Late Nemane strike denies MK Dons a win on the road at Notts County

League Two: Notts County 3-3 MK Dons

MK Dons' disappointing away form once again let them down on Easter Monday as they conceded at the death the draw 3-3 with Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Picking up just three wins from the last nine on the road, Dons never looked at ease against a County side in free-fall down League Two, despite taking the lead through a brilliant Max Dean strike after 19 minutes.

Goals in stoppage would be their undoing in both halves, with Sam Austin drawing County level at the end of the first, before Alassana Jatta's header gave them the lead five minutes after the restart.

Ellis Harrison was sent on on the hour mark, and made a huge impact as he bagged a brace to restore Dons' lead before Aaron Nemane netted an equaliser for County in stoppage time at the end.

It's a result which leaves Dons in fourth spot, but two points adrift of the trio of teams ahead, though all have two games in hand.

While Max Dean was handed his first start since January after his injury, following his sensational substitute appearance on Good Friday, the biggest selection news came in goal as Filip Marschall returned to the starting line-up ahead of Michael Kelly. The Ason Villa loanee had been out since early February through injury, but was back on the bench for the last two. Joe Tomlinson was also out of the squad, with Dan Kemp coming in behind Dean.

Away form has been a real bone of contention for Dons since the turn of the year, with six defeats in nine in 2024. But heading to hapless Notts County, with only two wins in 13 prior to kick-off, offered them a great opportunity set things right. It would not look that way for the majority of the first-half though.

The inclusion of Marschall in goal led to a more complicated and risky style out from the back, and the young keeper twice nearly got caught in possession when put under pressure from a County side eager to stop their slide down the table.

Dons though would look to Good Friday's talisman Max Dean to spark them into life, and he did so in some style. Picking up the ball 25 yards out, the 20-year-old slid the ball through the legs of former Dons defender Aden Baldwin before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner to give the visitors the lead on 19 minutes.

Former Gateshead man Macaulay Langstaff is well-known to Dons boss Williamson but there was little his side could do to prevent the County top-scorer from pulling the strings for the hosts, who could feel themselves unlucky to be trailing. He thumped a chance against the bar just two minutes after Dean's strike, and created a handful of further chances for the hosts as they looked to draw level.

Defensively, Dons did not look confident when County put crosses into the mix, and on three occasions needed Cameron Norman to hoist the ball away from inside the six yard box, but in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, County got their reward. Dan Crowley's low cross was fired in, and though Daniel Harvie took the sting out of it, Sam Austin was on hand to poke home from a yard out to draw County level.

Buoyed by the equaliser, County put Dons to the sword early in the second-half and took the lead five minutes after the restart. Marschall lost possession as he looked to clip the ball wide to Norman, allowing Chicksen to race to the byline, and his excellent cross found Alassana Jatta, who picked out the top corner with his header.

With Dons at sea, County should have gone further ahead when Langstaff fizzed an effort just wide and Aaron Nemane fired an effort just over. But a triple change on the hour-mark for Dons turned the game on it's head once again.

Ellis Harrison had only been on the pitch three minutes before he picked out the bottom corner after good work from Wearne to draw Dons level, sparking a revival for the visitors. Alex Gilbey had a deflected cross drop just over the bar, while Emre Tezgel, who replaced Dan Kemp, also forced keeper Luca Ashby-Hammond into an important save.

All of a sudden Dons looked the side more likely to get control of the topsy-turvy affair, and with six minutes to go Harrison had his second, bursting through the County defence to deftly lift the ball over the keeper to give Dons the lead.

But just as they did in the first-half, Dons would concede an equaliser in stoppage time, as Nemane fired in Jodi Jones' cross at the back post to share the spoils.

Referee: Scott Simpson

Attendance: 10,439 (1,168)

Notts County: Ashby-Hammond, Cameron, Crowley, Austin (Bostock 55), Langstad, Nemane, Baldwin, Robertson, Chicksen (Jones 80), Macari (Warner 72), Jatta (McGoldrick 80)

Subs not used: Slocombe, O'Brien, Scott

MK Dons: Marschall, O'Hora, Harvie, Norman, Wearne, Lofthouse, Payne (Williams 88), Bate (Robson 61), Gilbey, Kemp (Tezgel 61), Dean (Harrison 61)

Subs not used: Kelly, Lewington, Tucker

Booked: Bate, Norman, Langstaff, Robertson, Harvie