REPORT: MK Dons 1-1 Forest Green: Dons limp to cumbersome draw
Both MK Dons and Forest Green Rovers extended their undefeated records in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stadium MK, but it was far from a classic.
While Paul Tisdale's side took the lead through Chuks Aneke's first half strike, it was the sole highlight of an otherwise dull opening period. And with few questions about the penalty awarded against Jordan Moore-Taylor when he brought down George C Williams with 11 minutes to go for Reuben Reid to equalise, justice was done for the visitors as they came away with a point.
Chuks Aneke made his first league appearance of the season for Dons as he was named in Paul Tisdale's starting 11 in an otherwise familiar side. Jordan Moore-Taylor was once again pushed forwards into midfield alongside Jordan Houghton while Osman Sow was named amongst the substitutes.
Perhaps there was a bit of a hangover after Dons were without a game last weekend, but they were sluggish and distinctly second best in the opening half hour. Passes were lapse, possession cheaply given away and attacking play was almost non-existent, though Forest Green weren't an awful lot better. The visitors forced Lee Nicholls into only a couple of saves as they too struggled to formulate a lot in front of goal, but it would be a defensive lapse at the other end which would lead to the opener.
George Williams' cross floated in towards Aneke, and beating both Gavin Gunning and keeper Robert Sanchez to it, he shaped to shoot with his left before cutting back onto his right foot, sending both Rovers to the floor, allowing him to roll the ball into the empty net.
He should have doubled Dons' lead 10 minutes later when he was clean through on goal, but in his hesitation to shoot, allowed Nathan McGinley to make a vital interception.
And Dons should have been made to pay for the missed opportunity, but following a wonderful move, Dayle Grubb fired over the bar from inside six yards.
If the first half was a dull affair, the second certainly followed suit. Dons saw a lot more of the ball this time around, but playing on the counter for Aneke to chase was only bringing mixed results as Forest Green hemmed Dons into their own half for long periods.
Chances were few and far between, but while Nicholls was the busier of the two keepers, he had Joe Walsh to thank for a vital block after the keeper spilled Joseph Mills' effort, but Reuben Reid could only fire into the Welsh defender.
Former MK Dons midfielder George C Williams was introduced to the fray midway through the second half, and he would make the difference for the visitors with 11 minutes to go as he was brought down by Jordan Moore-Taylor, affording the referee no choice but to award a penalty. Reuben Reid made no mistakes to equalise.
The visitors could have been ahead barely a minute later when Joe Walsh nearly converted into his own net, but for a big stop from Nicholls.
It was just about what the game deserved, but Kieran Agard should have won it deep into injury time but for a brilliant block from Joseph Mills to deny him from inside six yards.
Referee: Ben Toner
Attendance: 6,638 (263)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Walsh, Cargill (Cisse 67), Williams, Lewington, Brittain (Watson 75), Houghton, Moore-Taylor, Gilbey, Aneke (Simpson 82), Agard
Subs not used: Moore, Sow, Hancox, Healey
Forest Green Rovers: Sanchez, Shephard, James (GC Williams 67), Winchester, Grubb (Campbell 59), Brown, Gunning, McGinley (Archibald 59), Digby, Mills, Reid
Subs not used: Montgomery, Collins, Worthington, Morris
Booked: Gunning, Cisse