Burton 1-2 MK Dons: Dons kick off their Papa John’s Trophy campaign with a win
Burton Albion 1-2 MK Dons
Burton 1-2 MK Dons: Match Report
A second-string MK Dons won their opening Papa John’s Trophy game by seeing off Burton Albion 2-1 at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday night.
After a tight opening 45 minutes, Jay Bird finally got Dons on the board when he snuck his shot in at the near post after 58 minutes. Six minutes later, Harry Darling converted from close range to double their lead but Matt O’Riley’s own goal with 18 minutes to go threatened to make a game of it.
Promising a lot of changes, Liam Manning made eight to the side which started against Accrington Stanley on Saturday. Only Harry Darling, Tennai Watson and Daniel Harvie remained in the team, highlighting Dons' shortcomings at full-back. However, they were boosted 45 minutes before kick-off with the signing of Luton right-back Peter Kioso on loan for the season as the transfer window drew to a close.
Much like the opening 45 minutes against Accrington at the weekend, there was precious little to write home about for either side. Laurie Walker's eagerness to make himself available for a pass almost saw Dons pass into their own net when playing back to the keeper, but Harry Darling recovered to clear off the line.
At the other end, there was precious little to hang their hats off, though Charlie Brown had two decent efforts within three minutes of each other towards the end of the half - the first saved by Ellery Balcombe while the second was headed off the line by Conor Shaughnessy.
Walker almost got caught out when Danny Lowe's cross was misjudged and bounced off the top of the bar as Dons lacked any real control in the attacking third.
Though it was a sticky first half, the second came alive when Jay Bird gave Dons the lead on 58 mintues, finishing off a great move which initially saw Josh Martin do really well to get away an initial effort.
Dons would double their lead six minutes later when Darling tapped in after Brown's effort was saved by Balcombe, but palmed into the path of the skipper for the night to score his first for the club.
The second goal though kicked Burton into gear and after a double substitution from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the hosts got back in it when Matt O'Riley, who replaced Josh McEachran early in the second period, got the last touch on a free-kick into the box to divert it past Walker.
The visitors would prove to be frustrating in the final 20 minutes though as they tried to manage the game out, but Burton would not let them settle and continued to force the issue late in the day but Dons would ultimately hold on for their first points of the competition.
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Burton Albion: Balcombe, Borthwick-Jackson (Gilligan 74), Morris (Smith 64), Patrick, Shaughnessy, Rowe, Blake-Tracy, Amadi-Holooway, Leak, Williams (Taylor 64) , Hamer
Subs not used: Garratt, Powell, Radcliffe, Latty-Fairweather
MK Dons: Walker, Darling, Jules, Baldwin, Watson (O'Hora 89), Harvie (Ilunga 72), Boateng, McEachran (O'Riley 57), Martin, Bird, Brown
Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Johnson, Freeman, Gyamfi
Booked: Jules, Blake-Tracy