Dons progress in Papa John’s Trophy after win over Wycombe

MK Dons 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 9:01 pm

MK Dons booked their spot in the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy with a win over Wycombe

Dons cruised into the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy with a second win in 10 days over Wycombe Wanderers.

Hiram Boateng opened the scoring after four minutes, before Brandon Hanlan threatened to make an exciting game of it, equalising three minutes later for the visitors.

But the game as a spectacle fizzled significantly thereafter, but Zak Jules’ fine effort on 64 minutes, coming in his 100th career start, was the difference between the sides as Dons claimed the win.

Having beaten Burton in their first group game by the same 2-1 scoreline, Aston Villa U21’s 4-2 win over the Brewers at the Pirelli Stadium means both victorious sides progress before they meet next month

After their first defeat in nine games, Liam Manning opted to make ten changes to his side from the one which started against Doncaster Rovers at the weekend. Warren O'Hora was the only survivor from that game, and he pulled on the captain's armband as David Kasumu and Mo Eisa made their first starts after injury and 17-year-old Brooklyn Ilunga was handed his first start for the club.

Harry Darling had pointed the finger at Dons' slow starts this season after their 2-1 defeat to Doncaster on Saturday, but they were the ones to open the scoring after just four minutes. Tennai Watson sparked the attack by finding Eisa up the right, and he delayed play before finding Watson again on the overlap to play a tempting ball into the six yard box for Hiram Boateng to slide Dons in front.

The lead though would last just three minutes as Wycombe bounced back with an almost carbon copy of the goal. Aden Baldwin lost possession allowing Connor Parson's to send a ball into the box for Brandon Hanlon to equalise past Franco Ravizzoli.

With a total of 18 changes between the sides, there was little flow and fluidity to the game. It was stop-start and neither side really found any semblence of flow - though Ravizzoli did his best to liven the affair when his misplaced pass to David Kasumu allowed Anis Mehmeti a free sight of goal, but after getting his feet sorted, saw his effort denied by a recovering O'Hora.

The second period followed a similar pattern, though Wycombe did the majority of the grunt work as they tried to force the issue and take the lead. David Wheeler and Jason McCarthy were constant threats to the Dons defence, but Ravizzoli was barely troubled despite a lot of huffing and puffing from the visitors.

Dons similar barely troubled Adam Przybek but retook the lead on 64 minutes courtesy of fine Zak Jules strike. Peeling off at the far post, he was picked out by Josh McEachran's free-kick, and Jules watched it onto his boot to volley coolly past the Wycombe keeper.

It did little to alter the course of the game - Wycombe continued to offer up empty threats at Ravizzoli's goal, while there was little Przybek had to do either, but it was enough to see Dons into the next round.

Referee: Christopher Pollard

Attendance: 1,320

MK Dons: Ravizzoli, O'Hora, Jules, Baldwin, Watson, Ilunga (Kioso 66), Kasumu (Robson 86), Boateng, McEachran, Martin, Eisa (Brown 63)

Subs not used: Fisher, Darling, Twine, Watters

Wycombe Wanderers: Przybek, Grimmer, Jacobson, Gape (Thompson 83), Wheeler, Hanlan (De Barr 64), Mehmeti, Obita, McCarthy, Pendlebury, Parsons

Subs not used: Dickinson, Stewart, Tafazolli, Vokes

Booked: Wheeler, Boateng, Thompson