Ousseynou Cisse scored in the dying minutes as MK Dons scraped a 1-0 win over Bury in their League Two encounter. The goal means that this is the first time ever the Dons have won both of their opening two league games.
Ousseynou Cisse Makes the Difference
Bury had their goalkeeper, Joe Murphy, to thank for this game not taking a completely different turn. The Dons were firing towards his goal within five minutes of the game kicking off. The Shakers failed to deal with a corner properly and when the ball fell to Joe Walsh, his half-volley seemed destined for the top corner. Murphy, though, leapt to tip the ball onto the crossbar, and Kieran Agard’s follow-up was deflected wide.
Murphy could be a key figure for Ryan Lowe’s side this season, owing to his experience higher up in the Football League. He spent time with Coventry City in the Championship and stuck around for a further two seasons after they were relegated to League One. He then got a move back to the Championship with Huddersfield Town but saw his playing time drastically reduced in comparison to his time with the Sky Blues. He made 147 appearances for the Midlands side, while he made just nine for the Terriers.
Murphy was at it again in the second half, too. Bury conceded a needless free-kick and the ball looked well-placed for either Ryan Watson or Dean Lewington to swing the ball in. It was Watson who took it, and after his strike took a massive deflection, it looked to be heading for the bottom corner. Murphy read the bounce of the ball perfectly and on its way back up, he managed to tip the ball up and away from goal. This relieved the pressure on the Bury goal and following the passage of play, they went and put on some pressure of their own, to no avail.
Midfield Attacking Too Much
The peppering of Murphy’s goal and the fact that the hosts eventually won the game through Cisse doesn’t tell the full story. For much of this game, Bury were more than equal to the Dons and will feel hard done by for not taking at least a point from this game.
The midfielder three of Jordan Houghton, Alex Gilbey and Ryan Watson for the Dons played too high up the pitch, particularly Gilbey and Watson, with Houghton sitting slightly further back. This isn’t to say they played badly when they were attacking (although Gilbey was guilty of more than a few loose passes) but it allowed Bury too much space to attack into when they regained possession.
If one of Gilbey or Watson lost possession when they were helping Kieran Agard and Dylan Asonganyi up front, this left the three central defenders and Houghton to initially deal with the danger, while wing-backs Callum Brittain and Dean Lewington chased back to accompany them.
However, Bury were constantly breaking with pace, which they had either side in the form of Danny Mayor and Neil Danns. This meant that big gaps formed in the spaces between George Williams (right centre-back), Brittain and Houghton on one side, and Joe Walsh (left centre-back), Lewington and Houghton on the other, when the visitors went forward, allowing too much time for Mayor or Danns to pick out a pass or go for goal. Due to the lack of cover, Jordan Moore-Taylor couldn’t step out to deal with any of the danger because this would then leave more space in behind the defence.
This was a problem for the Dons for the majority of the game. However, credit must be given to Moore-Taylor and Walsh, who both made some miraculous blocks whenever shots came their way. Moore-Taylor, in particular, got his head in front of an effort from Mayor to clear off the line.
This problem was rectified, though, when Cisse entered the field.
Changing the Game
Just past the hour mark, Ryan Watson was withdrawn by Paul Tisdale and replaced by Mali international Ousseynou Cisse. The 6″3′ defensive midfielder slotted in alongside Jordan Houghton, leaving Gilbey as the attacking player in the midfield three. This gave a lot more balance to the midfield and the attacks from Bury were much less frequent following Cisse’s introduction.
It’s fair to say that Cisse has been given a hard time by the fans since his arrival last season. He has been criticised for his slow and lazy performances, but he was anything but that today. He constantly used his pace and strength to track back and assist the defence, showed off his dribbling capabilities with a couple of mazy runs down the left-wing and displayed an impressive range of passing.
The game changed significantly with his introduction, and he confirmed this just as the clock ticked over the 90-minute mark. George Williams received the ball out on the right and drilled an excellent low cross into the box. Cisse strode in, unmarked, and stuck out a leg to guide the ball beyond the helpless Murphy. Stadium MK erupted as the ball hit the net, which gave Paul Tisdale his second win in as many games as the manager of MK Dons.
Cisse may be appearing a bit more regularly than last season after today’s excellent cameo and with the news that Chuks Aneke is expected to complete a loan move to Bolton Wanderers in the coming days. The attacking midfielder has had an injury-plagued time with the club but is far too good to be playing at this level.
After success in their opening two league games, the Dons will try their luck in the Carabao Cup next as they go up against Lee Bowyer’s Charlton. Tisdale’s side have been victorious in their last eight Round One games in this competition, last losing at this stage in the 2009/10 season; a 4-1 home loss to Swindon Town.
Their next league game will see them on the road again as they travel to Crewe Alexandra.