Fraser's late penalty sees Dons past Plymouth

MK Dons 2-1 Plymouth Argyle

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 9:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 9:14 pm
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MK Dons left it late again but Scott Fraser's 89th minute penalty made it back-to-back wins as they beat Plymouth Argyle 2-1 at Stadium MK.

Fraser hammered from the spot after Argyle skipper Joe Edwards handled in the box, settling the score after Cameron Jerome had given Dons a well-earned first half lead before a cracking effort from Conor Grant got the visitors level on the hour.

After Matt O'Riley's stoppage-time winner saw them past Accrington on Saturday, Dons' latest win lifts them to 14th in League One.

For a third game in a row, MK Dons named an unchanged line-up, with Cameron Jerome, fresh from his brace against Accrington, leading the line. The only change to the squad came on the bench, with Ben Gladwin replacing Jordan Houghton.

Building on a good showing against Accrington, Dons carried that into the first half against Plymouth. Passing swiftly and crisply on the awful Stadium MK surface, the home side were by far the more comfortable. Josh McEachran was enjoying a lot of the ball in the centre of the park, with Harry Darling too afforded a lot of space to roam into to spread play.

But it would be a mistake of their own creation which would cause them their only real problem, when Dean Lewington's ball back to Andrew Fisher lacked pace and Niall Ennis was able to nip in and pull back for Luke Jephcott, but Darling was able to head off the line.

That aside though, it was routine for Dons really, and they converted their dominance into a routine goal too midway through the half, with Matthew Sorinola picking out Cameron Jerome to head home – the third goal in 135 minutes the pair have combined to score.

Jerome could have had another when the ball was played over the top for him to chase, but his fierce half-volley was punched away by keeper Mike Cooper.

While the first half was routine for Dons, a renewed Plymouth side emerged for the second half and threatened to upset the apple cart. Without really troubling Fisher, Ryan Lowe's side were more lively and looked capable of getting back on level terms, and that they did in spectacular fashion on the hour mark.

Dons were expecting an offside flag for substitute Ryan Hardie - the man who separated the sides in the game at Home Park - but when he left it for Panutche Camara, play was allowed to continue and as the ball worked out, Conor Grant unleashed a brilliant effort from 25-yards, nestling into the side of the net, leaving Fisher with no chance.

Three changes shortly after the goal though gave Dons a much-needed lift for the remainder of the game. Will Grigg, Daniel Harvie and Ben Gladwin all gave Dons a new spark going forwards, with Grigg in particular coming close to finding a winner when he prodded Sorinola's cross just wide.

With a share of the spoils looking on the cards, a lazy arm left dangling from Argyle skipper Joe Edwards on Gladwin's cross saw referee Seb Stockbridge point to the spot with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Fraser made no mistakes to hit home his first goal in seven games to secure Dons' second win in succession, lifting them to 14th.

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Darling, O'Hora, Laird (Harvie 64), Sorinola (Jules 90), McEachran (Thompson 46), Surman (Gladwin 64), Fraser, O'Riley, Jerome (Grigg 64)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Mason

Plymouth Argyle: Cooper, Watts (Wood 84), Aimson, Edwards, Mayor, Grant, Fornah (Lewis 79), Ennis (Moore 84), Opoku, Camara, Jephcott (Hardie 57)

Subs not used: McCormick, Reeves, Lolos

Booked: Mayor, Jerome, O'Hora