Match Report

 

Sat 12 Apr 14

Reds returned to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 victory at play-off chasing MK Dons.


Andy Drury has never been on the losing side when he has scored for Reds so when the midfielder struck after six minutes it was a good omen.


Mike Jones added the second in first-half stoppage time were rarely extended after the break as they secured a precious win which lifts us up to 15th, six points clear of the relegation zone with five games to go, starting at home to Tranmere on Tuesday.


John Gregory made two changes to the side beaten 1-0 at Brentford last Tuesday. Proctor and the fit-again Drury returned with Matt Tubbs dropping to the bench and Billy Clarke ruled out with a hand injury.


With ex-Reds boss Richie Barker on the home bench two weeks after being appointed No.2 to MK boss Karl Robinson there was extra spice to the fixture. Reds went into the game on the back of a six-game losing streak while the hosts hadn’t won at home for six games and had failed to score in the last five in front of their own fans.


An impeccably observed minute’s silence was observed on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.


Reds started brightly and after six minutes they went in front. DRURY produced a cool finish past David Martin from 12 yards but the goal was made by Proctor who controlled a pass from Gary Dicker superbly before threading the ball inside the defender for the midfielder to run onto.


MK Dons looked wide open at the back early on and Brendan Galloway had to get across to make a superb last-ditch challenge when Josh Simpson broke into the box as Reds dominated the early stages.


The hosts stirred themselves on 21 minutes. Mark Randall’s pass found Izale McLeod a yard ahead of the visitors’ defence but his attempted lob easily cleared the bar.


Jones was called into action for the first time when he blocked a volley from Dele Alli then Randall got into the box but stabbed his shot from Dean Lewington’s cross wide.


But Reds were still a threat themselves and in first-half stoppage time they counter-attacked superbly to double their lead. Mark Connolly made the initial clearance to Drury whose pass picked out Proctor’s run. The striker could have taken on the shot himself but he played in JONES instead and the midfielder couldn’t miss from 10 yards.


The home side responded by switching to a 3-5-2 formation in the second half with former Manchester United striker Alan Smith dropping back to sweeper and on 56 minutes they made a triple substitution.


Alli forced Jones into a comfortable save from the edge of the box and right-back Jordan Spence wasn’t far away when he let fly from 25 yards but Reds were proving a tough nut to crack.


The manager made his first change with 13 minutes to go when Sergio Torres replaced the outstanding Drury and three minutes later Proctor nearly added to the lead when Jones put him in space but as he was about to shoot Smith got across to make a great challenge at the expense of a corner.


Proctor was replaced by Rory Fallon with two minutes to go, departing to a fantastic ovation from the 338 fans who had made the trip and most of the noise throughout the game.


A few minutes later they were celebrating a thoroughly deserved three points. 

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