REPORT Wolves 0-0 MK Dons: Dons escape Molineux with a point

Nicky Maynard. Pic: Lee Scriven
Nicky Maynard. Pic: Lee Scriven

MK Dons absorbed almost 90 minutes of Wolves pressure to take an unlikely 0-0 draw from Molineux on Saturday.

Keeper David Martin was the stand out performer for Karl Robinson’s side as he made excellent stops from Benik Afobe, Jordan Graham and Mike Williamson to deny the home side.

Pic: Lee Scriven

Pic: Lee Scriven

At the other end, it took more than an hour for Dons to register a shot on goal, with Nicky Maynard and Carl Baker coming close, though it was a fairly scant attacking threat Dons put forward.

The point though sees Dons climb out of the relegation zone, moving as high as 19th.

With Simon Church rolling knee in training during the week, he didn’t travel with the rest of the squad to Molineux. Instead, there was a rare appearance on the bench for Peruvian international Cristian Benavente. Out on the pitch, it was the same side which started the 1-1 draw with Fulham.

It was a fairly even opening 20 minutes as both sides took their time to settle. Wolves had more of the ball but didn’t really find the inroads in the early going, while Dons looked happy to absorb what the home side had to throw at them, looking to hit quick on the counter.

Pic: Lee Scriven

Pic: Lee Scriven

Wolves though had the better of the chances in the first exchanges too, with James Henry twice coming close before former Dons frontman Benik Afobe had the best chance, shooting straight at David Martin with plenty of time to pick his spot.

Henry was proving to be Wolves’ main outlet and he was having a lot of joy against Dean Lewington, but even after a few sight-finders, his radar was still out as he rattled two more efforts wide of the mark. Afobe too had a header comfortably saved by Martin as the home side turned up the heat.

Graham too was enjoying a lot of the ball on the opposite flank to Henry, but the Dons defence was holding firm. Afobe though should have fired his side into the lead three minutes before the break. Losing McFadzean, he slipped on the soaking surface as he spun to shoot, lifting his effort harmlessly over the bar, having to settle for a goal-less opening 45.

But they looked intent on changing that from the opening whistle of the second half. Afobe twice forced great reaction stops from Martin, while the defence had Darren Potter to thank for tracking back to intercept another dangerous Graham delivery across the face of goal. Dons were simply not at the races.

Pic: Lee Scriven

Pic: Lee Scriven

But while Dons were holding on, Wolves’ frustration began to creep in. Graham was withdrawn by manager Kenny Jackett, much to the frustration of the home fans, and it invited the visitors back into the game somewhat.

Carl Baker, introduced just after the hour mark, was Dons’ most lively outlet. Breaking over half way, he slid in Nicky Maynard to test Carl Ikeme for the first time, before taking it on himself to force the keeper into a top save.

It was the performance of Ikeme’s opposite number though that was keeping Dons in the affair. Having already made a string of excellent saves, Martin was quick to rush off his line and deny substitute Adam Le Fondre, before getting a hand to Mike Williamson’s header at the near post.

But try as they might, Wolves simply couldn’t find a way past Martin.

A vital point in the end for Robinson’s men as they move out of the drop zone, though the lack of an attacking threat was plain for all to see.

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 19,814

Wolves: Ikeme, Golbourne, Edwards (Le Fondre 63), Williamson, Batth, Henry, Afobe, McDonald, Iorfa, Price, Graham (Ojo 63)

Subs not used: Flatt, Doherty, Coady, Byrne, Holt

MK Dons: Martin, Spence, Lewington, Kay, McFadzean, Potter, Poyet, Carruthers, Bowditch (Powell 78), Murphy (Baker 61), Maynard (Gallagher 86)

Subs not used: Cropper, Hodson, Benavente, Hall

Booked: Baker, Potter, McFadzean, Spence, Powell