Fine margins cost Dons in New Year’s Day defeat to Plymouth says Holland

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Plymouth Arygle 3-1 MK Dons

Nathan Holland felt MK Dons were, at times, able to go toe-to-toe with league leadersPlymouth Argyle during the 3-1 defeat at Home Park on New Year’s Day.

While the game could have been done and dusted inside the opening 10 minutes in Devon, with Plymouth netting one of three excellent chances though James Wilson, Holland’s goal in 19 minutes pulled Dons level. Louie Barry then had a penalty shout turned away, before Niall Ennis made it 2-1 before the break, and Morgan Whittaker put the game out of reach early in the second period.

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With other results falling unkindly for Dons, the game at times was top vs bottom - though Port Vale’s late fight-back saw them beat Forest Green to send Rovers to the bottom - but Holland felt the difference between the sides was: “Fine margins in really important moments cost us, but that's why they're top of the league,” he said.

“We pushed the league leaders in parts of that game, we had chances and there are many positives we can take. 

“We had plenty of chances, and the goals we conceded we could have dealt with better. That's the business end of football and something we have to improve on. We can take positives from it, it was always going to be a tough game but we stay positive.”

His goal, only his second in a Dons shirt since signing in the summer, came after he reacted quickest to Henry Lawrence’s deflected shot, picking out the side of the net from inside the box.

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“It's a nice feeling to score, but it would obviously have been better to have backed it up with a win,” he said. “When you haven't scored for a while, you can be a bit hesitant but I had to keep calm and luckily it went in.

“It was an important goal at the time as well, but unfortunately we couldn't get the win from there.”