Saturday brought our first league away fixture of the season, ending in a 2-2 draw at Stadium MK, against recently relegated MK Dons. Having taken a two goal lead against the home side, it is certainly viewed as two points dropped, despite only weeks into the season.
I think before the game, we all would’ve taken a point from a side expected to be near the top of the table along with us this season. But the nature of how we folded a commanding lead left a sour taste for all involved.
We managed to get in front through a deflected Craig header and a first goal for the club for winger Worrall, timing his run and providing a classy finish past Martin in goal for MK Dons. However the home side hit back immediately, and in the space of 5 minutes were back level thanks to a brace from debutant and record signing Agard.
I guess it shows the sort of level we need to be at to compete at the top this season, when a team like MK Dons can afford to smash their record transfer fee, and the new signing comes up with two goals while on debut. However, both goals were avoidable from a defensive point of view.
With make shift left back Ferguson failing to clear his lines, Agard pounced and produced a classy finish into the bottom corner past Archer. While the second, a hopeful ball over the top caused havoc in defence as Agard broke free of Craig and Webster, and beat the on rushing Archer to loop a header into the back of the net.
The majority of the second half was us on the attack and in control but for the odd chance for the home side, however when scoring two away from home you’d hope we’d have enough to see out the game.
Below, as always is my player ratings from our draw:
Jordan Archer – 5 – Probably the lowest rating I’ve ever left for Archer. I don’t think Archer was terrible by any means, and was still confident at dealing with set plays and deliveries into the box. However, as is the case with goalkeepers mistakes are magnified when in goal and tend to always go punished.
Mahlon Romeo – 6 – Wasn’t at fault for either goal, and still attempted to get forward where possible on the overlap. Having also kept danger man Powell quiet on the left side of the MK Dons attack, Romeo went about his job as expected from any full back in the side.
Byron Webster – 5 – With lone forward Agard scoring twice for the opposition, blame has to be aimed towards the centre halves in charge of keeping the player quiet. Both Webster and Craig were at fault for the second goal of Agard’s brace, being caught over the top with a hopeful ball aimed to the forward.
Tony Craig – 5 – As above with Webster, Craig failed to deal with the pace of Agard. Dealing with pace in opposition attacks is the only concern we have with our central defenders, playing a too high line invited Agard through to pounce onto his second goal.
Shane Ferguson – 5 – At fault for failing to clear when under no pressure, Ferguson had a major say in MK Dons’ first goal in getting back into the game. Aside from his mistake, at least in my opinion we continue to look light in defence, with MK Dons targeting our left side of defence from goal kicks to expose Ferguson’s height. With Martin now probably match fit, I won’t be surprised to see him in the side on Tuesday night.
David Worrall – 7 – Off the mark with a perfectly timed finish at the back post, Worrall continues to impress as I always seem to be writing in these posts. Also putting in a superb delivery for our first goal, Worrall seems to produce at ease and growing with every game.
Shaun Williams – 6 – Having got the nod once again, lining up against his old club I think everyone would be disappointed to see Williams go off injured. Early on Williams looked to be getting the better of Upson and Potter in the MK Dons midfield, and was looking like having another good game.
Ben Thompson – 5 – As I’m writing this I’m struggling to remember Thompson’s impact on the match on Saturday. It seemed to just pass him by, not making any mistakes nor any massive contributions. Perhaps a deliberate ploy from MK Dons but they seemed to play down the wide areas throughout the match.
Aiden O’Brien – 7 – In full flow with confidence clear to be seen, O’Brien edges to my man of the match. Despite not getting on the score sheet, playing in the free role O’Brien seemed to be everywhere throughout the 90 minutes. Unlucky to not score bringing the keeper into a smart save in the second half, I hope we get the same O’Brien performance on a consistent basis.
Lee Gregory – 5 – In our style of play, we rely heavily on our front two to make the ball stick in the final third when on the attack. Perhaps due to Williams going off injured, I feel the contribution of Morison and Gregory wasn’t quite what we are used to seeing.
Steve Morison – 5 – As above with Gregory, I felt both tried but at times were left isolated or lacking the required service when on the attack.
Jimmy Abdou – 6 – Introduced in place of Williams, not a ball player I already mentioned how we suffered in the middle of the park following Williams’ departure. But as is always the case with Abdou, for me he prevented the MK Dons midfield from having a big say on the match, with his typical 6/10 performance.
Fred Onyedinma – N/A
Joe Martin – N/A