The cruel nature of football once again reared it’s ugly head at stadium:mk as MK Dons lost 2-0 to Hull City.
A first half goal from Ahmed Elmohamay and another in stoppage time from substitute Mohammed Diame flattered Steve Bruce’s side as Dons comprehensively outplayed their former Premier League opponents, but ultimately failed to hit the back of the net.
Ironically, despite losing the game, Dons climbed to 20th in the table because of results elsewhere.
After two months out, Karl Robinson was able to recall Darren Potter to the centre of midfield as he replaced Jake Forster-Caskey, who returned to Brighton after his loan expired. Dean Bowditch also returned from injury in behind the striker, after news of Ben Reeves’ lengthy lay-off. An injury to Rob Hall saw him drop out of the team too, replaced by Carl Baker.
Dons actually started the brighter against the high-flying Tigers, with Potter orchestrating like he’d never been away. Josh Murphy looked lively against Moses Odubajo and Carl Baker was keen to get on the ball regularly. Ultimately though for all their possession, Dons struggled to make Allan McGregor work.
But as has been so often the case this season, they were hit with a sucker punch 20 minutes in. Abel Hernandez caused havoc breaking forwards, but his strike looked to be heading well wide of the mark. Ahmed Elmohamady though had ghosted in at the far post and defied the offside flag to poke home very much against the run of play.
Far from disheartened though, Dons continued in their approach and got on top of their opponents. Jordan Spence was beginning to have more of an influence going forwards as Hull offered little in the way of seeking out a second. The chances were still few and far between though, only Murphy and Baker really forcing the issue.
Simon Church was having another lonely afternoon up front, but only needed a half sight of goal to test McGregor in the run in to half time, but his effort from the angle was well saved by the keeper.
But just as it was a sucker punch to put Dons behind, it could so easily have been two just before the break. Played through with a defence-splitting ball from Jake Livermore, Ahmed Elmohamady beat the offside trap and was through. Taking advantage of David Martin’s hesitance to come out and get the ball, the Egyptian rounded the keeper but the bouncing ball caused him trouble as he sent the ball over, with the open goal begging.
And it was much of the same in the second half as Dons continued to force the issue. Looking threatening in possession, the home side lifted the crowd but there was still nothing happening in front of goal. Diego Poyet and Darren Potter had the running of the midfield and were pulling all the strings, getting the better of Livermore and Meyler in the centre.
But even with the introductions of Daniel Powell and Nicky Maynard, Dons failed to test McGregor and it would ultimately be the telltale sign of the game and the season in general.
And their misery was compounded in stoppage time when Hull’s substitutes combined, as Shaun Maloney brilliantly back-heeled to Diame, who coolly doubled the lead, sticking the dagger deep into Dons’ hearts.
Referee: Graham Scott
MK Dons: Martin; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington (c), Potter (Carruthers 82), Poyet, Baker, Bowditch (Powell 65), Murphy, Church (Maynard 65)
Subs not used: Cropper, Hodson, Rasulo, Gallagher
Hull City: McGregor, Odubajo, Dawson, Bruce, Robertson, Elmohamady, Meyler, Livermore, Clucas, Akpom (Diame 71), Hernandez (Maloney 79)
Subs not used: Maguire, Jakupovic, Taylor, Hayden, Huddlestone
Booked: Odubajo, McFadzean, Potter, Meyler, Lewington