Dons’ disappointment after Ipswich Town draw should be taken as a positive

Ipswich Town 2-2 MK Dons

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 9:50 pm

Matt O’Riley strokes home Dons’ equaliser in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road

The sense of disappointment in MK Dons’ dressing room after their 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday was a positive sign of things to come, said Matt O’Riley.

The 20-year-old put in a brilliant shift in the centre of the park alongside Ethan Robson to give Dons a firm control over the game at Portman Road in front of nearly 20,000 supporters - the biggest crown O’Riley has ever played for.

But despite twice coming from behind, it was the visitors who could and probably should have gone on to win the game, with Josh Martin thumping the bar with the final kick of the game.

It meant the Dons squad felt a little defeated come the full-time whistle, but for O’Riley, it’s a sign they aren’t willing to accept draws against tough sides this season.

“I think we are disappointed which is a good sign,” he said. “Ipswich is a really tough place to come, and they've bought some really good players. We've come here and put on a really good performance, and it's a good sign we're disappointed to come away with a point.

“We came into the game knowing Ipswich were on a bad run and we tried to put our foot down. We really took the game it Ipswich which is impressive given the age of our team. We've put on a really good show. We didn't come away with three points but I feel like we were the better team which is really cool.”

His goal came just three minutes after Town had retaken the lead through Macaulay Bonne’s second of the afternoon, tapping home Scott Fraser’s cross with 18 minutes to go.

Capitalising on a bit of uncertainty from Ipswich’s Luke Woolfenden, O’Riley raced through on goal with Mo Eisa in support but went it alone, bending the ball past Vaclav Hladky to level.

On the goal, O’Riley added: “Honestly, when I was running at goal, I was going to square it every day of the week but when I saw the defender cut off hte angle, I thought I should just stick it in the net and I did.

“I'm playing slightly deeper but I have to be more aware of playing for the team first, and if i can help out with goals, and I do want to score more and create more, I'll do my best to do that.”