David Artell’s Alex have done a job over a Dons side who had to wait nine days to try and carry on their excellent momentum. Russell Martin’s men had so much time to train but their platform for a play-off finish has been pulled from underneath them by The Railwaymen.
MK endured a shaky start and were almost behind within five minutes. Harry Pickering’s excellent wide free-kick was met by Omar Beckles and Andrew Fisher was forced into an amazing save to keep the scores level.
Zak Jules foolishly gave the ball away in the 15th minute, which resulted in Charlie Kirk being played in. He, in turn, squared it to Mikael Mandron and although the pass was slightly behind him, the man that loves a goal against MK Dons scored once again against the men in white.
By the 20th minute, the Frenchman had two. With the defence all at sea, Mandron controlled a ball on his chest and turned to smash through Fisher’s legs. The performance from the home side was reminiscent of the shocker that The Dons had in the reverse fixture early on this campaign.
Truthfully, nothing noteworthy happened after that in a poor half from MK Dons. The 6-1 and 5-0 wins that MK Dons claimed against Crewe in the famous promotion season were looking like distant memories at half-time.
Half-time: MK Dons 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
Martin’s men nearly made a dream start to the second half and Ethan Laird was the inspiration: his incredible dribble allowed him to play in Cameron Jerome. The Dons top goalscorer rounded William Jääskeläinen but took the ball quite wide in doing so and unfortunately struck the post.
In many defeats this season, there have been positives to be taken but today was a painful watch. However, David Kasumu was introduced on the hour to play his first football since December 19th. The academy product’s return to the side is undoubtedly huge with his energy and tenacity so prevalent in a generally more technical Dons midfield.
More frustration plagued the hosts in the 74th minute as Will Grigg, on as a substitute, sprung the offside trap and rather than going for goal himself, tried to square it but the attempted pass was intercepted.
Just moments later, controversy struck as Oliver Lancashire should be been shown a red card but Andy Woolmer disagreed and only removed the yellow card from his pocket. Fisher’s long pass was headed for Grigg before the last Railwayman back tripped the loanee striker.
In the 89th minute, a grandstand finish was almost set up by two substitutes. Scott Fraser sent in a gorgeous cross which was met by the head of Charlie Brown but with the ball seemingly destined for the top corner, Jääskeläinen made a save that his father would have been proud of to preserve the visitors’ clean sheet.
There was still time for one more chance but the flying Fin was on hand again to deny Harry Darling this time. Any faint hopes now of play-offs are all but over after a poor performance and defeat at the hands of a newly promoted side that have completed the double over them.
Full-time: MK Dons 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
Man of the match: Tom Lowery