REPORT: MK Dons 1-0 Gillingham: Sow marks his debut with winning goal

Match report
Match report

Osman Sow capped an excellent debut for MK Dons as he scored the only goal of the game to give Dons their first win, and indeed points of the season as they beat Gillingham at Stadium MK.

His goal a minute into the second half, heading home Aaron Tshibola's cross, was Dons' first strike since Dean Lewington's last minute header back on April 1, ironically against Gillingham, and secured all three points.

But it could have been much more, had Kieran Agard netted his penalty seven minutes from time, while Gillingham could have snatched it with a penalty of their own, but Josh Wright smashed it over the bar.

Striker Osman Sow was handed his first start for the club after signing on Monday after the Swede was granted international clearance. He started up alongside Ryan Seager in a 4-4-2.

After being handed a new contract on Friday, Joe Walsh replaced skipper Dean Lewington at left back and George Williams donned the captain's armband.

With all eyes on Sow in the opening half, the home supporters were given a few glimpses of what they had to look forward to. Teaming up well with Seager, the striker was making great runs in behind the Gillingham back line, and showing off his strength by holding up the ball. He almost opened his account after 24 minutes too, turned the ball by Seager but under pressure from the Gills defence, fired over.

Another strong move saw Seager and Sow combine again, only this time a scything challenge brought down Sow right on the edge of the box. While there were questions of a penalty, a free kick was awarded, and his strike, fierce as it was, was deflected over the top.

In a one-sided affair, Gillingham provided precious little at the other end. Getting into a couple of decent positions though, their final ball was rushed and often rash, giving Dons' back four an easy ride for the most part.

Having scored Dons' only goal of the campaign so far - a strike in the second half of extra time against Forest Green Rovers - Gboly Ariyibi nearly scored the goal of the season just before the break when he cut inside from the left flank, and with a couple of step overs to send his men on the dummy, the strike was narrowly over the bar.

While their chances were tough to come by in the first half, it needed just 69 second half seconds for Dons to finally open their account in the league, and it came from their new man. Breaking clear in the midfield, Aaron Tsibola picked out an inch-perfect ball to Sow, who has pulled off the shoulder of Alex Lacey to send a diving header past keeper Tomas Holy to give Dons the lead. It would be Sow's final role in the game as he was replaced on the hour by Kieran Agard.

It would be another debutant though who would raise a few eyebrows when he was introduced - that of Peter Pawlett. The Scot, who replaced the ineffective Robbie Muirhead, had Gillingham back-peddling countless times, eager to take the ball on and run with it, giving Dons a much-needed outlet.

Gillingham had a brief spell in the game when Dons appeared to let their foot off the gas, but balls in towards Tom Eaves were often poor and out of his reach, despite his stature.

With seven minutes to go, Dons were handed a brilliant opportunity to secure the win when Ryan Seager was downed by the unfortunate Tomas Holy in the area, but Kieran Agard's penalty was a poor one and was easily denied by the Gills keeper.

Gillingham though would get their chance late in the day to snatch an unlikely point, and it came from a similarly dubious penalty decision from referee Trevor Kettle. Lee Nicholls and Liam Nash collided in the air as the Gills striker sent his effort well over the bar, but the referee pointed to the spot. Incredibly though, Josh Wright sent his penalty sailing over the crossbar.

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 7,901

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Walsh, Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Cisse, Tshibola, Ariyibi (Upson 81), Muirhead (Pawlett 52), Seager, Sow (Agard 60)
Subs not used: Sietsma, Lewington, McGrandles, Brittain

Gillingham: Holy, O'Neill, Lacey (Oldaker 81), Ehmer, Zakuani, Eaves, Martin, Ogilvie, Parker (Nash 62), Byrne, Wright
Subs not used: Arnold, Hessenthaler, Nugent, Simpson, Cundle, Nash

Booked: Tshibola, Byrne, Ehmer, Martin, Cisse