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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 07 Mar 15 at 16:45 PM

Milton Keynes Dons 0 PNE 2

Second half goals from Callum Robinson and Joe Garner gave North End a vital tenth away win of the season against Karl Robinson's side at stadiumMK.

Robinson opened the scoring 66 minutes in as North End forced a mistake through midfield pressure and the on loan man raced into the left hand corner of the box and drove a shot past Ian McLoughlin.

And within three minutes Garner doubled the advantage powering a header in from Paul Gallagher’s corner, the taker winning it himself with more midfield pressure. All this in front of a magnificent 2,000 following.

Manager Simon Grayson’s only change was to replace Scott Wiseman on the bench with Calum Woods, the latter having a slight niggle and missing the trip.

It was a cagey affair in the first half, the home side switching their usual 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-1-1 against North End’s 4-3-3.

North End’s best chances in the opening period came down the flanks and just before the 15 minute mark Chris Humphrey got down the right and crossed – there was a shout for handball but it went into Joe Garner with his back to goal ten yards out, only for him to be ushered away.

The home side’s best chance saw Kyle McFadzean try his hand from 35 yards and it headed towards the top right corner, forcing a great two handed save from Sam Johnstone.

On 19 minutes Paul Gallagher put a driven ball in after an original corner came back out to him and McFadzean almost deflected the ball into own net conceding another corner. From the second corner Paul Huntington hooked goalwards, only for Will Grigg to clear.

Nine minutes before the interval Scott Laird tried his luck from 35 yards, Ian McLoughlin in the Dons goals spilled the ball, but recovered before Garner could pounce.

The best chance in the early stages of the second half came 13 minutes in as Daniel Johnson skipped past a defender in the box and pulled the ball back to Garner on his left foot, but his first time drive was over McLoughlin’s bar.

And on 66 minutes the Lilywhites took the lead. Great pressure in the middle of the park from Bailey Wright robbed the ball from Devante Cole in the middle of his own half; Joe Garner then took it on and slid the ball out to the left to Callum Robinson who raced into the box and drove a left-foot shot into the bottom right hand corner of McLoughlin’s goal.

And the lead was doubled four minutes later. Gallagher had put pressure on in the midfield again and driven forward and won a corner; he himself them delivered a sublime ball and Joe Garner rose with Paul Huntington highest in the box and they both appeared to power a header into the top right hand corner together from 15 yards out; Garner awarded the goal by the tannoy.

There was six minutes added on by Lee Probert, but rather than inviting pressure from the home side it was North End who were looking for a third and on the break Daniel Johnson dragged a shot wide of the right hand post after excellent play by Scott Laird, but it remained two and the North End fans would head home delighted.

Milton Keynes Dons line-up: McLoughlin, McFadzean, Kay, Potter (c), Bowditch (Powell, 62), Grigg, Spence (Green, 80), C Baker, Carruthers, Walsh, Cole (Reeves, 73). Subs not used: Burns, Flanagan, Andrews, L Baker.

PNE line-up: Johnstone, Clarke (c), Laird, Welsh, Wright, Huntington, Humphrey (Beckford, 86), Johnson, Garner (K Davies, 86), Robinson (Woods, 90), Gallagher. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Kilkenny, Reid, Ebanks-Blake.

Attendance: 10,618 (1,994 away fans)

Referee: Mr L Probert

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