After the 1-1 draw at Bolton last weekend, MK Dons fans were hopeful going into this game. It was set up to be an entertaining game, and that it was, despite the lack of goals. Both sides seemed intent on attacking, but there was some less than desirable finishing throughout.
Though the performance levels appear to be returning for Karl Robinson’s side, there is still one worrying fact. The Dons have now not won at home since March; a 2-0 result against QPR.
That said, it was a much improved performance than previously this season. If this continues, the good times could return very soon.
Player Ratings: MK Dons 0-0 Oxford United
David Martin – 9/10
Martin was voted Man of the Match by the games’ sponsors today, and with good reason too. The Dons stopper has endured criticism from fans this season, but was arguably the main reason the Dons weren’t on the end of a loss today. He bravely denied Chris Maguire in the first half, and did well to keep hold of firm strikes from Oxford’s dangerous players throughout.
George Baldock – 8/10
Perhaps the most consistent of all the players at the club, Baldock was fantastic today. His energy on the pitch is something to behold, as Oxford fans will also be aware. His ability to get forward and support the attack is vital to the Dons, and it was on show today. Dean Bowditch, Ryan Colclough and George Williams wouldn’t have played like they did without his support.
Paul Downing – 6/10
One of the less convincing summer signings, Paul Downing was pretty poor today. It wasn’t his worst performance of the season, but there are still elements of his play that aren’t up to the high standard that fans have. He was caught out numerous times at the back today. He also lacks heading ability, despite his height advantage. Injury to Scott Wootton may be beneficial to Downing though, as it means an extended run in the team. This could see him settle down and improve his performances.
Joe Walsh – 7/10
It was another very solid performance from Joe Walsh, who is fast becoming a key player for the Dons. The central defender was calm on the ball throughout, and managed to keep at bay whatever came towards him. When Scott Wootton returns from injury, he’ll find it hard to dislodge Walsh from this position.
Dean Lewington – 5/10
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Lewington isn’t the player he used to be. The Dons captain has had a fairly poor start to the season, and today was a catalogue of errors throughout. He produced some hopeless passes at the back, and was largely ineffective going forward too. Many fans have come out and said they wouldn’t be surprised if the left-back is replaced by youngster Ben Tilney soon and, on this evidence, they could be right.
Darren Potter – 6/10
Though today wasn’t his worst performance of the season, it was far from the best that the fans know he can produce. There was some lacklustre passing from the defensive midfielder, that left the Dons struggling at times. If Potter doesn’t regain his form from 2014/15 soon, it won’t be long until he is replaced.
Ed Upson – 7/10
Upson’s performance today was a vast improvement from his one against Peterborough. Though he is still losing the ball too much, today he fought to win it back. In previous games, he’d have just given up. Dons fans will be hoping he can continue these sorts of performances, and even now add some goals to his game.
Dean Bowditch – 6/10
Bowditch doesn’t get this rating due to playing particularly poorly. He just felt largely ineffective for much of the game, especially in the first half. He didn’t create anything, like a winger should do. His only positive moment in the first half was registering the Don’s first shot on target, a tame effort hit straight at the Oxford ‘keeper.
Ben Reeves – 6/10
It’s not been a great start to the season for the fan favourite. He missed penalties against Rochdale and in the shoot-out against Reading, and today, like Bowditch, felt very ineffective. When he had the ball, he took too long to do anything with it, and it was no surprise to see him replaced after 69 minutes.
Ryan Colclough – 7/10
While the Wigan-loanee may not have the pace of Daniel Powell, he does posses one quality Powell doesn’t; his crosses often beat the first man. It was an impressive first stadium.mk appearance for Colclough, who was, rather unfairly, substituted after 63 minutes. The man who scored the equaliser at Bolton last week could quite easily cement a starting position with more similar performances to today.
Kieran Agard – 6/10
The Dons’ record signing wasn’t at the races today. He has two good opportunities in the first half, only being denied by the brilliance of Chey Dunkley with his first chance. He does appear to move a lot more than Nicky Maynard in order to create chances, so doesn’t get a terrible rating. However, it’s now been a month since he last scored. In fairness, he spent some time out injured, but he will need to get back to scoring ways soon in order to stay in the fans’ good books.
Those were the player rating from today’s game. It was an excellent game to watch, despite wasting some chances. Credit to the Oxford fans who travelled in their numbers and did well to create some atmosphere.
Next up for the Dons is a trip to Fleetwood Town next Saturday. The Cod Army fell to a 2-1 loss at Rochdale today, so the Dons will be hoping they can use the deflation of that defeat to their advantage, in a game that should hopefully produce a win.
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