Struggling MK Dons downed at Bristol Rovers to slump to fifth straight league defeat

Tom Davies scored the only goal of the game as Bristol Rovers beat MK Dons
Tom Davies scored the only goal of the game as Bristol Rovers beat MK Dons

MK Dons’ winless run in League One stretched to five games after they lost 1-0 at Bristol Rovers.

Tom Davies’ second-half effort condemned the Dons to their latest defeat and leaves them 18th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone.

The Dons were desperate to end their worrying four-game winless league run, where they have only scored once, against an on-song Rovers side who were unbeaten in five league outings.

Manager Paul Tisdale named a pair of changes for the trip to the Memorial Stadium, with Bailey Cargill replacing Regan Poole, who was away on international duty with Wales, and George Williams in for Alex Gilbey.

Ben Reeves and Jordan Houghton returned to the matchday squad after being out injured.

Tisdale’s Dons enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half, but it was the hosts who created the better chances.

The visitors nearly got off to the perfect start as Rovers defender Davies almost turned Jordan Bowery’s cross into his own net.

Lee Nicholas was tested early on as he kept out Tom Nichols’ header.

In the 11th minute, Nichols missed a glaring chance to give the hosts the lead. The striker could only lash wide after the Dons were caught on the counter.

Conor McGrandles and Dean Lewington both failed to work Jordi van Stappershoef in the Pirates’ net.

The Dons breathed a huge sigh of relief when Abu Ogogo inexplicably missed from close range, while after the break Nicholls pulled off two super stops to keep the game goalless.

Nicholls tipped over Liam Sercombe’s volley before an even better save denied Davies, but Davies handed the hosts a deserved lead in the 49th minute as he bundled home.

Hiram Boateng came closest to levelling proceedings for Dons when he was kept out by Van Stappershoef, and the home goalkeeper was at it again to keep out David Kasumu’s header.

The Dons desperately pushed to steal a point late on but were thwarted by a resilient Rovers’ backline.

Shouts for a Dons’ penalty were turned down when Alfie Kilgour seemingly handled in the box, before Dylan Asonganyi’s effort was ruled out for offside.