Yeovil Town slipped to their second successive League One defeat as a 74th minute Charlie MacDonald goal earned Milton Keynes Dons all three points at stadium:MK this afternoon.
MacDonald’s strike, Dons first goal in 280 minutes of football, came just seven minutes after he had replaced fellow forward Ryan Lowe, and on the balance of play, was what the home side deserved after a dominant display. The result leaves Karl Robinson’s men level on points with the Glovers, but two places behind in eighth place after today’s match.
Town boss Gary Johnson made two changes to the eleven that started last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth. Gozie Ugwu started ahead of Reuben Reid and Lewis Young replaced attacker Keanu Marsh-Brown. Norwich City loanee Korey Smith, signed on a three month loan deal today, had to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
The first half hour was devoid of real clear cut chances despite Milton Keynes Dons having the vast majority of possession after Yeovil failed to keep hold of the ball in important areas. Robinson was forced into an early change in his Dons line up when Gary McKenzie limped off on eleven minutes to be replaced by Antony Kay.
Marek Stech, at the heart of what was a solid defensive first half, tipped over a right foot shot from Luke Chadwick from twelve yards out after exciting attacker Daniel Powell set him up. Lowe was then wasteful when Dean Bowditch’s training ground corner routine saw the ex-Chester striker blaze over. Stech then saved the Glovers when he came out quickly to deny Chadwick a sight of goal after Byron Webster’s weak back pass left his side in trouble.
Luke Ayling and Gozie Ugwu both earned yellow cards before half time and right on the interval, Stech saved again from Lowe with Stephen Gleeson firing the rebound over.
Yeovil came out with more intent and James Hayter set up Dominic Blizzard but the midfielder fired over and Luke Ayling also went close to grabbing his first Glovers goal but his header hit a combination of defender and post. At the other end, Chadwick was also denied by the woodwork as his shot on the counter attack thudded against the post.
Johnson made a double switch after the hour mark with Reid and Smith coming on for Ugwu and James Hayter and after fantastic work from Young had set Sam Foley up for a shooting chance, Robinson made a decisive and ultimately rewarding change with Charlie MacDonald coming on for Lowe on 67 minutes. MacDonald almost set up Darren Potter straight away but the former Liverpool star headed wide and Stech then saved from the same player two minutes later.
The goal eventually came with sixteen minutes remaining. The Dons attack had been caught offside eight times previously but it was ninth time lucky as Potter’s ball over the top sprang the trap and MacDonald ran on to coolly finish under the diving Stech for his first goal of the season. Keanu Marsh-Brown then came on to replace Luke Ayling but the main play in the last quarter hour was in the Glovers half.
Bowditch dinked over from a Jon Otsemobor cross, Powell played a lovely one two with MacDonald but shot over and in stoppage time, Chadwick squared for MacDonald to score again but the ex-Brentford frontman was in an offside position when he scored and the goal was ruled out.