Mk Dons (Away)

May 30, 2023 | 2023 A Season in Review

Stadium MK Tuesday 10th October 2022

MK Dons 0

Bristol Rovers 1

Evans (pen, 76)

Referee: Scott Oldham

Attendance: 6,466

In spite of a home win against Cambridge United just a few days earlier, manager Joe Barton still made three changes for the trip to face MK Dons at one of the best grounds outside of the Premier League.


Skipper Paul Coutts was recalled, as was Luke McCormick and Lewis Gibson while the three to make way, Luca Hoole, Antony Evans and Sam Finley, all found themselves on the bench

It was a shame, therefore, that only 6,466 spectators were inside the stadium as the game kicked off. As Rovers fans were quick to remark that the atmosphere reminded them of being in a library it wasn’t unreasonable to wonder why Bristol doesn’t have a stadium like this that both clubs could call home, thought I guess that idea isn’t palatable to many Gasheads reading this!

I digress; back to the game and although Barton’s side began brightly it soon became obvious we weren’t going to be treated to a free flowing game of football.

True, Gibson fired wide and Aaron Collins had a shot blocked early on, but we had to wait almost until the half time whistle before an excellent Rovers move almost ended in the game’s first goal.

Josh Coburn found Collins wide on the right and the Rovers man got in a superb low cross as he saw Ryan Loft ready to pounce. Unfortunately for the Rovers striker, though, goalkeeper Jamie Cumming dived full length to touch away the cross as he slid in.

At the other end the home side saw a shot from Matthew Smith blocked by the ever improving Jordan Rossiter. It wasn’t a half that will live long in the memory. Rovers seemed hesitant against one of the worst MK Dons side I can remember and I think I’ve only missed two of the previous 14 league encounters between the sides.

Personally I felt that Rovers needed the width that Harry Anderson and Sylvester Jasper could provide. At least they would give the front two a service they had been lacking, but what do I know?

Four minutes into the second half Bradley Johnson headed straight at James Belshaw while at the other end Loft hit a ferocious drive straight at Cumming.

Then came Rovers best move to date, on 65 minutes, when James Gibbons hooked the ball into the box following corner out on the left and Gibson’s powerful header seemed destined for the top corner of the net until Cumming, at full stretch, somehow managed to touch the ball around the post.

Rossiter flashed a shot just wide of the upright before, with 14 minutes left on the clock, Rovers won their first penalty of the season when Loft was hauled down by Johnson in the area.

Substitute Evans, on in place of Josh Coburn, sent Cumming the wrong way with the resulting penalty and it was game over. Suprisingly, the goal did nothing to shake MK from their slumbers and at this rate they will be sleepwalking their way to relegation.

MK Dons: Cumming, Jules, O’Hora, Lewington, Oyegoke, Smith (Barry, 80), Johnson, McEachran (Robson, 71), Harvie, Kayode (Dennis, 59), Grigg.

Substitutes: Tucker, Holland, Grant, Ravizolli.

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Gibbons (Hoole, 71), Thomas, Gibson, Gordon, Rossiter, Coutts, McCormick (Finley, 62), Collins (Anderson, 82), Loft, Coburn (Evans, 71).

Substitutes: Jasper, Clarke, Jaakkola.


There were no former Rovers players in the MK Dons side, for whom Dean Lewington was playing his 777th league game

Yellow cards were issued to Aaron Collins and Bobby Thomas

Paul Coutts was skipper

Four substitutes used

Rovers were awarded their first penalty of the season

Back to back league wins for the second time this season

Eight added minutes

(Photos courtesy of JMP)

Keith Brookman