Eisa strike secures a point for Dons in battle with ten-man Portsmouth

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Mo Eisa’s second-half equaliser extended MK Dons’ unbeaten run to five games on Good Friday as they drew 1-1 with ten-man Portsmouth.

Trailing to Connor Ogilvie’s excellent volley on 14 minutes, Dons were handed a boost when Joe Morrell lashed out at Daniel Harvie five minutes before the break, earning him a straight red-card to reduce the visitors for the remainder.

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Throwing everything forwards in the second-half, Eisa struck from close range on 65 minutes to set up a tense finale, and though substitute Joe Pigott hit the bar in stoppage time, it would finish all square.

Results elsewhere saw Plymouth come from behind to beat relegation candidates Morecambe, while Cambridge and Accrington picked up wins, and Oxford took a point from Sheffield Wednesday to see the gap to safety cut to three points from five.

Dons head to another promotion hopeful, Derby County, on Easter Monday.

After their 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, Mark Jackson named an unchanged side to face Portsmouth, with defender Anthony Stewart handed his home debut after two months sidelined with a hamstring injury.

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The game started at a frantic pace, but it was the visitors who took control of proceedings, hemming Dons into their own terratory. While there weren't many chances, Mo Eisa saw a free-kick tipped around the post by Matt Macey in Dons' first attempt after just five minutes.

But in Portsmouith's first sight of goal, they took the lead. Finding space on the right-flank, Sean Raggett zipped a cross into the far post where Sean Ogilvie had ghosted in beyond Tennai Watson to volley past Jamie Cumming to give the visitors a 14th minute advantage.

Looking good value for it too, Portsmouth kept Dons at arm's reach, and for the most part, tight in their own half, not really doing much to carve open a chance for the second, while limiting Dons to attempts on the counter.

Jonathan Leko, who had netted in each of Dons' previous two games, had struggled to get into the game but sparked Dons' best move of the half when he finally got a chance to turn and go, he fed Daniel Harvie but the Scot, cutting onto his right-foot, saw his effort deflected over the bar.

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Getting more of a foothold as the game approached half-time, a fracas in the penalty area sparked the game's moment of controversy. Tangling at a corner, Joe Morrell appeared to lash out at Harvie while on the floor. While unspotted by the referee, it was picked up by his assistant and it meant Morrell was given his marching orders five minutes before the break.

Seeing Portsmouth set up deep for the second-half, it afforded Dons the chance to push forwards, and within two minutes of the restart, almost equalised through the unlikely source of Jack Tucker, taking aim from 35-yards, seeing it tipped wide by keeper Macey.

Mark Jackson rolled the dice and brought on both Will Grigg and Nathan Holland for Anthony Stewart and Conor Grant - attacking changes to go after the equaliser. And they wouldn't have to wait long.

Colby Bishop needlessly swept a Josh McEachran cross behind for a Dons corner, and from the set-piece, Portsmouth were unable to clear as the ball dropped to Grigg's feet, who in turn found Eisa to slip the ball under Macey to draw level on 65 minutes.

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For a brief period, the equaliser drew Portsmouth out as they went in search of the lead once more, but found themselves outnumbered as Dons continued to force the issue. Chances through were hard to come by.

Try and they might, Dons simply could not find an opening to win it, and in fact the best chance to do so came deep into stoppage time when, just on as a substitute, Joe Pigott bend a wonderful effort goalwards and with Jamie Cumming at full-stretch, it clipped the top of the bar and over.

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 11,395 (4,171)

MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington, Tucker, Stewart (Grigg 55), Harvie (Jules 90), Watson, McEachran, Maghoma, Grant (Holland 61), Leko, Eisa

Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Johnson, Lawrence, Devoy

Portsmouth: Macey, Ogilvie, Pack, Bishop, Dale (Pigott 90), Morrell, Raggerty, Raggett, Jacobs (Robertson 46), Lowery (Tunnicliffe 77), Bernard

Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Hackett, Scarlett, Thompson

Booked: Ogilvie, Pack, Raggett, Bishop

Sent off: Morrell

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