Heartbreak at Stadium MK as Russell Martin’s men concede the latest of equalisers in the most painful fashion. Yellows were enraged to see Andrew Fisher only see yellow but they managed to steal a point nonetheless.
Eyebrows were raised when both Cameron Jerome and Will Grigg were left out of the starting 11. Charlie Brown’s recent form did warrant a deserved start but many were surprised to see that the Dons top goalscorer was not partnering him.
The Dons did have some uncomfortable moments in the opening exchanges with Karl Robinson employing a high press on his former side. Matty Taylor almost profited from a short backpass to Fisher, who became the first-choice goalkeeper after Lee Nicholls’ poor performance at the Kassam Stadium in the reverse.
In the 13th minute, the men donning a special edition white kit bypassed this press and found plenty of place in The Us’ half. Andrew Surman fed Ethan Laird, whose attempted dribble broke back to the former Bournemouth midfielder and he coolly slotted home from outside the penalty area to make it goals in back-to-back home games for the experienced midfielder.
There were not many clearcut chances for either side in a fast-paced first half that lacked substance outside of Surman’s opener. The home side did have a slight scare just before half-time as Brandon Barker seemed to be through on goal in the Dons box but Harry Darling produced an incredible recovery tackle.
Half-time: MK Dons 1-0 Oxford United
The second half started in fairly dull fashion, which was suiting the hosts with their slender lead. Nothing of note occurred until the 61st minute when Fisher took a frightfully heavy touch from a backpass which Taylor closed down extremely quickly- fortunately, the ball squirmed over the crossbar.
Martin’s men were managing this second half rather well but Oxford produced an excellent passage of play which culminated in Daniel Agyei firing narrowly wide of Fisher’s far post after coming on as a substitute.
For all his brilliance, Scott Fraser sent an awfully weak backpass towards his goalkeeper in the 83rd minute. Fisher came racing out to try and reach the loose ball but Agyei beat him to it. Somehow, James Oldham only showed the Dons number 13 a yellow card, much to the infuriation of the away dugout: a lucky escape for the hosts.
Agyei was proving to be an extremely effective substitution for Robinson. Josh Ruffels picked out an excellent cross but the 23-year old’s header from inside the six-yard box was saved by Fisher.
Moments later, Anthony Forde tried his luck from the edge of the box after the ball had been bouncing around in scrappy fashion. Fisher watched helplessly as did all Dons fans at home but the ball struck the post.
Unfortunately, the Oxford pressure told. Dons failed to deal with a ball into the box and Agyei nodded across for Elliot Lee to equalise in the 97th minute.
Full-time: MK Dons 1-1 Oxford United
Man of the match: Harry Darling