Saturday 21st December 2013
MK Dons v Port ValeAt Stadium MK
Attendance: 7,882 including 644 visiting supporters
MK DONS:David Martin, Dean Lewington, Lee Hodson, Shaun Williams, Stephen Gleeson, Darren Potter, Ben Reeves, Patrick Bamford, Samir Carruthers, Jordan Spence, Dale Jennings. SUBS: Ian McLoughlin, Tom Flanagan, Alan Smith, George Baldock, Brendan Galloway, Jason Banton, Anthony Kay.
PORT VALE: Sam Johnson, Daniel Jones, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Liam Chilvers, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Gavin Tomlin, Tom Pope, Chris Lines, Richard Duffy, Chris Birchall. SUBS: Ryan Boot, Louis Dodds, Chris Shuker, Ben Williamson, Anthony Griffith, Lee Hughes, Jordan Hugill
Vale were hit bey three goals in the first half hour of the game and were unable to recover, despite a good second half performance at Stadium MK.
The home side took just four minutes to open their account when Sam Johnson was caught out by a long range effort from Stephen Gleeson.
Furthe rgoals from Ben Reeves in the 13th minute and A 31st minute strike from leading scorer Patrick Bamfod were enough to consign Vale to defeat.
Micky Adams made two changes to his starting line-up with Daniel Jones and Liam Chilvers coming in for Anthony Griffith and the injured Adam Yates.
He also decided on positional changes, with Richard Duffy moving out to right back and Carl Dicksinson occupying a spot in midfield.
Vale got off to a bad start when Stephen Gleeson decided to try his luck from all of 30 yards and the ball flew inside Sam Johnson’s left hand post with the Vale ‘keeper being unable to get his fingers to the ball, despite being at full stretch.
It seemed as though the home side had been instructed to shoot on sight and Johnson did well with one such effort from Dale Jennings in the 13th minute, pushing the ball around his right upright.
GOAL:From the resulting corner the home side extended their lead, however, when the ball fell invitingly for BEN REEVES, who slotted home from the edge of the box.
Vale were pegged back deep inside their own half for long periods, seemingly unable to relieve the pressure by breaking out to threaten the home side.
Whenever Vale did manage to mount an attack, they lacked the cutting edge to make it count and David Martin in the Dons’ goal saw little of the ball except to gather the occasional back pass.
In the 29th minute Vale were dealt a blow when Daniel Jones went down inside his own box and was forced to go off, to be replaced by Anthony Griffith.
Carl Dickinson slotted in at left back to replace Jones and Griffith took on his responsibilities in the middle of the park.
GOAL:Two minutes later the home side increased their lead when Reeves went sprinting down the left before picking out PATRICK BAMFORD at the back post, and the on loan striker swept home his 15th goal of the season.
At 3-0 down Val began to play higher up the pitch and looked like they were capable of pulling a goal back and almost did when Lines ran at the home defence and threaded the ball through for Gavin Tomlin, whose first time shot was collected by Martin.
Chris Birchall tried a cheeky chip from 20 yards on the stroke of half time but his effort cleared the crossbar and the referee blew his whistle for half time just seconds later.
The home side went close aly on in the second half when Gleeson tried a long range shot once again, but Johnson got down well to block, even though he was unable to hold on to the ball.
Chris Lines then picked up a yellow car for what appeared to be dissent – his fifth booking of the season, which means he must now sit out the Notts County game on Boxing Day.
Vale were picking up from where they had left of late in the first half and were able to peg their host back inside their own half for periods.
The scoreline apart, the two sides were now much more evenly matched, but of course the damage had already been done.
Tom Pope went within a whisker of pulling a goal back when he stuck out a foot to meet a right wing cross from Tomlin but his effort just missed the target.
Vale made a double substitution in the 65th minute, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Chris Birchall making way for Chris Shuker and Ben Williamson.
Vale now looked composed at the back and were having much more of the ball, at times stroking it around as though they were three goals to the better.
The transformation was there for all to see, but difficult to understand, as they looked a completely different side in the second forty five minutes.
Despite dominating proceedings for much of the second half, Vale were unable to get any reward and were forced to travel home empty-handed.