Payne rescues a point for Dons against Grimsby

Jpi
League Two: MK Dons 1-1 Grimsby Town

Mo Eisa missed a sitter at the very death as MK Dons came from behind again to draw 1-1 with Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.

Shades of controversy again shrouded the goal Dons conceded when Rekeil Pyke opened the scoring after 20 minutes, when Danny Rose looked offside, but midway through the second-half, Jack Payne drew level.

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Having seen his brother Abo for Grimsby miss a great chance to win it minute earlier, Dons striker Mo saw his effort curl wide of the mark with the final kick of the game.

The result though sees Dons climb into the top half of League Two, now in 11th.

After the 4-2 win over Salford City on Saturday, Mike Williamson named an unchanged side to face Grimsby Town, with Joe Tomlinson lining up on the right-flank, with Dean Lewington keeping his place in the side.

Having made their international debuts two weeks ago for Sudan, Mo Eisa was named on the bench for Dons, while brother Abo was named amongst the Mariners' subs.

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Following what was a emotionally and physically demanding game at Salford on Saturday, Dons looked weary and heavy, distinctly second-best against a Grimsby side out to impress new boss David Artell, appointed on Monday.

While neither side did anything remotely threatening in the opening 15 minutes or so, Dons' lethargic energy threatened to put them into trouble, holding onto the ball for too long and giving the ball away cheaply.

Like on Saturday when Dons were left questioning the decisions of officials, once again they were when Grimsby took the lead. Danny Rose looked plenty offside when he picked up the ball on the Mariners' right, but going unflagged, he put the ball in for Rekeil Pyke to convert and give the visitors the lead.

The hosts had a wobble after that and could easily have fallen another goal behind, only for Jack Payne's last ditch tackle to put off Rose, after Daniel Harvie gave away the ball on half-way.

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Dons barely threatened Harvey Cartwright's goal through the opening 45 minutes, only Joe Tomlinson effort flashing wide for the keeper to have to worry about. More pressing was Tomlinson's intervention at the other end when Rose again managed to cause problems, but the Dons man did just enough to put him off as he fired into the side netting.

The home side looked a far more threatening outfit in the second-half, with Daniel Harvie and Max Dean both firing wide in the early stages as they finally looked to get on top of their visitors.

Grimsby continued to look a threat on the counter, and thought they had doubled their lead when Arthur Gnahoua fired through a crowd but saw his effort come back off the post.

The introduction of Jonathan Leko changed Dons' fortunes even further, and within a couple of minutes of his arrival, the hosts were level when Payne popped up seven yards out to wrap home Gilbey's cross on 66 minutes.

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From there, Dons looked as though they would go on and win it, with Leko and Tomlinson both forcing saves from Cartwright, while Cameron Norman chanced his arm from range, but saw it fly over the top.

Both Eisas were introduced for their teams in the latter stages, and both missed sitters at the death which would have won it for their sides. First, Grimsby's Abo drew a brave save from MacGillivray inside the six yard box when scoring looked easier, before Dons' Mo somehow curled Tomlinson's pass wide of the upright with the final kick of the game.

Referee: Peter Wright

MK Dons: MacGillivray, O'Hora, Norman, Lewington (M Eisa 71), Tomlinson, Harvie, Williams, Payne, Gilbey, Grant (Leko 62), Dean (Harrison 71)

Subs not used: Kelly, Smith, Devoy, Dennis

Grimsby Town: Cartwright, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Maher, Glennon (Hunt 35), Clifton, Conteh, Pyke (A Eisa 55), Gnahoua (Ainley 68), Khan (Wilson 68), Rose

Subs not used: Eastwood, Green, Waterfall

Booked: Williams, Conteh, Ainley, Wilson

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