Darling slip costs hands victory to Blackpool

MK Dons 0-1 Blackpool

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 10:06 pm

A costly Harry Darling error gifted Jerry Yates the only goal of the game as MK Dons suffered their third defeat in a row, losing 1-0 to Blackpool at Stadium MK.

In a largely uneventful game, Darling's slip allowed the Tangerines front man, who ran himself ragged all evening, to round keeper Andrew Fisher to roll home what would turn out to be the winner to do the double over Russell Martin's side.

While Cameron Jerome would hit the bar in the second period, chances were rare for either side, though CJ Hamilton almost rubbed salt into the wounds when he pinched the ball from Warren O'Hora but was denied by Fisher.

The result sees Dons remain 16th.

After Saturday's defeat to Wigan, Russell Martin made four changes to the side as he tinkered with the formation too. Opting to go with one up front, Cameron Jerome returned to the side as did Matthew Sorinola and Andrew Surman, while Josh McEachran was handed his first start for the club. Will Grigg, Daniel Harvie and Joe Mason dropped to the bench, while Jordan Houghton missed out.

It could have been a perfect start for the home side as they opted to kick towards the Cowshed in the first half, with both Cameron Jerome and Ethan Laird coming close early on, with the latter putting over the bar from just six yards.

As Blackpool grew into the game, the game fell flat as both sides fairly cancelled each other out, resulting in a scrappy and drab affair, with neither really able to create much to cause a problem.

Dons' defensive errors have been thrust under the spotlight of late, and it was another one which would gift the visitors the lead. When Harry Darling was caught in possession about 20 yards outside his box by Jerry Yates, the striker rounded keeper Andrew Fisher to roll Blackpool into a 33rd minute lead.

While Josh McEachran fizzed an effort just wide of the upright which would have been the perfect reply for Dons, Ollie Turton had Fisher leaping for his header but it landed on the roof of the net.

The second half was a similarly forgettable affair. Martin needed to make changes on the hour mark to get anything out of their side, and it almost did immediately when Will Grigg headed just wide barely a minute after coming on.

Their best chance came with 20 minutes to go though when Scott Fraser, who had been surrounded by three tangerine shirts all night, managed to get a little bit of freedom to slip in Jerome who did everything right in lifting the ball over keeper Chris Maxwell, only to see it come back off the bar.

Blackpool continued to be tenacious in the attacking third, and almost forced a second goal on the night when CJ Hamilton put Warren O'Hora under pressure to go through on goal, but Fisher did well to deny him.

But with few signs of ever getting a goal back, Dons slumped to their third defeat in a row.

Referee: Lee Swabey

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, O'Hora, Darling, Laird, Sorinola, Surman (Grigg 62), McEachran (Thompson 62), O'Riley, Fraser, Jerome

Subs not used: Nicholls, Jules, Brown, Mason, Harvie

Blackpool: Maxwell, Husband, Yates, Kaikai (Mitchell 68), Virtue (Dougall 81), Ward, Turton, Ballard, Garbutt, Embleton (Hamilton 68), Stewart

Subs not used: Moore, Gabriel, Thornily, Simms

Booked: O'Hora