Boateng comes to the Dons' rescue with late leveller at Cheltenham

Supersub Hiram Boateng rifled home a late equaliser to rescue a deserved point for MK Dons at Cheltenham Town.

Saturday, 4th September 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th September 2021, 5:06 pm
MK Dons' Charlie Brown is left flat on his back after missing a chance in the first half at Cheltenham Town

Despite dominating possession and creating a host of chances, the Dons looked to be heading for defeat as they entered the 87th minute still trailing to Kyle Joseph's 13th-minute strike.

But up popped second-half substitute Boateng to smash home the equaliser after a Daniel Harvie had been deflected into his patch.

The goal ensured a share of the spoils for the Dons, and sent the 559 travelling fans back to Buckinghamshire with a spring in their step.

Cheltenham's players celebrate going 1-0 up at Whaddon Road

Dons head coach Liam Manning made three changes from the team that beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 last weekend.

Loan signing Peter Kioso was handed his Dons debut in place of Tennai Watson, while Charlie Brown and Josh McEachran also won starts, replacing the injured Mo Eisa, and Troy Parrott who is away on international duty.

After a cagey opening the game burst into life on 13 minutes, with Dons forcing the first save of the match from Scott Flinders, who gathered a shot from Brown.

A minute later it was Andrew Fisher who was picking the ball out of the net though, having been beaten by a long-range strike from Joseph, making his Robins debut having signed on loan earlier this week from Swansea City.

Match action from Cheltenham Town versus MK Dons

The home side had their tails up, and Fisher was forced into a full-length dive to keep out a 25-yard free-kick effort from Chris Hussey.

Dons responded well though and quickly went close through efforts from Kioso, Harry Darling and Harvie, but couldn't make the breakthrough.

With half-time approaching, there was another good chance for Brown to level the scores after being set up by Ethan Robson, but his strike went the wrong side of the post and hit the side netting.

That was to be the last real opening of the half, and Dons went in at the break trailing 1-0.

Manning opted against making any changes, and at the start of the second half the Dons continued to enjoy the better of the opportunities, without making any of them count.

On 57 minutes the Dons head coach made a double change, with Brown and McEachran going off, being replaced by Boateng and Josh Martin.

And the switch almost paid instant dividends, only for Flinders to make a great save and deny Boateng an equaliser.

Scott Twine then went close as Dons piled on the pressure, but they very nearly went 2-0 down moments later, only for for Kioso to produce a headed goal line clearance to deny Ellis Chapman.

The game was getting stretched now, and Dons immediately raced up the other end, only for Robson to fire over the top.

The home side were working hard to hold on to their advantage, and although Dons continued to dominate possession, the chances were starting to dry up.

With nine minutes of normal time remaining, Manning made his final throw of the dice as Watson came on for Kioso.

And with three minutes left on the clock, Dons got the reward their efforts deserved as they levelled.

Harvie threw a cross into the box, and it was deflected into the path of a grateful Boateng who hammered the ball into the net to make it 1-1 and secure a point

Match facts

Cheltenham: Scott Flinders, Sean Long, Chris Hussey, Lewis Freestone, Liam Sercombe, Alfie May, Ellis Chapman, Will Boyle, Callum Wright, Matty Blair, Kyle Joseph. Substitutes: Owen Evans, Mattie Pollock, Conor Thomas, Andy Williams, Taylor Perry, Elliot Bonds, Grant Horton

MK Dons: Andrew Fisher, Dean Lewington, Warren O'Hora, Harry Darling, Matt O'Riley, Scott Twine, Charlie Brown, Josh McEachran, Ethan Robson, Daniel Harvie, Peter Kioso. Substitutes: Franco Ravizzoli, Tennai Watson, Zak Jules, Josh Martin, Aden Baldwin, Hiram Boateng, Jay Bird

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 3,704 (559 MK Dons fans)