Dons fans’ faith in Russell Martin is put to the test again at the Wham Stadium as Dion Charles had the freedom of the six-yard box to give Accrington Stanley the win in a hotly contested encounter.
MK Dons were unsurprisingly unchanged from Wednesday night’s complete performance at The Valley as they searched for their fourth consecutive away victory in all competitions. Accrington Stanley lined up with their usual three at the back- a set up that Russell Martin’s men have struggled to break down so far this season.
The men in black could not seem to forget their old habits as Dion Charles converted Tariq Uwakwe’s cross. John Coleman’s side had started the brighter and their solid start did merit an early strike.
A further motif of MK Dons’ early-season struggles reared it’s ugly head midway through the first period, as David Kasumu picked up another booking: his seventh of the campaign. Ben Gladwin also found his name in Antony Coggins’ notebook after grappling with Stanley’s goalscorer.
The away side did seem to rally towards the end of the half but created nothing of note aside from an earlier chance for Cameron Jerome. The game was far from decided as the sides headed back into the tunnel.
Half-time: Accrington Stanley 1-0 MK Dons
MK Dons endured a shaky start to the second period as Colby Bishop expertly struck past Andrew Fisher, only for the assistant referee to cut short any celebrations with his raised flag.
Incredibly, shortly after, Carlton Morris, who had been one of MK Dons’ bright sparks in a subdued first half, ran from inside his own half, rode some poor challenges, and beat Toby Savin at his near post from just inside the penalty area.
Just when it looked like the Dons were in the ascendency, Charles grabbed a second of the afternoon. Uwakwe’s early cross caused confusion in the penalty area, as Dean Lewington’s attempted clearance struck Bishop and the loose ball fell remarkably kindly for Charles to tap in.
In the end, the Accrington players were a reflection of their manager: brilliantly professional as they saw the game out comfortably. Coleman has done a marvellous job to establish his team in this division since their promotion in 2018. They get their successive 2-1 win against MK Dons in League One.
To put matters into perspective for Cowshed regulars, this was only Martin’s side’s second defeat in eight and Accrington themselves are unbeaten in seven. The Dons now turn their attention to EFL Trophy action on Tuesday night, which will also coincide with the return of fans to Stadium MK for the first time since the 7th March.
Full-time: Accrington Stanley 2-1 MK Dons
Man of the Match: Tariq Uwakwe