REPORT: Bury 0-0 MK Dons - Loveless stalemate at Gigg Lane

Match report
Match report

It was another frustrating night for MK Dons as they drew 0-0 with Bury on Valentine's Day.

Chances at both ends came at a premium, but Dean Bowditch and Ben Tilney both forced saves from Shakers keeper Joe Murphy, but Stuart O'Keefe squandered the best chance of the game when he blasted Harvey Barnes' cross into the stand from 12 yards when he had to do better.

Tilney made his first league appearance as Robbie Neilson reshuffled his pack to cover for the suspended Darren Potter and Joe Walsh. George Williams was handed the captain's armband and was shifted in to the centre of the defence, while Dean Bowditch and Kieran Agard returned to the side as Nicky Maynard missed out through injury.

Bury, who started the day in the relegation zone, made the brighter start as Dons struggled to find their feet in the opening 15 minutes. But against a defence which has been pretty stingy of late, the home side couldn't really create anything to trouble David Martin.

But it wasn't long before Dons began to get into gear, and their passing game forced Bury onto the back foot. Harvey Barnes was having some joy down the right flank, but it was Chuks Aneke who came closest for the visitors, firing over the top from 25 yards out.

Dons certainly saw out the half the better side, but Joe Murphy remained untested despite their pressure. George Baldock twice saw sight of goal, once dragging it wide and then forcing a brave block from Bury defender Cam Burgess, who threw himself in the way.

The keeper did dirty his knees on the stroke of half time though as Dean Bowditch turned to shoot right-footed, but Murphy got down low to palm it to safety.

Tilney, after an initial mistake which almost let James Vaughan in behind, grew into the game and after some excellent interceptions, almost opened the scoring with a stoppage time free kick which went just wide.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, with Bury doing the early legwork. After withdrawing January's player of the month James Vaughan at half time, his replacement George Miller was charged with stretching the Dons defence, and he did just that when he burst past Williams, but took himself too wide, and his strike was easy for Martin to deal with.

As in the first half though, Dons grew into the half and began to creep back on top. Ed Upson was at the heart of everything the visitors did, driving his side forwards all too often, Dons were guilty of taking one too many touches.

Stuart O'Keefe squandered the best chance of the game with 15 minutes to go though, blazing over Barnes' cross from 12 yards, while Tilney then forced a great save from Murphy as Dons began to force the issue.

In the end though it would prove to be another frustrating watch for the fans, as the final pieces of the puzzle failed to fall into place in the attacking third.

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 2,005 (113)

Bury: Murphy, Leigh, C Burgess, Kay, Tutte, Pope (Lowe 80), Vaughan (Miller 46), Mellis, S Burgess (Pennant 70), Barnett, Moore

Subs not used: Lainton, Hope, Beading, Deslandes

MK Dons: Martin, Baldock, Downing, Williams, Tilney, O'Keefe, Potter, Upson, Barnes, Aneke (Powell 83), Agard (Ngombo 75)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Muirhead, Rasulo, Brittain, Thomas-Asante

Booked: O'Keefe, Upson, Martin