Slow start costs Dons against Crewe
MK Dons 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
Dons' poor start against Crewe Alexandra is ultimately what cost MK Dons any chance of getting something from the game on Easter Monday, said Russell Martin
Mikael Mandron netted twice in the opening 20 minutes as the Railwayman did the double over Dons, with a similar headline unfolding at the Alexandra Stadium back in September.
Cameron Jerome, Will Grigg and Charlie Brown all had good chances to give Dons a lifeline at Stadium MK though as the home side eventually began to pick up momentum in the second half, but the damage had already been done said the manager afterwards.
"We're really frustrated and disappointed with starting so poorly," said Martin. "The energy, intensity and urgency were nowhere near the level is has been recently. I can accept us making mistakes, we're trying to develop all the time.
"We've got guys who haven't played a huge amount for us who are still working out the different adaptations they have to make. But we didn't react well enough to our mistakes.
"We had a warning sign early on with a free header which Fish has to save. And then they scored two goals which they didn't have to work hard enough for. We didn't concede a lot of chances after that, but it just took us too long to get into our stride."
Despite their poor showing, Dons weren't without chances: Jerome had one chalked off for offside early in the encounter, but in the second period rounded keeper Will Jaaskelainen and looked set to score but saw his strike come off the post. Will Grigg, who replaced Jerome, also went though on goal but saw his pass to Charlie Brown cut out by a Crewe defender.
Martin continued: "We created some brilliant chances in the second half, and we should score three or four goals. But we were let down by the start of the game. If Cammy or Griggy get goals, it would have been a different game. Cammy was really honest and stayed on his feet, if he goes down it's a penalty and it's a different story.
"And Griggy is through, looked to square it to Charlie. I love the intention but you have to get it right and that's a big detail.
"We looked quite threatening, dangerous, created a lot of chances and that's a positive but we haven't scored. You can't create that much, be in the opposition box and have that many touches and not score a goal. The two boxes have let us down."