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Match Reports

Reds defeated on home soil by MK Dons

23 December 2023

Match Reports

Reds defeated on home soil by MK Dons

23 December 2023

Three goals for the visitors saw the Shrimps fall to defeat on home soil, despite JJ McKiernan’s second half equaliser.

Max Dean scored twice in either half, with McKiernan’s sixth goal of the season sandwiched in-between as well as Joe Tomlinson’s 69th minute strike. 

A driving move from the Shrimps on seven minutes saw Eli King advance into the opposition half at speed, he played in Adam Mayor down the left who saw his cut back cross deflected behind.

The opposition’s first attempt on goal came second later as Dean created space to receive the pass before beating his man and opening his body to curl an effort well wide of its intended target.

A powerful strike from distance courtesy of Jack Payne forced James Connolly into defensive duties on 12 minutes, he deflected the ball narrowly wide of Adam Smith’s left-hand post.

Ged Brannan’s men continued to work the ball well into dangerous areas, with Tom Bloxham powerfully breaking through a couple of Dons’ defenders before crossing near the by-line, but it was too close to Craig MacGillivray who claimed possession comfortably.

Moments later, JJ McKiernan saw a seemingly powerful strike from the edge of the box deflected back to the away goalkeeper, ultimately taking the power out of the shot. 

The away side opened the scoring on 31 minutes; a clinical ball played through by Alex Gilbey was pounced upon by Dean who rounded Smith and slotted into an empty net.

Dean thought he had another eight minutes later as a deflected strike rippled the back of the Morecambe net, but the flag was up for an offside in the build-up.

Connolly came close to an equaliser after meeting a Mayor free kick with his head, but the effort lacked the power and placement to truly test MacGillivray.

Half-time: Morecambe 0 MK Dons 1

The Shrimps came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and were soon back on level terms. Mayor’s cross from the left was met by McKiernan’s powerful header, which left MK’s ‘keeper with no chance.

Just before the hour mark, a quick counterattack presented Dean with an opportunity from the left-hand side of the Morecambe box, his strike was held comfortably by Smith. 

Once again, the home side carved open the visitors on 65 minutes as David Tutonda’s perfectly weighted pass saw Mayor deliver a dangerous ball into the mix, forcing an away defender to head behind.

Against the run of play, MK regained their lead in the 69th minute as Tomlinson played a neat one-two with Payne before pulling the trigger from the edge of the box and finding the back of the net.

Playing with a newfound sense of confidence, Tomlinson again looked to strike from distance, this time an important Joel Senior block stopped him in his tracks. 

Shortly after being introduced, substitute Max Melbourne looked for an instant impact as he sent a dangerous looking ball into the mix, however the wind slowed it down completely, allowing for the away goalkeeper to collect the ball.

A flurry of chances came Morecambe’s way as the game ticked over into second half added time, the best seeing King have a go from outside the area, but it didn’t really trouble MacGillivray.

The visitors wrapped up the points in the dying seconds. An attempted defensive clearance was blocked before the ball fell to Dean who slammed home.

Full-time: Morecambe 1 MK Dons 3

Morecambe: A Smith, Tutonda (Melbourne, 86’), Bedeau ©, Songo’o (Taylor, 77’), Bloxham (Brown, 77’), King, McKiernan (C Smith, 85’), Mayor, Senior, Slew, Connolly.

Subs not used: Pedley, Stokes, Davenport.

Goals: McKiernan (49’).

Bookings: Connolly, McKiernan, Slew.

Red cards: None.

MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, Lewington ©, O’Hora, Williams, Gilbey, Payne, Tomlinson, Grant (Leko, 65’), Robson, Dean.

Subs not used: Kelly, Harrison, Eisa, Smith, Devoy, Tripp.

Goals: Dean (31’, 90+7’), Tomlinson (69’).

Bookings: Williams.

Red cards: None.

Attendance: 4,551 (183).

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