MK Dons 0-0 Ipswich Town: Blues cut gap to play-offs with draw
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Neither Ipswich Town or MK Dons could find a way through as the two sides played out a goalless draw this afternoon.
On an afternoon where the Blues were backed by nearly 7,000 supporters at Stadium MK, both sides had spells of dominance in a game which was an entertaining watch but lacked a killer blow from either team.
Two sides used to dominating possession had to make do with a share of the ball throughout this game, with Town’s gameplan clear as they looked to play striker Kayden Jackson in behind and look for the forward’s running to stretch the hosts in order to give Bersant Celina and Conor Chaplin room to work.
The approach was effective at times but, despite a number of openings, there was no way through.
Town needed goalkeeper Christian Walton to make four good saves to keep the clean sheet intact, but it was Ipswich who had the better of this game before it ultimately ended in a draw.
The point and results elsewhere have seen Town close the gap on sixth place to five points, heading into back-to-back home games with Burton and Cheltenham.
McKenna made two changes to his starting XI, with Sam Morsy’s return to the side no surprise as the skipper came back from his ban in place of injury victim Lee Evans.
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Jackson’s move into the team was a surprise, though, with the pacy forward replacing Macauley Bonne and leading the line ahead of Conor Chaplin and Bersant Celina.
Both sides tried to get the ball down in the opening minutes of the contest but neither managed it, with the hosts having the only real opening of the early exchanges as Theo Corbeanu broke past Luke Woolfenden and into the box before shooting wide.
Town’s first opening came on the back of some excellent defensive work from Morsy, who calmly mobbed up a loose cross before feeding Celina, who in turn held his pass before freeing Wes Burns into space down the right. The Welshman let fly, but his effort went over the top of the bar.
Celina shot down the throat of home keeper Jamie Cumming, as Town’s influence on this game grew, before the Kosovo international fed Jackson through on goal. The striker let fly, but his shot was clawed away by the goalkeeper.
Walton’s first real action of the afternoon came after Tyreeq Bakinson has been caught in possession by Josh McEachran, leaving Corbeanu to fire off a shot which the Town keeper had to drop to his left to save.
Scott Twine’s acrobatic effort flew over the bar, with the aid of a deflection, to end the half, with McKenna opting against change as he sent the same 11 players out for the second period.
Jackson and Bakinson combined to give Wes Burns a run at the MK box, which ended with the Welshman’s shot being deflected behind for a corner, but the Blues’ set-pieces weren’t on point and they weren’t able to threaten the home goal.
Now kicking towards the end housing the nearly 7,000 traveling supporters, Janoi Donacien headed a corner wide before former Blues striker Connor Wickham entered the contest in place of Corbeanu.
It was another ex-Ipswich striker who had the next MK opening, though, as Troy Parrott picked up possession as play broke down from a free-kick before sending in a low drive which Walton was able to hold.
Parrott headed over from a corner, before McKenna introduced his ‘Bash Brothers’ from the bench as Bonne and James Norwood replaced Jackson and Chaplin.
Bonne headed a Celina corner wide of the post before Walton was called into action again to push Hiram Boateng’s shot and then Scott Twine's free-kick away, with what was the final effort on goal before both sides had to settle for a point.
MK Dons (3-4-3): Cumming; O'Hora, Darling, Lewington; Watson, McEachran (Boateng, 74), Coventry, Harvie; Corbeanu (Wickham, 62), Twine, Parrott
Subs: Ravizzoli, Smith, Eisa, Kemp, Kesler-Hayden
Ipswich Town (3-4-3): Walton; Donacien, Woolfenden, Edmundson; Burns, Morsy, Bakinson (Aluko, 90), Thompson; Chaplin (Bonne, 76), Celina, Jackson (Norwood, 76)
Subs: Hladky, Burgess, Vincent-Young, Carroll
Att: 15,311 (6,850 Town fans)