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MK Dons rise to fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table thanks to 3-1 win



MK Dons came from behind to beat Salford City 3-1 at Stadium MK, with Matt Smith’s opener cancelled out by Kyran Lofthouse before Alex Gilbey and Emre Tezgel took the game away from the Ammies in the first half.


Salford looked lively in the opening exchanges with Matt Smith turning in from close-range after Michael Kelly did well to stop the initial header from a corner.


It didn't take the Dons long to respond though with Kyran Lofthouse making a smart run before firing in the equaliser from just outside the box.


Alex Gilbey put MK Dons ahead four minutes later with an outrageous chip from distance, before Emre Tezgel sealed it with a close-range header just before halftime.


Mike Williamson made just one change to the side that won at Mansfield on Tuesday, with Emre Tezgel coming into the starting XI in place of Dan Kemp.


Salford had the opening chance of the game after four minutes, Matt Smith timed his jump well at the back post to meet Junior Luamba’s cross but his header was off-target.


It was then MK Dons who had a chance, Matt Dennis demonstrating some great hold-up play around the penalty spot before hitting a low shot just wide to Cairns’ right.


Emre Tegel pulled off a fantastic bit of skill a few minutes later to leave his marker behind and charge at Salford’s goal. He was clipped on the edge of the box while shaping to shoot, but referee Dean Whitestone didn’t see enough to award a foul.


A few moments later Salford took the lead. A corner found its way onto the head of Junior Luamba who nodded goalwards, Michael Kelly did well to save it but couldn’t keep out Matt Smith who turned in the rebound from close range. 0-1.


After 15 minutes Salford had another chance to score, Connor McAleny had a shot from just outside the area but it was comfortably held by Kelly in the Dons’ net.


Five minutes later the visitors had another shot on goal, Matt Smith sent a looping header towards goal but the Irish goalkeeper made another assured save Connor McLennan was the first Salford player to be booked not long afterwards for a late challenge on Kyran Lofthouse. Jack Payne did well to get a touch through to Matt Dennis a few minutes later, but the attack fell through as Cairns read the threat and came out to collect before the striker could reach the ball.


Moments later Dennis was involved again, this time thanks to a Kyran Lofthouse cross. The forward’s header was deflected though and Cairns made a smart stop down to his left.

Dennis had a third chance a minute or so later, holding the ball up in the area well again before getting a low shot away to the keeper’s right which was well stopped.


A few moments later MK Dons made their pressure tell with a fantastic equaliser! Alex Gilbey made an energetic run up the pitch before laying the ball off to Kyran Lofthouse just outside the area. The wing-back ran at the Salford defence before checking to his left and firing off a shot from the edge of the box which beat Cairns. 1-1.


Just four minutes later MK Dons took the lead! Alex Gilbey found himself with time on the edge of the area after being played in by Jack Payne and opted for an audacious lob over the goalkeeper. He executed the skill to perfection to put the Dons ahead and send Stadium MK wild! 2-1.



With five minutes to go until halftime, Matt Dennis played Joe Tomlinson through on goal with a deft header, the wing-back looked to create a scoring opportunity on the edge of the box but the assistant referee blew for offside.


Alex Cairns was caught napping in his area in the 42nd minute by Matt Dennis who almost added a third for the Dons, but the keeper just about managed to recover and hold onto the ball.


The Dons had another chance a minute later, a Ryan Watson foul on the edge of the area allowed Joe Tomlinson to ping a free-kick into the Ammies box. MJ Williams met it with his head but the ball was knocked out of play by Salford’s defence.


Emre Tezgel nearly opened his account for the Dons on the stroke of halftime, his header from close range after a Jack Payne cross looked destined to nestle in the goal but was well stopped.


30 seconds later the England Under-21 had scored! Lewis Bate sent a fizzing corner into the box which Tezgel met well, his header was goalbound but a deflection off a Salford defender helped it over the line to give MK Dons a two-goal advantage. 3-1.


A fantastic first half saw MK Dons go in 3-1 up at the break after six minutes of stoppage time.


SECOND HALF

MK Dons started the second half brightly with plenty of attacking intent. Lewis Bate and Alex Gilbey combined well on the halfway line to spring a rapid counter attack but Gilbey was well tackled by Daniel Chesters in the final third.


Chesters played a great ball into the box a few minutes later, Smith rose highest but couldn’t quite stretch himself far enough to meet it. The forward was then cautioned for a cynical shove on Kyran Lofthouse. 


Mike Williamson made a triple substitution with an hour played, Ellis Harrison, Stephen Wearne and Dan Kemp coming on for Matt Dennis, Alex Gilbey and Emre Tezgel.


Matt Smith was lucky to stay on the pitch not long after the changes were made. The forward clattered Daniel Harvie when rising for a header but managed to avoid a second yellow card.

Michael Kelly hadn’t had much to do in the second half but was alert when called upon.


Salford found themselves with space in the MK Dons half and managed to get the ball out to Chesters who got a shot away from the edge of the area. The ball took a deflection on its way through but Kelly was able to readjust and palm the ball over the bar.



The keeper then did extremely well to come out of his area and punch clear the resulting Salford corner.


Connor McAleny was the second Salford player to be booked after Lofthouse was fouled again in the 72nd minute.


A couple of minutes later Ellis Harrison and Theo Vassell were both booked after a coming together.


Salford had a good chance with 13 minutes left to play, but as the Ammies pressed forward Luamba was deemed to have handled the ball, stopping the attack dead.


Jack Payne then made way for Ethan Robson in the 80th minute. Salford had an opportunity to attack not long afterwards, but Joe Tomlinson was quickest to react with a defiant block.

With a couple of minutes to play Cameron Norman replaced Lewis Bate.


Matt Smith endured a tough afternoon at Stadium MK, he had a half-chance in front of goal just before the board went up for stoppage time, but fouled his marker and gave away a free-kick.  


MK Dons saw out four minutes of added time to claim an impressive victory and go up to fourth place in the League Two table.


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