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Match Reports

Notts County 0 MK Dons 1

26 December 2014

Notts County 0 MK Dons 1

COMPETITION | Sky Bet League One
SCORERS | Powell (31)
ATTENDANCE | 5,897 (645 away)
REFEREE | Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

A first half goal from Daniel Powell succumbed Notts County to a 1-0 defeat against MK Dons. 

Both sides had changes throughout the game, but one goal was enough for the visitors to take back all three points.

Daniel Powell opened the scoring for MK Dons midway through the first half, Benik Afobe with the run into the box, but the ball fell to Powell who tapped in from inside the box. 

Notts best chance of the game came at the beginning of the second half, Colby Bishop played Ronan Murray in on goal, the striker was one on one with the keeper, but David Martin made a good save to deny.

The home side continued to pile the pressure late on in the game, but couldn’t find a break through.

Magpies’ manager Shaun Derry made three changes to the starting line-up that secured a dramatic last gasp point away to Rochdale last weekend, after Garry Thompson’s injury time equaliser. Coming into the starting eleven were Ronan Murray, Drissa Traore and Colby Bishop, with Ryan Hall, Elliott Whitehouse and Gary Jones making way.

18-year-old striker Colby Bishop was given his first start for Notts after the youth team striker had featured on the bench a number of times for the Magpies in recent weeks. He replaced Ryan Hall, who took his place on the bench. Drissa Traore and Ronan Murray were both restored to the starting line-up after making substitute appearances against Rochdale, and contributing to the last minute equaliser. Whitehouse and Jones made way.

The Notts fans were in fantastic voice from the off and the home side got off to a start to match. Blair Adams made a great run down the left into acres of space, Garry Thompson played the left-back through. Adams tried to cross for the near post where Stephen McLaughlin was waiting. However, he put a little too much power into the cross, but it forced David Martin into the first save of the game, as he palmed the ball clear.

Notts continued their bright start to the game. A sliding interception from McLaughlin sent Ronan Murray clear down the left. Murray couldn’t capitalise however, as MK Dons got players back to defend, as the strikers shot flew wide. 

MK Dons were not sitting back however, and did get forward often during the first 15 minutes. Dean Bowditch had their best chance in the early minutes. He picked up the ball inside the area with time to turn and shoot, but he didn’t catch it right, as Roy Carroll collected an easy shot. 

With 20 minutes on the clock, MK Dons weren’t far away from breaking the deadlock. Bowditch stood over a freekick on the edge of the area and crossed in for the far post. Antony Kay got there first, but couldn’t control his header as it flew over the bar.

The opening 30 minutes didn’t have many significant chances, but the visitors opened the scoring with the first real chance of the game. Benik Afobe skipped past a number of challenges before making a run into the box, Carroll came out and Afobe lost control of the ball, but it fell to Daniel Powell, who tapped it in to open the scoring. 

Notts went straight back at them. Colby Bishop played through McLaughlin on the left, the Forest loanee was in a good position, but he hit his shot wide. In the same position, Blair Adams opened up some space for himself, before hitting an accurate shot for the far corner, this time it forced David Martin into a good save to deny the left-back.

MK Dons had further chances of their own. First Carl Baker had a shot on the right bend over the bar. Next Dean Bowditch tried his luck from distance, it took a deflection and went out for a corner. From that set-piece, Dean Lewington was left on his own at the back, but his free header went over from close range.

With only minutes to go until half-time, Benik Afobe broke clear one on one with Carroll, and the Notts number one made a fantastic save to deny the striker. That was to be the last significant moment of the half, as Notts went in a goal down.

HT: Notts County 0 - 1 MK Dons

Notts came out in the second half and put MK Dons right on the back foot. A throw in from Hayden Mullins was nodded on by Garry Thompson to Colby Bishop. Bishop played a wonderful ball in for Ronan Murray who was in one on one with the keeper.  Martin saved well however to deny Murray who aimed for the far corner. Seconds later McLaughlin had a header go over from inside the box. 

Down the other end, Notts had a real let off. The ball was played across goal, which was missed by a number of players in the six yard box. But waiting was Benik Afobe, who missed the ball completely when all he needed to do was tap it in. 

Jordan Spence had another chance for MK Dons to extend their lead. A flowing counter attack from the visitors fell to Bowditch on the edge of the area. He played in Spence on the right, but Roy Carroll got down well to deny the right-back. 

Notts made a change in Jake Cassidy, who came on for Ronan Murray and it looked to have made a difference for the Magpies early on. A long ball from Roy Carroll was well controlled by Haydn Hollis before he laid it off for McLaughlin. McLaughlin took a touch before unleashing a strike towards goal. Martin saved well to deny Notts from equalising. Cassidy too had a shot moments later, but it went wide of the target.

Baker had an opportunity for MK Dons. A counter attack led by Dele Alli got Notts on the back foot. McLaughlin brought down Alli, receiving a yellow card for his troubles. Baker stood over the freekick, but couldn’t keep it down as his strike flew over the bar. 

Back down the other end, a cross from Garry Thompson nearly presented substitute Elliott Whitehouse with a chance to equalise, but fantastic defending from Dean Lewington denied Whitehouse. Drissa Traore had a shot from the edge of the area, however the midfielder blasted the ball over.

Another fast flowing move from MK Dons played Carl Baker in on the right with acres of space. He had the better of Blair Adams, but couldn’t bend his shot in at the far post, the ball instead went just wide. Baker again tested Carroll, as he punched the ball clear. 

Notts pumped the ball forward late on to try and find that equaliser, but couldn’t break through a strong MK Dons defence. The Magpies claimed for a penalty during the four minutes of injury time. Garry Thompson broke into the box before seemingly being bundled over in the area, but the referee waved away penalty appeals from players and fans alike. That was the last significant moment of the game, as Notts suffered a 1-0 defeat at Meadow Lane.

FT: Notts County 0 - 1 MK Dons

The midfielder had an excellent game in the centre of midfield for the Magpies. He showed a good range of passing throughout the game, setting up a number of chances for the home side. 

He was also good defensively, making plenty of interceptions and tackles to stop MK Dons from breaking. Playing against a very good player in Dele Alli, Traore did well to keep the player out for most of the game.

Notts County: Carroll, Adams, Smith (Jones, 72), Mullins ©, Hollis, Murray (Cassidy, 58), G Thompson, Traore, Edwards, Bishop (Whitehouse, 73), McLaughlin
Substitutes: Pilkington, Dumbuya, Cassidy, Jones, Whitehouse, Harrad, Hall

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, McFadzean, Kay, Potter, Bowditch (Grigg, 81), Spence, Baker (Carruthers, 88), Alli, Powell (Green, 81), Afobe
Substitutes: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Green, Grigg, Randall, Baldock, Carruthers

Look out for full reaction and post-match highlights on Magpie Player

NEXT UP: Bradford City v Notts County | Sky Bet League 1 | Sunday 28 December 2014 (3pm Kick-Off) @ Valley Parade (BUY TICKETS)

Photos by JMS Photography

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