Milton Keynes Dons suffered a 1–0 defeat to Ipswich Town at Stadium MK despite putting on a spirited display.
The Dons made two changes to the team that lost 5-2 to Sheffield Wednesday last week, with an injured Daniel Harvie replaced by Henry Lawrence and Dawson Devoy returning to the starting line-up in Bradley Johnson’s place.
The home team began the game locked in their own half, with the visitors retaining possession well and intercepting the home side’s few attempts to break forward, earning an early corner after a shot was deflected inside the penalty area.
They then gave Ipswich a brief scare with a well-placed cross that found Mo Eisa in the box, but the ball bounced high and was comfortably recovered by Christian Walton on goal.
The visitors had their first real chance at goal in the 8th minute when Conor Chaplin was allowed a clean shot on the edge of the box, but his effort went wide.
Mark Jackson’s side suddenly had a handful of consecutive goal-scoring chances from close range, only to see Eisa, Jonathan Leko and Sullay Kaikai all denied by Walton blocks or saves, much to the amazement of everyone in the home sections of the stadium.
Leif Davis had two tries at the Dons half moments later, when his free kick hit the Dons’ defensive wall before his follow-up shot went well wide of its intended target.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring, with Sam Morsy unleashing a rocket shot from the edge of the box that flew into the bottom corner of Jamie Cumming’s goal. The Dons goalkeeper couldn’t do anything about it and gave Ipswich a 1-0 lead after 26 minutes of play.
Despite missing a goal, the Dons continued to push forward with balls sent into the Ipswich box. Walton headed in from a corner and Leko missed a shot that could have caused problems, keeping the hosts fighting for a comeback.
Ipswich thought they had extended their lead minutes before half-time, but the linesman’s flag had been raised just before the ball went into the net.
Despite a couple of corners and free kicks at the right half, the Dons were unable to get a goal back before the half-time break, heading inside an arc after the first 45 minutes.
The visitors started the second half firmly on the front foot, with substitute Massimo Luongo firing from the edge of the box over the bar just a minute after the restart.
A minute later, both Morsy and Nathan Broadhead could have extended Ipswich’s lead. Morsy received a pass from a free kick, ran forward and crashed a great low effort, forcing Cumming into a crucial save.
The ball bounced past Broadhead from point blank range, but the Ipswich man raised his effort over the bar and went on target.
George Hirst then put Cumming to work with a diving shot from outside the box, and the Dons keeper had to deflect the ball over the crossbar and deflect it into a corner.
Kaikai gave the Dons a breather when he was brought down some 25 yards from the Ipswich box, earning a free kick in the process. The former Wycombe Wanderers man took the dead ball himself and was agonizingly close to it, with his effort narrowly deflected off the near post.
Jamie Cumming made an excellent double save on 75 minutes to keep the score at 1-0, giving the Dons a slim hope of getting a goal back as time began to wind down.
Kaikai sent a threatening cross to the Ipswich back line, with Eisa in the middle, but he was unable to reach the ball with his foot and came out for a shot.
Ipswich were threatened with a free kick deep into the Dons half. The visitors couldn’t create enough to worry the Dons defense and gave away a free kick as the Dons began to release the pressure moments later.
Kaikai then earned his team a 30-yard free throw as regulation time expired. Josh McEachran took it, forcing Walton to take a knee and claim the ball in the air near the bottom near post.
The Dons performed much better overall compared to their second half against Sheffield Wednesday, but were unable to find a way past Walton before time ran out, handing Ipswich a 1-0 win and the three points.
MK Dons lineup: Cumming, Watson, Tucker, Jules, Lawrence, McEachran, Devoy (73′ Burns), Maghoma, Leko (78′ Holland), Kaikai, Eisa (88′ Grigg)