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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
10:53 12th March 2012

MK Dons 3 Exeter City 0

Exeter City's winless run away from home goes on after MK Dons were comfortable victors this afternoon at stadium:mk. The 377 Grecians who made the trip saw a start for new signing Jonathan Fortune and he was involved in the game's opening goal on 17 minutes, Mathais Doumbe's shot deflecting off the former Charlton man and into the back of the net. It was 2-0 ten minutes later when former England international Alan Smith teed up Charlie MacDonald and the victory was sealed on 78 minutes when Jabo Ibehre finished past Artur Krysiak when one on one. City, playing in red and white, were led by Steve Tully in David Noble's absence and lined up with Krysiak in goal, a back four of Tully, Troy, Coles and new addition Fortune. There was a three man midfield of Scot Bennett, Liam Sercombe and James Dunne behind a front three of Jake Taylor, Jamie Cureton and John O'Flynn. It was very clear early on Grecians were in for a difficult afternoon, on a pitch looking inferior to St James Park, and in fact after just 30 seconds Dean Bowditch went close but Artur Krysiak tipped his effort just wide. Sercombe did his best a few minutes later but it wasn't to be and infact Exeter found chances hard to come from. On eight minutes Tisdale really came out to the edge of his technical area and was giving individual instructions for every move but quite simply his side needed to go defensive early on. City found themselves penned back a great deal in the early exchanges and couldn't get out of their own box and their own half. On 12 minutes though City went close, Taylor played it through to Sercombe centrally and a corner was won after a good through ball. The corner came to nothing and MK held their lines really well. Then came the fortuitous opener on 16 minutes with Milton Keynes's number 4 Doumbe taking a left foot swipe that looped off Fortune, who was closing down the Frenchman, and in to the back of Krysiak's net. Four minutes later there were glimpses of clever play with newbie Fortune getting involved but the move fizzled out before the final third. They then found themselves 2-0 down after a very soft goal on 26 minutes. MK's number 10 MacDonald ran through after the marking just simply wasn't tight enough from Tisdale's men and he scored right infront of the travelling faithful. Bennett was then involved in a heavy clash and had to be replaced by Chris Shephard, back from his loan spell at Bath City. He left the field to applause from all sides of the ground which was nice to see. Shephard did ok, especially in the first half, but City just didn't have enough, especially in midfield, to break down a very solid MK side. And the home side then went wide and found themselves in a good position they really should have scored from just before half time. City could consider themselves lucky to be just 2-0 down at the interval with Krysiak being called into action time and time again. Cureton had a half chance shortly after the restart, but his shot was comfortably wide and minutes later he had another shot which didn't require any effort from David Martin in the MK goal. On 57 minutes Shephard had a pot-shot after Martin managed to scramble the ball clear from the feet of O'Flynn. It was pleasing to see him trying his luck from the edge of the box. Bowditch was prowling and Krysiak managed to spill the former Yeovil man's attempt and he was then ruled offside. Bowditch looked likely to make it 3-0 but Krysiak was alert to any problems and threats on his goal. Two minutes later Shaun Williams went very close again but he hit the side netting. The home crowd were getting louder and louder after every attempt on goal. On 64 minutes Tisdale made his second change, Taylor being replaced by Richard Logan. Four minutes later City went close again but it was just very half-hearted in the final third of the pitch and every shot looked unlikely to challenge Martin. Fortune was then replaced by Luke O'Brien in the final roll of the dice. It wasn't to be though. On 76 minutes substitute Ibehre went close after good interplay and a minute later fellow sub Luke Chadwick went close by Krysiak was able to parry the shot out for a corner. Seconds later Ibehre got the goal he'd looked likely to get since his introducing, latching on to a lovely through ball and made it look easy as he made it 3-0 to the hosts. He went close again on 81 minutes with a diving header. Krysiak then denied the home side what looked to be another certain goal - Ibehre and O'Shea went for it and it fell to Alan Smith at the back post and he was denied by another fine save from the Pole. He was easily Exeter's man of the match. On 86 O'Brien just managed to put the ball over his crossbar after some desperate defending and it did look at one stage like he could put it through his own net. Finally on 90 minutes Krysiak managed to make an amazing stop from Chadwick who had been pushing and pushing for a goal. Without Krysiak things would have been a lot lot worse - MK Dons had controlled the game for 90 minutes. In the dying stages of the match Shephard ran through and played it centrally to Logan who could only fire it over from 12 yards out and that summed up how the afternoon had gone. City tried desperately but just didn't have enough quality to cope with an MK Dons side who were really up for three points on a pitch that wasn't ideal for the Grecians. Home form is going to be vital if City are to keep themselves in npower League One. It is going to be very tough here on in.
    Data provided by Press Association