Dons and Ipswich play out a thriller as they share the spoils at Portman Road

Ipswich Town 2-2 MK Dons

By Toby Lock
Saturday, 21st August 2021, 5:05 pm
<p>Ipswich Town and MK Dons share a remarkable 2-2 draw at Portman Road. Macauley Bonne netted a brace for the hosts, but Scott Twine and Matt O’Riley ensure it was a thrilling game</p>

Ipswich Town and MK Dons share a remarkable 2-2 draw at Portman Road. Macauley Bonne netted a brace for the hosts, but Scott Twine and Matt O’Riley ensure it was a thrilling game

The spoils were shared in a quite brilliant game at Portman Road as MK Dons and Ipswich Town drew 2-2.

Like a basketball game, the teams flew back and forth at each other, but Macauley Bonne’s excellent volley midway through the first half separated the sides at the break.

Ethan Robson and Wes Burns hit the woodwork for both sides, before Scott Twine’s excellent free-kick drew Dons level on 58 minutes.

Back came Ipswich though with Bonne netting his second with 18 minutes to go, but Matt O’Riley equalised three minutes later.

Norwich loanee Josh Martin could have won it for Liam Manning’s side at the very death but saw his strike hit the bar as the spoils had to be shared.

The wing-backs were different from Tuesday night's win over Charlton Athletic as Liam Manning made two changes to his side. Tennai Watson came into the side again for Aden Baldwin on the right, while Zak Jules moved to the left-hand side as Dean Lewington came in for Daniel Harvie who missed out through concussion protocols.

Ipswich were without a win coming into the game, and it afforded Dons a great opportunity to pick up their first ever win at Portman Road and the game played out at a frantic pace early on.

Dons looked a threat through both Scott Twine and Troy Parrott, as has been the trend so far this season, with the former testing keeper Vaclav Hladky's gloves early with a strike from the edge of the box.

With the visitors looking settled though, Dons fell behind for the third time in as many games from relatively nothing from the Ipswich perspective. A long ball forward aimed at Macauley Bonne caught keeper Andrew Fisher in two minds, and by not coming for it, he found himself completely out of position as the ball dropped to Bonne, who lashed it into the net to give them the lead on 16 minutes.

Not perturbed by it though, Dons continued to play on the front foot and were inches away from an equaliser 10 minutes later when Ethan Robson joined Mo Eisa's counter-attack, but saw his effort hit the top of the crossbar.

While Fisher made amends for his earlier error with a cracking stop from Fraser's free-kick, which he saw late after Lewington ducked out of the way, it was Dons who looked the more threatening in the latter stages of the half.

Twine, having earlier seen an effort saved, then had Hladky scrambling again with what would have been a goal of the season contender when he hit the ball on the turn from 35-yards but saw it fly just wide of the post into the side-netting.

The action-packed nature of the game continued well into the second half, as both sides went all-out for it. It could have been curtains for Dons early on in the second period though when Wes Burns robbed Lewington of the ball but with two in support, went it alone but saw his strike tipped onto the post by Fisher.

Like a basketball game the ball went from end-to-end, as Harry Darling and the excellent Matt O'Riley came close. But after having two good efforts in the first half, Twine drew Dons level on 58 minutes with a brilliantly taken free-kick from the edge of the box which Hladky could only palm into his own net.

The former Swindon man almost scored another wonderful strike just a few minutes later when he chanced his arm from 35-yards which had the Ipswich keeper scrambling once again to deny him.

The home side looked distinctly second best in front of their own supporters who were growing restless, but former MK Dons midfielder Scott Fraser's excellent cross allowed Bonne to slide in their second with 18 minutes to go.

That lead though would only last three minutes as O'Riley did what Burns couldn't earlier. In stealing the ball from Luke Woolfenden, O'Riley had Eisa in support but went it alone and bent the equaliser into the bottom corner.

Both sides continued to battle right to the death, but it was Dons who should have won it with the final kick of the game. After Ethan Robson won the ball in the centre circle in the fifth minute of time added on, Twine had options to his left and right but slid in Norwich boy Josh Martin to take a touch but his strike clattered the bar before the final whistle.

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 18,622 (501)

Ipswich Town: Hladky, Harper, Woolfenden, Burns (Carroll 66), Evans, Fraser, Bonne, Vincent-Young, Burgess, Coulson (Penney 60), Edwards

Subs not used: Holy, Pigott, Barry, Dobra, Donacien

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Darling, O'Hora, Jules (Baldwin 90), Watson, Robson, O'Riley, Twine, Parrott (Martin 70), Eisa (Brown 79)

Subs not used: Ravizzoli, McEachran, Boateng, Ilunga

Booked: O'Hora, Vincent-Young, Woolfenden