MK Dons 2-0 Accrington Stanley: Dons grind it out for second win of the season
MK Dons 2-0 Accrington Stanley
MK Dons 2-0 Accrington Stanley: Goal from Mo Eisa and Matt O’Riley win it for Dons
Matt O’Riley’s second in two games ensured MK Dons picked up their second victory of the season as they beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 at Stadium MK.
Far from the thrillers Dons fans have been treated to in recent weeks, Dons had to grind it out for the three points. Mo Eisa’s third goal of the season just before the break came out of the blue and was the only moment of quality in the opening 45 minutes.
Dons created the better chances in the second half, until Stanley substitute Joel Mumbongo incredibly fired wide when through on Andrew Fisher’s goal 12 minutes from time. But O’Riley’s 12-yard finish five minutes from time ensured the win for Dons.
Following the 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town last Saturday, it was just one change for Liam Manning's side for the visit of Accrington Stanley - Daniel Harvie returned after going through concussion protocols and came in in place of Zak Jules who dropped to the bench.
After some thrilling games so far this season, the opening 45 minutes against Accrington was not one to be fondly remembered. Neither side really found their groove and it resulted in an altogether difficult game to watch for both sets of supporters.
Accrington's high-press meant Dons struggled to get out of their own half for long periods, but the visitors did precious little to take advantage - Darius Charles' wasted one-on-one with Andrew Fisher their best chance.
James Trafford in the Stanley net was barely troubled either, with Dons' attacking trio of Scott Twine, Troy Parrott and Mo Eisa barely involved until the final knockings of the first half.
With the game coasting to a goal-less half-time talk, Dean Lewington split a hole in Accrington with his ball to Parrott who in turn shifted it to Eisa just inside the penalty area. Still with a lot to do, he twice turned Ross Sykes before curling the ball past Trafford to give Dons the lead going in at the break.
Eisa's impact on the game wouldn't last much longer though, but it almost helped Dons double their lead nine minutes into the second period. His cross was palmed into the path of Parrott but some brave Accrington defending blocked trhe effort. In the action though, Eisa took a heavy hit and limped out early.
While the second half was more open than in the first, there was still a lack of overall quality from both sides but the morale inside Stadium MK was a lot higher as they held on to the lead.
And it was the home side who had the better of the chances to make it 2-0. Parrott wasted a great chance when he tried to be too cute and lob Trafford, while Twine saw a free kick hit into the wall, and Tennai Watson skidded one just wide.
But while they should have been home and hosed, they almost let their lead slip when Warren O'Hora was played into trouble, and substitute Joel Mumbongo went though on goal and looked as though he couldn't miss but somehow prodded his effort wide of the mark.
The second goal would eventually come for Dons though five minutes from time. Unleashed down the left after beating the offside trap, Hiram Boateng looked across and played a ball to the penalty spot where Matt O'Riley raced onto it to make no mistakes in rattling the ball home, and with it, securing the points for Dons.
Referee: Declan Bourne
MK Dons: Fisher, Watson, Lewington, O'Hora, Darling, Watson, Harvie, O'Riley, Robson (Boateng 80), Twine (Martin 90), Eisa (McEachran 54), Parrott
Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Jules, Brown, Baldwin
Accrington Stanley: Trafford, Rodgers, Sykes, Butcher, Pell (Leigh 78), Bishop, McConville, Nottinghm, Charles, Clark (Mumbongo 56), Morgan
Subs not used: Savin, Sherring, Proctor, Perritt, Nolan
Booked: Butcher, Pell, Darling, Lewington, Harvie, Boateng