Leyton Orient 0-0 MK Dons: Spoils shared in London

Match report
Match report

Dons shared the points in a gritty 0-0 draw with 10-man Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors came close through Mark Randall and Benik Afobe, but had David Martin to thank at the other end, making a string of superb stops in the first half to keep things level.

An otherwise drab second period was given some much needed spice in the closing stages when Mathieu Baudry was booked twice in quick succession reducing the home side to 10 men for the final five minutes, but it had little effect on the final outcome.

Karl Robinson made three changes to the team which started against AFC Wimbledon 11 days ago. Darren Potter missed out through illness, while Samir Carruthers and Tom Hitchcock returned to the substitutes bench. Antony Kay returned to the centre of defence, while Ben Reeves and Dele Alli came back into the centre.

The first 10 minutes sailed past, with Dons very much the team on the front foot. Daniel Powell was at the heart of most of the action for the visitors, twice getting in behind, but failed to make keeper Gary Woods work.

Orient had half a chance too when Jay Simpson spun Kay, but his pull back to Darius Henderson was too obvious , allowing Kyle McFadzean to step in front and easily clean up.

As the game flowed from end-to-end, Dons should have taken the lead on the 20 minute mark but for some heroic goalkeeping from Woods. As the ball dropped to Randall 25 yards out, he took a punt at goal forcing Woods into a fine acrobatic stop. But he parried the ball only as far as Afobe, who looked for all the world as though he’d poke home the opener, but Woods recovered brilliantly to get a block on the effort, sending it up onto the crossbar.

Ten minutes later, it was David Martin’s turn to keep his side in it. Orient were in the midst of a decent spell of possession, and won a string of corners. But as Dons cleared one to neigh on half way, Shane Lowry chanced his arm from 35 yards. Destined for the top corner, Martin flew across his line to get a big right hand to it to keep the scores at a stalemate.

Orient really should have been in the lead after 35 minutes, but for another wasted opportunity by the home side. Dons’ corner was easily cleared to Jack Price, who in turn switched play to Batt on the far side. Randall looked as though he intercepted the pass, but his touch only allowed Batt in one-on-one with Martin. But as the keeper made himself big, Batt wasted the chance by shooting tamely at him.

Martin would again be called on to keep Dons level on the stroke of half time, when Kay and McFadzean committed themselves to blocking Price’s shot from the edge, leaving Henderson free to pick up the loose ball and fire on goal. Martin though flew to his left again to keep the call out.

The second half saw Dons switch, initially anyway, to a more direct approach. And it almost paid off several times in the opening 15 minutes of the half, as Afobe, Bowditch and Powell came within inches of latching on to long balls in behind the Orient defence.

Randall showed glimpses of brilliance in his central roll, filling in for Potter, but his tackling left a lot to be desired. After a culmination of silly fouls in the first half, he eventually picked up a booking for his troubles. And after another needless tackle on halfway, referee Graham Horwood read him his final warning, prompting Robinson to replace him with Carl Baker with 20 minutes to go.

With Woods remaining untested, Robinson opted to change things up, introducing Will Grigg to the action with 13 minutes to go, replacing Reeves.

Neither side really looked like taking the game on in the closing stages, though Price’s free kick from 30 yards was sent just over the top of the crossbar - as close as they home side would come in the second period.

The home side were reduced to 10 men when Mathieu Baudry picked up his second booking in quick succession for a needless foul on Afobe on half way. It’d mean little in the scheme of things though as the points were shared.

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 5,014 (713)

Leyton Orient: Woods, Vincelot, Cuthbert, Baudry, Lowry, Batt (Dagnall 58), Clarke (C), Prtichard, Henderson, Price, Simpson

Subs not used: Omozusi, Lee, Kashket, Bartley, Grainger, Ling

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Alli, Randall (Baker 71), Powell (Carruthers 81), Bowditch, Reeves (Grigg 78), Afobe

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Hitchcock

Booked: Randall, Kay, Clarke, Baudry, Afobe, Grigg

Sent off: Baudry