Dons fightback to snatch pre-season draw

Santiago Aloi. Pic Lee Scriven
Santiago Aloi. Pic Lee Scriven

Dons had to come back from two goals behind against Irish Premier Division side University College Dublin to salvage a draw in their second pre-season friendly last night (Tuesday),

Robert Benson and Dean Clarke put UCD two goals up inside 20 minutes as Dons started slowly, but Argentinian trialist Santiago Aloi pulled one back before Luke Chadwick bundled one over the line to equalise just before half time.

UCD are bottom of the Irish Premier Division, but capitalised on some sleepy defending allowing Benson to drill low past Ian McLoughlin in the Dons goal.

Dons controlled the tempo of the game, with some swift passing moves, but committing men forward, they were caught out again as Clarke netted on the counter.

Mcloughlin was certainly staking his claim for the number one jersey as he made a fine double-save to prevent Tyrone McNelis from making it 3-0.

Alan Smith was shifted into a move attacking role, and quickly won his side a penalty which was dispatched by Aloi to pull a goal back for the away side.

On the stroke of half-time Chadwick weaved his way into the area, held off several challenges, and turned in the equaliser from six-yards.

Boss Karl Robinson made a host of changes at half time, but for all their second half dominance, Dons couldn’t make it count.

UCD keeper Michael Kelly denied Izale McLeod and McLoughlin kept Dons in the game at the other end, while UCD had a strike ruled out for offside.

Dons return to England on Thursday ahead of two friendly games on Saturday - against Newport Pagnell and Leighton Town.