First half goals win the derby for MK Dons

MK Dons made life hard for themselves but they picked up a huge win over AFC Wimbledon in the early kick off, winning 2-1 at Stadium MK.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 3:02 pm
Match Report

Fresh from his double in the week, Sam Nombe marked his first league start for Dons with a goal after just 11 minutes, before Rhys Healey's excellent strike 15 minutes later looked to put the home side in total control.

But despite dominating the opening 45 minutes, they let their foot off the gas in the second and invited AFC Wimbledon back in to proceedings. Marcus Forss had only been on the field five minutes before he got one back for the visitors, making for a nervous finale, though Dons saw the game out to pick up their third win of the season.

After his brace in midweek against Stevenage, Sam Nombe was handed his league start for the club as Paul Tisdale made five changes to the side which lost to Accrington last week. David Kasumu too was handed his first league start for the club, impressing in cup competitions, including against AFC Wimbledon in the reverse fixture in the Carabao Cup.

Sam Nombe celebrates his goal

Both youngsters made a bright start in the fast paced opening, and both were involved as Dons took an early lead. Winning the ball back in midfield, Kasumu laid it off to Conor McGrandles who turned the ball around the corner for Nombe. Shurgging off defender Paul Kalambayi, Nombe calmly fired past Joe McDonnell, clipping both posts on it's way over the line.

The game had settled into a holding pattern after Nombe's opener. Rhys Healey had not really influenced play an awful lot, but in the 26th minute he showed why Dons wanted him so badly in the summer.

Picking the ball up 30 yards out, he turned and ran at the defence, firing low past McDonnell from the edge of the area to double the lead.

The visitors had only two points to their name heading to Stadium MK, and did little to force the issue to get back into the game. Joe Pigott, who missed two penalties against MK Dons last month, fired one effort over the bar, while Kewsi Appiah had their best chance seven minutes before the break, but headed straight at Lee Nicholls.

Healey makes it 2-0

Making two changes at half time did little to change things for AFC Wimbledon. While they enjoyed a 10 minute spell of possession in Dons' half, they did little to cause Nicholls any headaches.

It was a similar story at the other end though, with only Alex Gilbey's rasping effort into the side netting of note. Gone was their fast moving play from the first half in favour of a more direct approach, looking to get Nombe in behind as he did so successfully against Stevenage. Despite causing Ryan Delaney countless headaches, it proved fairly fruitless.

With seven minutes to go though, AFC Wimbledon got a lifeline when substitute Marcus Forss headed Kalambayi's cross home to pull one back for the visitors.

Deep into stoppage time, they should have been level too, but Michael Folivi's header fell just wide of the post, much to the relief of Dons who held on to claim their third win of the season.

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 8,627 (560)

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Walsh, Martin, Lewington, McGrandles, Houghton, Kasumu, Gilbey (Boateng 77), Nombe (Agard 83), Healey (Bowery 83)

Subs not used: Moore, Dickenson, Harley, Asonganyi

AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, O'Neill, Nightingale, Thomas (Folivi 46), Wagstaff (Sanders 46), Appiah (Forss 78), Guiness-Walker, Delaney, Kalambayi, Reilly, Pigott

Subs not used: Tzanev, Roscrow, Rudoni, Osew