee ruled that Antony Kay’s header hadn’t crossed the line despite furious protests from the fans. Darren Bent tapped Derby in front in the 89th minute, and Tom Ince delivered the final sucker-punch when he stole the ball off Diego Poyet and fired past David Martin with the last kick of the game.

You could argue that in all four of the league games this season, the Dons were the better side. But with no points and only 3 goals to show for it, you could also argue that they aren’t doing enough to either score more or concede less. October’s fixtures do look a lot kinder than what September’s were, and with the acquisitions of Nicky Maynard and Jake Forster-Caskey, there should be some more goals and more defensive solidity added to the side. Bristol City are the next opponents as MK travel to Ashton Gate where they look to get their season back on track, followed by the visit of Blackburn and then a trip to Yorkshire to face Huddersfield and then to West London to face QPR. Hull City at home completes the October fixtures. There’s definitely some winnable games in there.