Dons suffer defeat to Wealdstone in opening pre-season encounter

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Pre-season: Wealdstone 2-1 MK Dons

MK Dons’ pre-season campaign got underway on Tuesday night with a 2-1 defeat to National League side Wealdstone.

Having had a full training session earlier in the day, Graham Alexander’s side trailed at the break to Alex Dyer’s 25th minute strike, having seen Mo Eisa, Jonathan Leko and Jack Tucker all come close to opening the scoring.

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While Alex Gilbey missed a second-half effort, ten changes with 25 minutes to go gave the visitors a lift heading into the closing stages, but it needed a sublime Max Dean volley with nine minutes to go to draw them level.

But Wealdstone would have the last laugh, with Giovanni McGregor firing home with five minutes to go to claim the win for the non-league outfit.

Alexander named a team full of recognised first-teamers for his opening pre-season encounter, with only 16-year-old Callum Tripp a relative novice, playing out of position at right-back.

Having trained a full session at Woughton on the Green earlier in the day, Dons' looked perhaps less sprightly than expected, but they still had the better of the early chances and should have been in front by the midway point in the first-half.

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Mo Eisa fired wide of the mark on 13 minutes after Dawson Devoy won the ball in the centre of the park, unleashed Jonathan Leko who patiently waited to roll in his strike partner, but last season's top scorer missed the target.

Leko then opted to go it himself three minutes later but had the same outcome, before Tucker climbed highest to reach Dan Kemp's corner, only to see it headed off the line.

Wealdstone though would take the lead on 25 minutes. Keeper Nathan Harness came racing out of his goal to claim Alex Clayton's cross but spilled it, and as the hosts recycled it, Alex Dyer was on hand to fire into the unguarded net.

As Dons settled back into their stride, they began to force the Stones back into their own half as they congested the centre of the park, but Nathan Holland's quick-fire efforts, coming two minutes apart towards the end of the half, were unable to draw the visitors level before the interval.

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The second-half was more of the same faire, with Dons trying to force the issue to no avail. Alex Gilbey put an effort over the bar in the early knockings as Dawson Devoy began to control the tempo of play.

Ten changes were made on 25 minutes as the outfield side were rotated, and Alexander's side pressed on for an equaliser. Max Dean would be an immediate threat, pulling the Stones defence out of position, but the unmarked Ethan Robson would fire a volley harmlessly over the bar.

Dean though would be the man to draw Dons level with nine minutes to go when he got on the end of Darragh Burns' chip, volleying brilliant past the keeper to make it 1-1.

Parity though would only last four minutes as Giovanni McGregor would fire in an equally excellent volley five minutes from time to win it for the hosts.

Referee: Jason Richardson

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MK Dons first 65 mins: Harness, Tripp, Lewington, Harvie, Tucker, Gilbey, Kemp, Devoy, Eisa, Leko, Holland

MK Dons final 25 mins: MacGillivray, O'Hora, Jules, Scholtz, Waller, Smith, Robson, Trialist, Burns, Dennis, Dean

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