Peterborough continue to hold sign over Dons

Match report
Match report

Karl Robinson’s torrid record at London Road continued on Saturday as his side were brought back down to earth against Peterborough.

The 3-2 defeat comes just days after Dons’ important 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon - a result which saw them drawn against Manchester United in the second round of the Captial One Cup.

Robinson was keen to keep his side’s eyes firmly on league action, and they were somewhat unlucky not to leave London Road with a point after a thrilling game between the two rivals.

Dean Bowditch and Will Grigg returned to the starting line-up after missing out against AFC, replacing Benik Afobe and Daniel Powell.

Dons edged the play in the first half, though it was the home side who had the first chance to eye up the goal, but Jon Taylor’s free kick 20 yards out curled just past David Martin’s upright.

Dons hit back with a chance of their own when Bowditch’s cross was deflecting into the grateful arms of Ben Alnwick, before a last-ditch challenge from defender Michael Smith denied Ben Reeves getting a shot off.

Taylor registered the first shot on target when he fired straight down the throat of Martin after a well-worked corner.

A stunning save from Alnwick denied Grigg’s header finding the top the left-hand corner from Danny Green’s pinpoint cross on 19 minutes, prior to Dean Lewington firing over after the latter’s corner had once again caused problems in the hosts’ box. Green’s influence on Dons has been great already this season, having set up five of Dons’ seven goals in the opening two games of the season.

Peterborough keeper Alnwick was again called into action seven minutes later, pulling off another fine save to stop Bowditch’s effort finding the back of the net after he had latched on to Grigg’s clever pass.

Both keepers were earning their money in the first half alone, and it was soon Martin’s turn to ensure the score remained level on the half-hour mark when he superbly kept out Conor Washington’s low drive with his right leg.

Dons countered on 39 minutes and, after twisting and turning away from his marker, Reeves sent a shot goalwards which deflected agonisingly wide of the bottom left-hand corner.

Less than 60 seconds later, Posh carved a chance at the other end as the entertainment continued, with Martin expertly tipping Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s stinging 30-yard blast just over the bar.

Just as it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a goal-less opening half, the deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half-time when McEvoy’s 20-yard effort took a fortuitous deflection and lofted over Martin to give the hosts the lead.

It only took the Dons three minutes of the second period to draw level, Alli pouncing from close range after Grigg’s shot was saved by Alnwick following a mesmerising turn from the striker.

Robinson introduced Afobe to the action, replacing Reeves on 58 minutes, but it was unlikely source of Lee Hodson who had the next chance which he dragged well wide of target.

The next 10 minutes saw a lull in terms of chances but not in terms of intensity as both sides looked to take control of proceedings with the business end of the game approaching.

A perfectly-waited pass from Kyle McFadzean set Bowditch away on 78 minutes left but Alnwick was up to the challenge and saved the forward’s chipped effort.

That proved to be Bowditch’s last involvement as he was replaced by Powell a minute later, but neither he nor his team-mates could stop Peterborough substitute Kyle Vassell guiding a close-range effort into the back of the net to give the hosts a 2-1 lead. with just 11 minutes to go.

Vassell made it 3-1 with five minutes remaining when he capitalised on some in-decision by Martin and Antony Kay and headed into an empty net.

Powell pulled one back less than a minute later when he latched on to a forward pass, wriggled away from his marker and neatly lifted the ball over the on-rushing Alnwick.

Five minutes of additional time gave the Dons hope but neither Alli nor Powell could level matters with late chances.