Stevenage 3-2 MK Dons: Late comeback stuns Dons to second defeat of the season

Match Report
Match Report

Two goals in the last six minutes saw Stevenage turn a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 victory over MK Dons, resigning them to only their second defeat in League 2 this season.

In a fascinating game at the Lamex Stadium, Steve Seddon's opener was cancelled out by a brilliant Rhys Healey equaliser to send the sides in level at the interval. Kieran Agard scored in his fifth consecutive game when he nodded Dons ahead midway through the second period, but Scott Cuthbert drew Boro level with six minutes to go before a wonderful Ben Kennedy free kick with a minute to go won it.

The early kick off in League 2 saw Lincoln City retake top spot on goal difference, conceding late in the day to Mansfield in a 1-1 draw, and there they remained following the full-time whistle at the Lamex, with a game in hand over Paul Tisdale's side.

Dons made one enforced change to the side which beat Macclesfield last Saturday. Baily Cargill's fifth booking of the campaign saw him miss out through suspension, meaning Dean Lewington was shifted inside, with Mitch Hancox taking over on the left flank – his first league appearance for Dons since moving from Macclesfield in the summer.

But despite looking in control for the opening 20 minutes, Dons found themselves behind. After play was allowed to continue following a hefty Alex Gilbey challenge on Joel Byrom, Ben Kennedy broke up the right before feeding it out wide, and a high ball into the mixer was nodded home from just a couple of yards out to give the home side the lead.

The lead would last just eight minutes though, as Dons drew level with a wonderful Rhys Healey strike. Play was held up brilliantly by Aneke, but he offloaded to Healey with a roll under his heel, and the on-loan Cardiff man bent a wonderful effort past Seny Dieng's dive.

It was a thrilling half of football, with both sides playing some terrific football and making crunching challenges, but Dons really should have been ahead heading in at the break.

Beating the offside trap, Aneke spotted Dieng well off his line and attempted to lob the keeper but with it bouncing just shy, Agard was on hand to try to convert, but his header hit the bar before an ambitious over-head kick then went wide.

The second period lacked the same intensity, but it was still very much a tense affair with the game evenly matched. Seddon twice had chances early in the half to restore Stevenage's lead but fluffed his lines on both occasions, while Healey made Dieng pull off a finger-tip save to keep the scores level.

Kieran Agard had scored in four consecutive games prior to kick off, and his hot-streak continued midway through the second period as he headed Dons in front. While many expected referee Brett Huxtable to stop play after Alex Revell went down injured, Ryan Watson carried on and fired in a cross which Agard met first to powerfully head past Dieng.

But the action did not end there, and with Stevenage piling everything forwards, the home side got their just rewards with six minutes to go. A poor attempt at a punch clear from Lee Nicholls only put the ball back into the danger area, and the unlikely suspect of Scott Cuthbert, who had done a terrific job at the other end keeping tabs on Aneke, was on hand to poke home the equaliser.

And the home side would complete a remarkable turnaround in the final minute with a brilliant Ben Kennedy free kick, clipping the underside of the bar on it's way past Nicholls to consign Dons to only their second defeat of the season.

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Stevenage: Dieng, Hunt (Sonupe 71), Timlin, Cuthbert, Byrom, Revell, Kennedy (Wilkinson 90), Seddon, Campbell-Ryce (Reid 75), Henry, Nugent
Subs not used: Farman, Ferry, Vancooten, Smyth, Wilkinson

MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, Moore-Taylor, Williams, Hancox (Watson 62), Brittain, Houghton, Gilbey, Healey, Aneke (Simpson 83), Agard
Subs not used: Moore, Cisse, McGrandles, D'Ath, Asonganyi

Booked: Gilbey, Kennedy, Kennedy, Byrom, Williams, Watson