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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

26 August 2023 Venue Stadium MK Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | MK Dons 2 Rovers 1

26 August 2023

Rovers turned in arguably the best performance of the season so far and were unfortunate to come away with a defeat at on-form MK Dons.

Grant McCann’s side produced much the better of the attacking play on the afternoon at Stadium:MK but paid the price for costly mistakes for the hosts’ two goals. 

Daniel Harvie and Warren O’Hora took advantage of the errors to give MK Dons a cushion heading into half time. 

Half time substitute Luke Molyneux curled in a trademark finish to halve the deficit on 56 minutes and Rovers pushed hard for the leveller but were ultimately left frustrated. 

McCann made four changes to the side that started against Notts County in the previous game with Deji Sotona, James Maxwell, Mo Faal and George Broadbent coming into the XI. With the absence of an out-and-out right back due to an injury to Tom Nixon, Rovers switched to a back three. 

It was a bright start for Rovers with Faal crafting two golden opportunities in the the early moments onto to strike tamely wide and send another straight into the grateful grasp of Dons keeper Craig MacGillivray. 

But the hosts took the lead on 16 minutes. Jonathan Leko surged into the box and clipped across goal where the unmarked Harvie slotted home. 

Leko looked to get on the scoresheet himself almost immediately afterwards while Faal again charged into the Dons box past a number of challenges only to strike wide. 

Faal – on his first start following his loan move from West Bromwich Albion – was a lively presence throughout and created a number of opportunities with surging runs from deep. He put another shot straight at MacGillivray following one such charge. 

Such missed chances were punished when Milton Keynes doubled their lead on 33 minutes as O’Hara bundled through a crowd of bodies to head home from a corner. 

Molyneux was sent on at the break along with Zain Westbrooke and both men made a significant impact on proceedings. 

On 56 minutes Rovers had their way back into the game as Molyneux cut inside from the right and exquisitely found the far corner with a curling effort. 

Rovers pushed for the equaliser, through to the end of eight minutes added. Molyneux volleyed a cross back into the centre but Maxwell’s attempt to make a connection was blocked. Faal fired well wide after cutting inside moments later. 

It looked as though Rovers had their equaliser with 12 minutes remaining as Joe Ironside spun off his marker to nod home Westbrooke’s sublime chip but the offside flag was quickly raised. 

Faal nodded straight at MacGillivray after meeting a cross from Jack Senior. A golden opportunity fell to Tommy Rowe as the game ticked into added time but he swiped his first time effort well wide as time ran out on the comeback. 

Rovers: Lawlor, Olowu (Westbrooke 46), Wood, Senior, Sotona (Molyneux 46), Broadbent, Bailey, Rowe (Goodman 90+4), Maxwell (Roberts 82), Faal, Ironside. Subs not used: Jones, Long, Faulkner. 

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