MK Dons were sent to their third straight defeat as former player Ryan Lowe came back to haunt them and scored a late goal to hand Tranmere Rovers victory, writes Liam Andrews.
Karl Robinson made three changes to the side that were heavily defeated by Carlisle midweek as Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell and loanee signing Jordan Spence replaced Dele Alli, Chris Long and Tom Flanagan.
And despite dominating the majority of the game and creating a host of chances, the Dons just couldn’t find the breakthrough, and late on the recent run of ex-players scoring against them continued as Lowe tapped home after Jake Cassidy pulled a shot across goal.
It was Reeves had the first attempt of the match as his driven effort at goal was parried out for a corner by Owain Fon Williams. And Reeves was involved again as he fed striker Powell who fired his first time effort wide of the post.
The 22-year-old midfielder was at the centre of everything and his shot from outside the box flew just off target. Somehow the home side didn’t take the lead when Reeves turned brilliantly and chipped into Powell who just couldn’t get a shot away, before Samir Carruthers stabbed the ball at goal only for it to be deflected wide.
Then it was Bowditch’s turn to show his talent as he took the ball pas two Tranmere defenders before laying it off to the always involved Reeves whose low drive at goal was well stopped by Fon Williams.
Carruthers then poked a superb ball through to Powell who tried to lob the goalkeeper, and it beat him, but looped over the bar too. After a long period without anything happening, Ash Taylor had Tranmere’s first proper chance as he headed a free-kick just over David Martin’s goal.
Down the other end, Powell went on a brilliant run twisting and turning past many Rovers’ players before firing his low effort at goal, but Fon Williams denied him. And from the resulting corner Antony Kay’s header was straight at the goalkeeper.
Tranmere started the second half a lot better and started putting pressure on the Dons, without creating many chances, although Martin had to make a strong save from Cassidy’s effort. And then the Dons had two chances in quick succession as Carruthers fired comfortably at Fon Williams after Reeves had curled off target.
Dons captain Dean Lewington came close to putting his side ahead as he was inches away from connecting with Stephen Gleeson’s in-swinging free-kick. From a Gleeson corner, Lewington headed down to Powell whose effort was blocked on the line before the ball fell to Carruthers just outside the box, but his shot flew just wide of the post.
Substitute Izale McLeod had two brilliant chances to score. Firstly, Dele Alli beat his man in the area before pulling back to the forward who delayed shooting and eventually lost the ball, before his header from Carruthers’ whipped cross was cleared off the line.
And on the verge of stoppage time, the worst happened as Cassidy fired across goal and ex-Don Lowe was on hand to tap home a winner as the home side fell to a third straight defeat and were booed at the final whistle.
MK Dons: Martin; Hodson, Kay, Spence, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Bowditch (Alli 59), Reeves, Carruthers; Powell (McLeod 71).
Subs not used: McLoughlin (GK), Flanagan, Chadwick, Smith, Baldock.
Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Taylor, Wallace (c), Lowe, Cassidy, Jennings, Kennedy (Kirby 71), Koumas, Ridehalgh, Pennington, Arthurworrey.
Subs not used: Mooney (GK), Holmes, Goodison, Robinson, Kirby, Stockton, Power.
Goal: Lowe 90.