Dons win back-to-back games in five-goal thriller with Swindon Town

MK Dons match report
MK Dons match report

MK Dons made it back-to-back victories at Stadium MK with a heart-racing 3-2 win over Swindon Town on Saturday.

Max Dean opened the scoring late in the first-half with his fourth goal in as many games for Dons, but the hosts were pegged back on the hour mark by a fine Jake Young strike, not long off the bench for the visitors.

Warren O’Hora though scored a beauty to restore Dons’ lead seven minutes later, before a George McEachran own-goal looked to wrap things up with five minutes to go.

A stoppage time header from Frazer Blake-Tracy threatened to make things nervous at the death, but Dons held on to win a second game in a week under Mike Williamson’s watch, and with it moving up into the top half of the League Two table.

After the 4-1 win on Tuesday night against Bradford City, Williamson stuck with the same side down to the substitutes for the visit of Swindon, seeing Max Dean lead the line, with Conor Grant and Alex Gilbey in support behind.

Taking on the Robins who started the season really brightly was always going to be a tough challenge for Dons, but they showed intent to carry on where they left off on Tuesday. While the wing-backs of Joe Tomlinson and Cameron Norman were kept much quieter by the Swindon defence, the midfield battle was a fast one from both sides.

Neither though could really get it going in the final third, with the first chance not coming until the 20th minute when Alex Gilbey's powerful low cross was deflected into keeper Murphy Mahoney's arms.

As the half edged towards the break, it opened up and allowed for Dean to begin to see sight of goal. Twice he forced Mahoney into saves - one from the edge of the box and once with a powerful strike from just inside - but he wasn't to be denied with the third.

Slid in by Grant, the teenager took a touch out of his feet before picking out the bottom corner six minutes before the break for his fourth goal in as many games.

After his late goal against Bradford, Alex Gilbey could have doubled Dons' advantage after a trademark surging run forwards, and in almost an identical spot, saw his effort, arrowing as it was for the bottom corner, well saved by Mahoney.

Jake Young, on loan from Bradford, had made a brilliant start to the season for the visitors and immediately proved his worth for Swindon when he drew them level on 59 minutes, just three after coming off the bench. George McEachran, brother of former Dons midfielder Josh, played the ball across the edge of the box more out of hope than anything, but after Charlie Austin's step over, Young bent a wonderful effort into the top corner to draw level.

For the first time, the large travelling support found their voices and roared their side on as they got their tails up and sought out the lead. But parity would not last long as a beauty from Warren O'Hora restored Dons' lead seven minutes later.

Winning the ball on the halfway line, the Irishman exchanged passes with the excellent Jack Payne before receiving it in the penalty area, bending home a wonderful left-footed strike into the side of the net.

With both sides sensing victory was a possibilty, the game really opened up into an entertaining back and forth. Gilbey though, desperately seeking a way onto the scoresheet, should have put the game to bed when he got on the end of Payne's ball inside the six-yard box, but somehow as denied by a brilliant Mahoney save.

It might not have been his name ultimately on the scoresheet with Dons' third, but it was all down to the captain's hardwork when, in the 85th minute, his cross was deflected into his own net by McEachran to seemingly put the game beyond doubt.

There would be late drama though when Frazer Blake-Murphy headed one back for Swindon in the third minute of six added on, and though they threatened in the closing stages, Dons in the end held out to claim back-to-back victories.

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 7,821

MK Dons: MacGillivray, O’Hora, Tucker, Harviem Tomlinson, Norman, Payne (Devoy 85), Robson (Leko 85), Gilbey, Grant (Williams 56), Dean (Eisa 85)

Subs not used: Kelly, Smith, Ilunga

Swindon Town: Mahoney, Hutton, Clayton (Young 55), Blake-Tracy, McEachran, Khan Hepburn-Murphy, Godwin-Malife, Kinsella (Minturn 82), Shade, Austin (Obodo 89)

Subs not used: Ward, Genesini, Hart, Alston

Booked: Grant, Clayton, Khan, McEachran, Harvie, Austin, Eisa