Robson fires Dons to victory over Portsmouth
MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth
MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth: Ethan Robson scores the only goal of the game in an enthralling encounter at Stadium MK
MK Dons climbed into fifth in League One after Ethan Robson’s strike saw off Portsmouth at Stadium MK on Saturday.
After a sensational first half performance from keeper Gavin Bazunu to keep Dons at bay, it was a 71st minute counterattack which Robson slammed home which would prove to be the difference between the sides in a cracking encounter.
Troy Parrott returned from international duty to come straight back into the side after missing last week's game with Cheltenham. He was one of three changes, with Tennai Watson and Hiram Boateng coming into the side, with Peter Kioso, Josh McEachran and Charlie Brown dropping to the bench.
The 0-0 half-time scoreline did not scratch the surface of what was a brilliant advert for League One as both sides went for it in the opening period, but Dons would be the ones disappointed going in level at the break.
On loan from Manchester City, keeper Gavin Bazunu was in sensational form as he denied Troy Parrott twice in acrobatic fashion, while also denying Scott Twine's deflected effort and a Harry Darling as the home side were left scratching their heads as to how to beat the keeper.
Even when they did, Hiram Boateng's strike from the edge of the box thumped the base of the post and bounced to safety.
At the other end, John Marquis was the main outlet for the visitors as they looked to ping the offside trap, but they barely made Andrew Fisher work. Their best opportunity fell to Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, but his header was a poor one and bounced well over the bar when he should have at least tested the Dons keeper.
The second half did not have the same cut and thrust as the first for the home side in particular as Portsmouth in fact took control of the affair and looked the better side. Andrew Fisher did have to make two key saves though to keep it at 0-0, first from John Marquis and then from substitute Ronan Curtis, but Bazunu by comparison had relatively little to do.
That was until Dons broke from a Portsmouth corner, led by Parrott to feed Twine who unselfishly then squared to Ethan Robson to slot home the only goal of the game with 19 minutes to go.
Taking all the pace off the game in the closing stages, Dons could have made it 2-0 when Parrott and Twine broke but the Tottenham loanee opted to go it alone and slid his shot wide of the mark.
Dons managed out the remainder of the game, much to the frustration of the Portsmouth players, as they climbed to fifth in League One.
Referee: Marc Edwards
MK Dons: Fisher, Watson (Kioso 69), Lewington, O'Hora, Darling, Harvie, Boateng (McEachran 62), O'Riley, Robson, Twine, Parrott (Watters 90)
Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Jules, Brown, Martin
Portsmouth: Bazunu, Brown, Robertson, Williams, Tunnifcliffe, Marquis (Harrison 78), Harness, Freeman (Romeo 56), Hackett-Fairchild (Curtis 54), Raggett, Morrell
Subs not used: Bass, Romeo, Ogilvie, Harrison, Thompson, Azeez
Booked: Parrott, Fisher