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23:00 23rd November 2010


A brace from Jordan Rhodes and strikes from Antony Kay and Gary Roberts saw Town leap back into the Play-Off positions as Town beat visitors MK Dons 4-1.

On a bitterly cold Tuesday night, Town put the early pressure to their opponents with a low cross from Anthony Pilkington within the first minute but was easily gathered by 'keeper David Martin.

A minute later centre back Sean O'Hanlon missed timed and failed to deal with a routine ball in the air, which allowed Rhodes to sharply sneak in for the first shot of the match; O'Hanlon recovered to block the strike.

Captain Clarke put a fantastic long ball through to winger Roberts down the right flank, which left him one-on-one but he took his shot a little early and put it straight over the top of Martin's goal in the 6minute.

Another mistake from MK Dons allowed a back pass header to fall straight into the path of Anthony Pilkington with only 8 minutes gone; he whipped in an early cross which Rhodes nearly got on the end of, but Martins did well to anticipate it.

The pressure continued to mount against the Dons defence, as striker Rhodes played a quick one-two with Pilkington to break through the line, but unfortunately his touch got away from him.

MK Dons got their first corner of the game, but only after the ref disagreed with his assistant, who had flagged for an offside. Peter Clarke was then left on the floor needing treatment, after a clearance off the line stopped the Dons from opening the scoring. Clarke then dove in front of the on-coming Lewington to stop their second attempt going goal bound.

From the restart Joe Garner got put in down the right wing, to put in a low cross for the on-rushing Pilkington to have a diving header well saved by Martins in his bottom left corner to stop Town taking the lead.

20 minutes in and Town were really beginning to pile on the pressure, chance after chance, and another with Arfield being put in by Roberts, laid the ball across the box to Jordan Rhodes but couldn't quite connect properly with the ball and a tame effort was saved.

Anthony Pilkington kept switching sides with Roberts and the tactics prevailed with another strike on goal, jinxing his way in from the right flank, he took aim but struck his shot well over Martins crossbar.

GOAL - 24 minutes and Town's pressure finally pays off with the Dons defence not being able to clear the ball, a poor touch from Lewington fell to the feet of midfielder Antony Kay who strikes the ball on the half volley into the back of the net.

Town didn't sit back, continuing to put crosses into the Dons box with both wingers Pilkington and Roberts testing 'keeper Martins hands with 30 minutes on the clock.

Just over a minute later, left back Carey made his way forward and earned himself and Town's third corner of the evening, Pilkington took it, landing the ball onto Clarke's head but it was blocked by defender O'Hanlon.

GOAL - After some trickery in the 35 minute from Carey, winning yet another corner off defender Woodard, Pilkington floated the ball to the back post, where Garner was there to nod the ball back across to Gary Roberts, who had a simple tap in with his head.

BOOKING - Despite yet more Town pressure, a rare MK Dons break saw Jabo Ibehre burst through in the Town final-third, only to be brought down by Jamie McCombe. With the Town centre back yellow carded, the resulting Michael McIndoe free kick came perilously close to breathing new life back into the Don's challenge - striking the side netting.



GOAL - Town kicked the second half with a bang - a long ball was lofted into the box with less than a minute in, and some good work from Anthony Pilkington saw the winger play the ball to the edge of the box for Jordan Rhodes to apply the finishing touch with an accomplished finish.

Garner continued to add more misery to a lacklustre Dons defence, poking the ball through to Rhodes, who laid it neatly Carey on the left flank to cross the ball for a perfect header to striker Rhodes, who was only denied by the 'keeper.

SUB - A double substitution for MK Dons in the 54 minute, Mark Carrington came off for Aaron Wilbraham and Jabo Ibehre also being replaced by Daniel Powell.

GOAL - MK Dons pulled a goal back in the 56 minute out of nowhere through substitute Aaron Wilbraham. The goal came from basically his first touch, as he struck the ball into the back of the net with a cleanly taken volley.

SUB - Town immediately put on a double substitution of their own, with Benik Afobe replacing Joe Garner and Gary Roberts coming off for Liam Ridehalgh.

BOOKING - in 61 minute Michael McIndoe took down Rhodes on the halfway line as Town looked to break.

63 minute and Smithies makes his first save from a well worked counter attack by MK Dons.

A few seconds later and Rhodes flicked on a McCombe long ball forward into the path of Afobe who struck wide.

SUB - MK Dons make their final substitution in the 64 minute with Michael McIndoe making way for Jemal Johnson.

GOAL - A hopeful clearance was blocked by Benik Afobe who latched onto the looping ball, speeding clear of the Dons defence. One-on-one with Martin, his strike came back off the post, with the rebound falling kindly into the path of Jordan Rhodes who finished into a virtually empty net.

With 20 minutes left, Pilkington played another neat one-two on the edge of the area, and let fly missing the target by only a couple of feet.

Peter Leven went down the right flank in the 74 minute for the Dons, laying the ball back to substitute Powell, who hit the ball first time but was denied by Captain Peter Clarke. From the resulting corner a flurry of shots was again blocked before, Powell tamely hit well wide of Smithies goal.

Less than 9 minutes left on the clock and MK Dons might have thought they had a claim for a penalty; as Clarke threw himself in front of a low hit by Powell to block the goal bound strike.

With a few minutes left of the game Town continued to keep up their strong performance with a further few strikes from around the edge of the area; however none were good enough to test Dons 'keeper Martin.

BOOKING - Antony Kay earned a cheap yellow card in the final seconds of the game.


Town's Team (4-4-2):

Alex Smithies; Graham Carey, Peter Clarke, Jamie McCombe, Scott Arfield; Gary Roberts (Liam Ridehalgh, 56), Damien Johnson, Antony Kay, Anthony Pilkington; Joe Garner (Benik Afobe, 56), Jordan Rhodes.

Unused Subs: Ian Bennett, Alan Lee, Lee Croft, Nathan Clarke, Joey Gudjonsson.

Town Bookings: Jamie McCombe 43, Antony Kay 90.

MK Dons Bookings: Michael McIndoe 62.

Gate: 12,773

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.