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Match Reports

Match Report: MK Dons 1-1 Grimsby Town

Town earn a point at Stadium MK

21 August 2018

Grimsby Town shared the points with MK Dons as they earned a draw at Stadium MK.

The Mariners produced an excellent performance in the first half and went in at the interval with a deserved advantage thanks to Jordan Cook's goal.

Their lead was cancelled out by substitute Robbie Simpson within 30 seconds of the restart but they stuck to their task and defended well to ensure they returned home with a point, despite losing Paul Dixon to a straight red card.

One change was made to the Town side as Dixon came in for Danny Collins, who broke his arm during Saturday's draw with Lincoln City.

James McKeown started in goal, with Harry Davis, Alex Whitmore, Akin Famewo and Dixon forming the defence.

Harry Clifton, John Welsh and Jake Hessenthaler were the central midfielders, with Martyn Woolford on the right and JJ Hooper on the left lining up either side of striker Cook.

The subs were Louis Robles, Charles Vernam, Max Wright, Ahkeem Rose, Luke Hendrie, Wes Thomas and Sam Russell.

The Dons were looking to continue an impressive start to the season which had seen them concede just one goal in four games so far in all competitions.

Town started well, forcing the first corner when Hessenthaler's long-range shot was tipped behind by home keeper Lee Nicholls.

Woolford made his way into the penalty area on 10 minutes before going down under a challenge, although the referee took no action.

A chance for the hosts came three minutes later, with Alex Gilbey running through the middle but shooting wide of the target.

Woolford was involved again at the end of a Grimsby attack on 15 minutes, seeing a volley from inside the box blocked just in front of the line.

A home corner from Dean Lewington then led to George Williams heading over the bar.

Cook won a corner for the Mariners five minutes later but Welsh's shot was blocked after Hessenthaler's low delivery to the edge of the box.

A close-range effort from Cook was kept out by Nicholls at one end, before a corner at the other end was dealt with after Callum Brittain's shot had been deflected behind.

Woolford won a free kick just after the half-hour and after the ball was played into the centre, he was the one to eventually shoot off-target.

Famewo then did well to show his pace and win a goal kick after a ball had been played through.

The first goal came on 35 minutes and it was the Mariners who took the lead.  The ball was played to Woolford on the right and after his shot was saved by Nicholls, COOK was in the right place to convert the rebound.

The home side looked to respond and McKeown was called into action on 41 minutes to push a deflected shot from Brittain away from his goal.

One added minute was played at the end of the half and the hosts forced a corner, although Lewington's delivery was headed clear to ensure Town kept their advantage at the interval.

A double substitution was made by the Dons before the restart, with Simpson and Baily Cargill coming on for Gilbey and Ryan Watson.

And the changes had an immediate impact as within 30 seconds, the hosts were level, when SIMPSON got in between two defenders to meet a cross from Williams and head past McKeown.

The substitute could have had a second goal on 49 minutes after getting in behind Famewo but his shot was well saved by the Town keeper, at the expense of a corner.

Another corner came when Welsh blocked a shot from Ousseynou Cisse and from it, Simpson won the ball in the air and headed it across the face of goal, with McKeown eventually gathering after it was played back in.

Town had an opportunity to create some danger of their own with a free kick which was taken by Hessenthaler, although Whitmore's header went over the bar for a goal kick.

Grimsby's first substitution came on 58 minutes and saw Vernam replace Hooper and the forwards first involvement saw him find Woolford, who could only run the ball out for a goal kick.

Kieran Agard fired over the bar as the home side continued to create the better chances, before Cargill was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Clifton.

Whitmore followed him into the referee's notebook on 70 minutes for a foul on Agard.

A home corner soon afterwards was headed clear by Davis, before Brittain's looping cross was headed over the bar.

Hendrie came on for his Town debut in place of Clifton, before Vernam dragged a shot wide of the near post after good play by Dixon.

Thomas replaced Cook in Grimsby's final substitution, then Hessenthaler had a shooting opportunity but sent the ball wide.

Simpson headed wide at the other end after Famewo did enough to put him off as a cross came over from Joe Walsh.

Town were reduced to 10 men for the final eight minutes of the game as a strong challenge by Dixon on Jordan Moore-Taylor just inside his own half was punished with a straight red card.

Cisse headed over the bar from a corner with four minutes to go, then McKeown produced a great save following another corner, which led to a goalmouth scramble before the pressure was eventually relieved as the ball went past the post.

Four added minutes was signalled to be played and another home corner came when Whitmore did well to block a shot from Moore-Taylor.  The ball from the flag was half-cleared and when it was sent back into the box, it was headed wide by Williams.

McKeown was shown a yellow card for time-wasting as the 10 men of the Mariners attempted to hold on for a point.

Famewo was also booked in the last of the added minutes after a high challenge but Lewington's free kick was headed clear.

That proved to be the last chance for either side to force a winner, with Town managing to secure a deserved draw.

The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Newport County.


Welsh (C)


A. Rose

Attendance: 6800 (610)

Referee: Peter Wright

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