Dons stop the rot with a draw against Coventry City
MK Dons ended their five-match losing streak with a perplexing 0-0 draw at home to Coventry City on Saturday.
A truly terrible first 45 minutes made way for a much more lively second, which saw Lee Nicholls foul then deny Jordy Hiwula from the penalty spot, while at the other end, substitute Ben Reeves clattered the crossbar as Dons picked up their first draw of the season.
The result keeps Dons 19th in the table, though it stops the barren run ahead of a busy week, with trips to Rochdale and Fleetwood up next.
On the run of five consecutive league defeats, Paul Tisdale named a side which featured no recognised strikers on the field. Alex Gilbey returned from illness, with Jordan Houghton and Jordan Moore-Taylor also back in the side – the latter of which was making his first league start since January.
With no strikers on the field, Hiram Boateng was charged with leading the line but saw precious little of the ball in the opening 20 minutes. Coventry, who had lost their last two in the league, began at pace, giving Dons precious little time on the ball. It resulted in a scrappy start, with neither side really threatening.
It didn't get much better before half time either. While Callum O'Hare and Amadou Bakayoko nearly had sniffs of goal for the visitors, Dons did little to get near Marko Marosi's goal. It felt, at times, like both sides were happy at 0-0.
The emergence of the sun for the second half certainly injected a new sense of hope for both sides as they came out for the second half, and it also brought about the first shot on target – a low Jordan Shipley drive from the edge of the box which Lee Nicholls was a match for.
The keeper was in hot water though eight minutes after the restart when George Williams' ball back to his keeper was drastically shot, allowing Jordy Hiwula through before he was cleaned out by Nicholls. Typical of the game though, Nicholls guessed right and denied Hiwula from the spot.
Boateng was brought into the game far more during the second period as he was let loose, in large part, by a more advanced Alex Gilbey. Boateng fired in Dons' first shot on goal 10 minutes into the second half but fired straight at Marosi, but his work rate helped drag the game in Dons' direction. But struggling to create further inroads, he was replaced by Ben Reeves with 20 minutes to go.
And he came closest to opening the scoring with three minutes to go, crashing his strike against the bar from all of 25 yards.
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 13,621 (6,274)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, J Walsh, Williams, Lewington, Brittain, Houghton, McGrandles, Kasumu, Gilbey (Agard 84), Boateng (Reeves 70)
Subs not used: Moore, Poole, Cargill, Dickenson, Harley
Coventry City: Marosi, Rose, Hiwula (Kastaneer 70), Hyam, O'Hare, L Walsh, Bakayoko (Biamou 63), Dabo, Westbrooke, Shipley, McCallum
Subs not used: Wilson, Watson, Mason, McFadzean, Kelly, Biamou
Booked: Williams, Lewington, Kasumu, Moore-Taylor, Gilbey