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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 2-0 Wycombe

Second-half goals condemn Blues to defeat at Stadium MK.

1 February 2020

Second-half goals from Rhys Healey and Ben Gladwin condemned the Blues to defeat at Stadium MK on Saturday afternoon.

After a tepid first 45 minutes, the game burst to life with Healey's close-range opener, and there was no way back after Gladwin beat David Stockdale from 20 yards.

Gareth Ainsworth was able to recall Joe Jacobson to the side after injury, but Darius Charles missed out as a precaution, paving the way for Sido Jombati to come into the defence while Curtis Thompson also replaced Matt Bloomfield in midfield.

On the 10th anniversary of Ainsworth joining Wanderers on a permanent deal from QPR, the Blues boss poignantly dashed to applaud the away fans before kick-off, unveiling a t-shirt in memory of supporter Mark Bird, who passed away on Tuesday evening after falling ill at Adams Park ahead of the win over Blackpool.

An uneventful first 15 minutes saw Dean Lewington booked for a foul on David Wheeler, while the first shot of the game flew over the bar from Joe Jacobson’s right boot 25 yards out.

Lewington’s attempt to stoke up a rivalry with his former team-mate Wheeler added a slight edge to the game, with referee Darren Handley doing well to keep a handle on matters, as Wanderers’ high press continued to dent the Dons’ attempt to pass their way to goal from the back.

Dominic Gape was the second name into the ref’s notebook for a foul on 35 minutes, and Wanderers almost opened the scoring when Curtis Thompson leathered Paul Smyth’s cross back across goal, and Alex Samuel’s deft touch saw it loop goalwards only to be tipped over by Lee Nicholls.

Dons thought they’d scored in first-half stoppage time but Sam Nombe was adjudged offside after tapping home the rebound from Alex Gilbey’s fierce low shot which was well saved by David Stockdale.

Joe Jacobson went close to scoring from an inswinging corner after the interval, before Sido Jombati’s intervention to deflect Sam Nombe’s cross behind for a corner was vital given the two unmarked Dons players waiting in the box to convert a pacy counter-attack.

After a well-observed minute’s applause in the 62nd minute for Mark Bird, Paul Smyth was booked for a foul 25 yards out, and while the initial free-kick came to nothing, Dons were presented with a great chance when George Williams turned the ball goalwards and David Stockdale brilliantly tipped it to safety.

The danger wasn’t averted, though, and Dons made the breakthrough moments later. After the initial corner was cleared, a superb cross was flicked on to the back post where Rhys Healey was waiting to tap home from close range, giving Stockdale no chance.

Wycombe responded immediately by bringing Josh Parker into the attack in place of Paul Smyth, and he almost had an equaliser straightaway, delicately flicking Jason McCarthy’s low cross towards the back post but seeing it land agonisingly the wrong side.

Alex Pattison replaced Alex Samuel to prompt a change in shape, before the Dons replaced Louis Thompson with Conor McGrandles and Healey with Ben Gladwin.

An injury to Carlton Morris prompted Dons boss Russell Martin to bring David Kasumu into the action, and before long it was 2-0 to the home side, with Ben Gladwin holding off two challenges before bending home into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Matt Bloomfield came on for Gape in midfield, before Anthony Stewart was booked for an act of dissent, but there was no late drama - for once - in a meeting with MK, as seven minutes came and went without any hopes of a comeback being fulfilled, despite Parker's free-kick curling narrowly wide of the near post in the closing stages.

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