MK Dons lose 2-1 against Stockport County at home

    Image Credit: Milton Keynes Dons Football Club

    Milton Keynes Dons suffered a 2-1 defeat to Stockport County at Stadium MK.

    Dons won an early free kick just inside Stockport's half, with Ethan Robson sending the ball in towards the visitors' penalty box. The defensive line cleared the ball but only to Dawson Devoy, who attempted a long-range strike, seeing his effort blocked comfortably.

    Graham Alexander's side retained the majority of possession during the opening five minutes, picking up a handful of free kicks along the way, with Jonathan Leko fouled 25 yards out from the opposition goal. Mo Eisa lifted the ball over the defensive wall but wasn't able to guide it goalwards as it travelled wide.

    Stockport could have threatened almost immediately after, with Isaac Olaofe taking the ball into the Dons' penalty area in a two-against-two situation. He opted to keep the ball himself rather than passing to former Don Louis Barry, seeing the Dons win the ball back and avoid the danger.

    Cameron Norman forced Ben Hinchcliffe into the first save of the game as he received a cut-back pass from Alex Gilbey inside the penalty area, slotting his shot well from the right side to earn a corner.

    The Dons attempted to soak up a period of strong offensive play from the visitors, but despite their efforts, it wasn't enough to stop Barry from giving Stockport the lead in the 18th minute. The former MK man picked up the ball inside the box and slotted into the far corner with the Dons' defence giving him too much room to move.

    The home side battled back, getting forward and putting plenty of pressure on the Stockport defence. Their efforts were eventually rewarded as Eisa pulled them level at 1-1 in the 27th minute.

    A short corner routine saw Ethan Robson send a deep cross into the box, with a climbing Tommy Smith able to guide his header downwards for Eisa to tap in at the goal line, with Hinchcliffe unable to do anything about it.

    Dons had a threatening passage of play in the 34th minute, with Alex Gilbey running through the visitors' half, having his shirt pulled before the ball fell to the feet of Robson, who let fly a shot from range, seeing it go over the bar.

    Eisa somehow could not take the lead for the Dons as he received a well-placed ball over the top and was unable to beat Hinchcliffe one-on-one, following up with a cross towards Cameron Norman, whose flying header was sent over the bar from close range.

    Despite the home side's renewed progress, it was Stockport who took the lead just before half-time with Nick Powell climbing above the Dons defence inside the six-yard box to head the ball beyond the reach of MacGillivray.

    In the second half, a long throw from Norman gave Stockport pause as a header from a defender could only find Robson at the edge of the box, with the Dons midfielder striking the ball on the half-volley. Fortunately for the visitors, the ball struck another defender and was cleared from danger.

    For a brief moment, Dons fans believed Daniel Harvie had pulled his side level again with a chest-and-volley effort inside the box, but the ball hit the side netting.

    Stockport then brought themselves back into the match, increasing the pressure on their hosts with continual efforts to send the ball into the box from wide positions.

    In an attempt to reinvigorate the team, Alexander made a triple substitution in the 66th minute with Jack Payne, Joe Tomlinson and Max Dean coming on, changing the shape to give more attacking options up front.

    Ellis Harrison, introduced at the start of the second half, had a long-range effort go wide in the 74th minute after a positive passage of play from the Dons.

    Payne also had a long-range chance that threatened, forcing Hinchcliffe into making a strong save and earning the Dons a corner minutes after Harrison's effort.

    MacGillivray prevented Stockport from extending their lead late into added time, but beyond that, there was very little to separate either side. 

    Gilbey had a positive run towards goal, earning a corner from close range. The corner resulted in a shot into the side netting and was the last meaningful move in the match from either side, with the referee blowing for full-time and consigning the Dons to a 2-1 defeat.

    MK Dons Lineup: MacGillivray, Norman (66' Tomlinson), Tucker, O'Hora, Smith, Harvie, Robson (66' Dean), Devoy (66' Payne), Gilbey, Leko (45' Harrison), Eisa

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