Dons 2-2 Brentford: Dons come from behind to snatch a point

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An Izale McLeod header deep into stoppage time rescued a point for MK Dons as came from 2-0 down to draw with Brentford.

Alan Judge’s corner made it through David Martin’s hands just before half time to allow James Tarkowski to fire Brentford in front, before Clayton Donaldson doubled the lead just before the hour mark.

It had been more than 10 hours since Dons had scored at home, but Stephen Gleeson finally ended the counter when he converted a penalty with 12 minutes to go before McLeod’s late header rescued an unlikely point.

Dons were without teenage sensation Dele Alli for the game against already-promoted Brentford, and could name just four substitutes on the bench. Giorgio Rasulo made his first senior start, while Brendan Galloway replaced Sanmi Odelusi who was injured against Port Vale on Good Friday.

With nothing riding on the game for either side, it made for a slow and patient game, with plenty of midfield play. Neither side looked particularly impressive in the attacking third.

Brentford’s best chance of taking the lead came after just three minutes when Adam Forshaw wormed himself a bit of space on the edge of the box to bend a right footed shot on target, but David Martin easily collected down to his left.

Daniel Powell came closest to opening the scoring for the home side when he reached Izale McLeod’s 23rd minute cross, but couldn’t quite direct it goal-wards, clipping the side netting as it went wide.

McLeod could think himself unlucky five minutes later when raced on to Dean Lewington’s ball over the top, beating James Tarkowski for pace, before appearing to have his heels clipped by the Bees defender as he closed in on goal. Referee Tim Robinson

Brentford thought they’d opened the scoring after 34 minutes when David Martin spilled Stuart Dallas’ shot into the path of Clayton Donaldson who tapped home, but he hadn’t beaten the offside trap and it was chalked off.

So thin was Dons squad, only four substitutes made the bench but one of them, Ryan Hall, was called upon on the stroke of half time as the threatening Powell went down holding his knee, cutting short his afternoon.

But there was still time for Dons to be key instigators in their own downfall as they would go in behind at the break. Martin looked like he would easily collect Alan Judge’s stoppage time corner, but somehow it sailed through his hands, and was blasted in by Tarkowski from close range.

Brentford’s second, which came a minute before the hour mark, was almost as simple as the opener. Slid in by Forshaw, Clayton Donaldson drifted in from the left flank and got goal-side of Baldock, took a touch to steady himself before placing the ball neatly into the bottom corner.

The goal zapped what little enthusiasm Dons were showing in the encounter, and as the clock ticked to the hour mark, it marked 10 hour since their last goal at stadium:mk. And they didn’t look like bringing that stopwatch to an end at all against Brentford.

In fact, the visitors, already in party mode, looked the most likely to add to the scoresheet when Forshaw’s half volley stung Martin’s palms as he shook off Jordan Spence with 20 minutes to go.

But the rather unwelcome record finally came to an end at 10 hours and 18 minutes when McLeod was scythed down by keeper David Button in the area as Stephen Gleeson’s shot was deflected into his path. With the referee pointing to the spot, Gleeson did the duty of rifling in the first Dons goal at stadium:mk since February 15 - and giving the home side a much-needed lifeline with 12 minutes to go.

And in incredible fashion, deep into stoppage time, Dons completed that comeback when McLeod towered above the Brentford defence to nod home Ryan Hall’s cross to equalise for the home side.

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 10,549 (3,368)

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Smith (Randall 72), Spence, Galloway, Gleeson, Rasulo (Loveridge 66), Baldock, Kennedy, Powell (Hall 45), McLeod

Subs not used: Burns, Loveridge

Brentford: Button, Forshaw, Craig, Douglas (Diagouraga 77), Donaldson, Grigg, Dallas, Judge (Saville 65), Bidwell, Tarkowski (O’Connor 65), Yennaris

Subs not used: Lee, Reeves, Trotta, Adams

Booked: Baldock, Yennaris, Button