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MK Dons Show Stellar Performance in 3-0 Victory at Stadium MK

MK Dons blew Newport County away with three first-half goals to ensure another home win for Mike Williamson’s side.

A trio of goals in the opening half hour from Dan Kemp, Jack Payne and Alex Gilbey put the Dons firmly in the driving seat, with a disciplined second-half performance to go with their explosive opening.

Newport County struggled to deal with the MK Dons midfielders throughout the game and can have few complaints about the scoreline.

Mike Williamson only made one change from the team that drew 1-1 with Wrexham on Tuesday, Kyran Lofthouse came into the side in place of Dean Lewington, who served the first of a two-match suspension for a straight red card.

There was also space for 17-year-old Callum Tripp in the squad, with the youngster named amongst the substitutes.


MK Dons had the first chance of the half after just three minutes, Kyran Lofthouse was well found by Joe Tomlinson on the right wing, the defender flew down the line before checking his run and threading a ball across the face of goal for Stephen Wearne to attack, but the forward’s effort was well smothered by Newport’s defence.

It wasn’t long until the Dons were on the attack again, with Lofthouse putting a ball into the area from the right-hand side, it was headed clear but only as far as Dan Kemp, who opened his body up to shoot but curled wide.

Just a minute later the team from MK1 had another opportunity, the ball falling to Lofthouse again, this time on the edge of the Newport area, but the wing-back fizzed his shot just wide to the left-hand side of Townsend’s goal.

In the 12th minute, MK Dons made the most of their early dominance with a brilliantly worked goal!

Jack Payne played a pass into Stephen Wearne who did well to deceive his marker and flick the ball onto Kemp, from there the number 27 found the bottom right-hand corner with a confident finish from close range. 1-0.

Less than 10 minutes later the Dons doubled their lead! Jack Payne won a free on the edge of the Newport area, which he played short into the path of Dan Kemp. The two midfielders quickly passed the ball between themselves before Payne broke through into the Newport box, he fired a low shot across the face of goal to Townsend’s left, with the ball clattering in off the post. 2-0.

A few minutes after the second goal Aaron Wildig received the first yellow card of the match for a nasty foul on Lewis Bate from behind. It wasn’t long until the Dons had scored again, this time thanks to some fantastic work by forward Stephen Wearne who’d been hounding Newport’s defence throughout the first half.

The forward chased down a bouncing wall and managed to nick it off the last man before squaring to Alex Gilbey who smashed it home. 3-0. 

Bryn Morris was Newport’s second player to go in the book on the half-hour mark for a poor challenge.

With four minutes to go until half time, Dan Kemp broke down the left-hand of the pitch for the Dons, the forward beat his man on the by-line before finding Joe Tomlinson in the box, the defender played the ball out to Jack Payne who got his shot away, but fired it wide to Townsend’s right.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Tomlinson made Newport nervous with another fierce shot, the defender pulling out the stepovers in the box before laying the ball off to his left and dragging wide.

Former Newport man Cameron Norman had a chance to sink his old club even further before the halftime whistle. A corner found its way out to the number 2, but he scuffed his shot and Townsend was able to comfortably collect. The Dons went in at the break firmly in control, with 11 shots to Newport’s 0.


Newport made a double change at halftime, with Jephcott and Jameson coming on for Waite and Baker.

The first chance of the second half fell to Luke Jephcott, with the Newport striker sending a tame header towards Michael Kelly from close range.

The Dons nearly had a fourth in the 55th minute, Stephen Wearne found Dan Kemp after a corner, but Nick Townsend came off his line early to deny the MK Dons forward a second.

A few minutes later Kemp did have the ball in the net again, only for the assistant referee to rule it offside.

Mike Williamson then made his first changes of the afternoon, with Kemp and Wearne being replaced by Ellis Harrison and Emre Tezgel.

Tezgel almost had an instant impact, combining with Lewis Bate to lay the ball off for the midfielder, who forced another smart stop from Townsend with a powerful strike.

The young forward was involved again just moments later, with a deflection steering his shot just wide of the Newport goal from close range.

Tezgel again made his presence felt in the 71st minute, holding the ball up brilliantly in the Newport area before finding Harrison who duly struck home, only for the assistant referee to rule yet another goal offside.

Newport had a rare sight of goal on 73 minutes, Zanzala pounced on a mistake from MK Dons in midfield to pinch the ball and begin an attack.

The forward sprinted towards the Dons’ goal but was well marshalled by Daniel Harvie who put in a strong tackle to see the ball out of play.

With around 15 minutes to play Ethan Robson and MJ Williams were introduced, with Jack Payne and Lewis Bate making way. 

Newport found themselves with a corner in the 83rd minute but failed to make the most of the set-piece as Alex Gilbey put County's forwards under pressure with intense pressing.

The Dons’ captain for the day was then replaced by forward Matthew Dennis a few moments later.

Despite having little to do in the second half Michael Kelly was alert to a Newport attack in the 88th minute, the Irish goalkeeper got down well to his left to save a powerful shot from around 20 yards.

The Dons comfortably saw out five minutes of stoppage time to earn another valuable win at Stadium MK.


MK Dons: Kelly, Norman, O’Hora, Gilbey (C) (Dennis 87), Payne (Robson 77), Tomlinson, Harvie, Wearne (Harrison 61), Kemp (Tezgel 61), Lofthouse, Bate (Williams 77)

Subs: Harness, Tripp

Goals: Kemp 12, Payne 23, Gilbey 29

Yellow cards: Gilbey 82

Newport County: Townsend, Lewis, Clarke, Evans, Morris, Waite (Jephcott 45), Bennett (C) (Zanzala 59), McLoughlin (Payne 17), Wildig, Baker (Jameson 45), Palmer-Houlden (Bondswell 59) 

Subs: Maxted, Rai 

Referee: Ben Atkinson

Stadium: Stadium MK

Attendance: 6,354 (512)


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