O'Riley's stoppage time winner ends Dons' losing streak

MK Dons 3-2 Accrington Stanley

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 5:18 pm

Matt O'Riley scored deep into stoppage time as Dons ended their losing streak with a 3-2 win over Accrington Stanley.

Cameron Jerome bagged a brace - one in each half - to give Dons a deserved 2-0 lead by 55 minutes, but Accrington drew level with two goals in five minutes, courtesy of Dion Charles' third goal of the season against Dons, and an Andrew Surman own goal.

With the game heading towards an unlikely draw, Sorinola got his third assist of the afternoon, nodded home by O'Riley as Dons moved up to 15th.

Despite losing out to Blackpool in the week, it was an unchanged side for MK Dons against Accrington, opting for a second game to deploy Cameron Jerome as the lone striker up front, with Josh McEachran alongside Andrew Surman in the midfield.

On Friday, Jerome was asking for more chances to come his way, and in a dominant opening 45 minutes, he could have come away with three or four goals to his name.

He would only have one though, and it came after seven minutes when Matthew Sorinola's clever ball spun the striker through on goal. Still with a lot to do, he rounded keeper Toby Savin to fire Dons in front.

Unable to get near the ball for long periods, Accrington were on the back-foot as Jerome threatened to put the game to bed early, but he saw a second effort cleared off the line, put a header into the side netting and forced a good stop from the keeper, while Scott Fraser too should have extended Dons' lead when he picked up on a loose ball out from Savin, though the keeper made amends with a save.

Though it looked like Dons would cruise into the break, some of their play around their own penalty area put them into trouble, especially with Fisher playing some last-life football in his own six-yard box but in truth, any threat Accrington had came from Dons' own creation.

While those missed chances were frustrating in the first half, Sorinola and Jerome combined 10 minutes after the restart to put Dons deservedly 2-0 ahead, but within five minutes, Accrington would be level.

The first came when Dion Charles capitalised on Dons giving away possession on the edge of their box, tapping in from close range to pull one back. The second came as a real gut-punch, when a corner in looked to be cleared by Harry Darling, but it came off Andrew Surman and beat Fisher.

Shell-shocked, Dons had to settle again. With Will Grigg, Joe Mason and Louis Thompson coming on, the change in shape allowed Dons a bit more of a grip in the closing stages.

Mason and Sorinola both had decent efforts, while Matt O'Riley saw an effort deflected agonisingly wide.

With Accrington looking set to snatch an unlikely draw though, O'Riley got on the end of Sorinola's cross deep into stoppage time to win it for Dons and end their losing streak.

Referee: Dean Whitestone

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, Laird, Sorinola (Jules 90), Surman (Mason 78), McEachran (Thompson 65), O’Riley, Fraser, Jerome (Grigg 65)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Harvie, Houghton

Accrington Stanley: Savin, Nottingham, Hughes, Burgess, Butcher (Phillips 19), Smyth, McConville, Barclay, Rodgers, Charles, Morgan

Subs not used: Isherwood, Russell, Maguire, Scully, Perritt, Martin

Booked: Smyth, Burgess, Barclay, Rodgers, Morgan, Grigg