Mk Dons season is not going as they planned, as they sit in the relegation zone of league one. In the last seven days they have parted company with their promotion gaining manager Paul Tisdale. Proving that you are only as good as your last result. Having said that, Mk Dons have lost 8 of their last 9 games. So in steps new gaffa Russell Martin.
With £36k up for grabs on winning this fixture clubs like Vale need to get as far as they can, as its not about winning it, although that would be nice. Its about getting as much prize money as possible to invest in a team.
Vale start with an unchanged team, Askey is never scared to make a change, so if this team stays the same the week after they must have impressed. It also means, thankfully Vale did not pick up any injuries.
First corner of the game goes to Vale, Gibbons drifts it in, but MK Dons manage to muscle the vale striker out of the way and its cleared.
On the 9th minutes the first corner for MK, Dickenson drills it in, but gibbons gets on the end of it and clears it to the mid-point of the Vale half.
MK Dons Brennan Dickenson brings down Worrall in the centre with a shirt pull, then Amoo has the same issue on the right wing. Seems that at this stage, Mk would rather take the foul than allow a man to get past them.
With 15 minutes gone and Mk make a good break towards the box, Gibbons though tracks back and shield the ball out to the frustration of Jordan Bowery.
On the 19th Amoo with a cross that’s half cleared, but comes back from where it was delivered to a waiting Gibbons, Gibbones then delivers a cross that takes a slight deflection, but reaches Worrall who is standing on the far post and drops his head to get the power behind it and its over the line.
Montano on the 25 minute battling on the right hand side, not giving the striker a inch to play with so, forces him wide. Montano then delivers a perfect tackle to stop the cross coming in. Corner to Mk which is delivered in, it appears to hit Legges arm and the MK dons players certainly think it did, but the referee shows no emotion and the ball is cleared.
Free kick on 10 yards outside the box, toward the centre. Perfectly placed for a shot but Dickenson can only kick it wide.
Mk Dons with another corner that’s delivered to the centre of the box, small header on that’s cleared.
Yet another corner for MK taken short and a cross/shot comes in and goes over the top of the goal landing on top of the next. Some Mk fans celebrating that at least it has hit a net.
Vale continue to push forward as MK seem to be happy with the counter attack.
Conor Mcgrandles with some great play on the left hand side, weaving left then right, pulling it back and then stepping over the ball. Got the ball around Gibbons, but the delivery of the cross let him down.
Bennett with a free header in the centre of the box, but puts it over. It seemed easier to score from where I was sitting.
Mk Dons Have started the half in the same way that they finished the second, blasting crosses across the box to the opposite side, but there is no player there waiting for it, so its easily cleared by the Vale back four.
MK are stepping up their game as they push forward, powerful shot from Dickenson pushes it across the box to the left of the keeper, but it’s a little too wide and goes out for a goal kick. MK might have been told to take more risks with their shots and they appear to have had more shots in the first ten minutes of second half than they did in the whole of the first half.
Joe mason on for Dickenson on the 61st minute.
Montano with a looped pass from the back to Worrall. Worrall runs down the left wing, but it crowed out and the ball goes for a throw in.
The ball is crossed into the box and it appears to hit the hand of a MK dons player, Vale players hands go up and a shout from the crowd for hand ball, but the referee again shows no emotion and the game carries on.
On the 66th minute, Bennett is coming off for Tom Pope. Vale fans sing “feed the Pope, Feed the Pope and he will score”
Yellow card for Joyce, he slid in, in front of the player. The referee felt that it was a foul tackle so calls the ball back and gives the free kick.
Brittian with the cross to the far post, as its dangerously close to the far post, Gibbons puts it out for a corner. MK however are not able to capitalise on the corner and it goes out for a free kick.
Vale have had to put every man behind the ball. Showing that they can handle anything that Mk can throw at them.
Its often said in football matches that’s it a game of two halves and today it was. Vale the better team of the first half and MK the better team of the second. As I Vale fan I will of course say that the result was fair, but looking at it impartially, I would have to admit that Vale were lucky to win the match. That does not mean that I think they should have lost it, but a draw might have been a little fairer based on the play. Vale did struggle at times with the one upfront, Pope has never been the fastest of runners, so lumping the ball forward was never going to play to his strengths. I have commented in a post match interview in the past that I don’t think Vale have the depth in the squad and its down to situations like this. Vale needed pace up front with an ability to score, Vale only have one option at the moment and that’s Bennett and he started the match.
Vale progress to the next round.