MK Dons 0 Crawley Town 0: Reds survive Dons onslaught

Crawley Town defend a free kick from MK Dons in the dying minutes of the match (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Crawley Town defend a free kick from MK Dons in the dying minutes of the match (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Crawley Town will wonder how they stole a point from their trip to MK Dons as the hosts missed a hatful of chances in a goalless draw at StadiumMK.

Striker Ryan Lowe typified the hosts’ luck in front of goal with three disallowed goals and was also denied by a brilliant Paul Jones save, while Reds rarely threatened throughout.

Billy Clarke shoots in the first half. MK Dons V Crawley Town 6-4-13 (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Billy Clarke shoots in the first half. MK Dons V Crawley Town 6-4-13 (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Richie Barker’s Crawley showed plenty of heart to withstand some heavy pressure to earn a sixth draw from their last eight games, while the result put a dent in the Dons’ outside hopes of making the play-offs for a third straight season.

Reds boss Barker freshened up his side with three changes from the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at Shrewsbury. In came Sergio Torres, Connor Essam and Mike Jones, replacing Mark Connolly, Jamie Proctor and the injured Matt Sparrow.

The hosts had the ball in the net inside five minutes, though Lowe’s header from a Patrick Bamford free kick was ruled out for offside - setting something of a theme for the match.

Lowe came close again when Paul Jones’s poor clearance from a bobbly back pass gave him a sighter but he curled onto the roof of the net.

Lone frontman Lowe must have thought his luck had finally changed when he connected with Jon Otsemobor’s cross inside the six yard box but Reds stopper Jones produced a magnificent one handed save to deny him.

The visitors had again started slowly and struggled to get a foothold in the match. Their best moments of the half came from Billy Clarke all inside a five minute spell.

First he met a raking crossfield ball on the full but his volley from 20 yards dipped just over the crossbar. The attacker, playing in a front three of Paul Hayes and Nicky Adams, then cut in from the right before shooting weakly at Ian McLoughlin, before flashing a cross/shot just inches wide of the far post.

The Dons came again at the end of the half and when centre back Shaun Williams robbed Hayes of possession he charged towards goal and produced a save from Jones, and following up Lowe was again flagged offside as he tucked home the rebound.

Then right before the interval Daniel Powell scooped horribly over the bar from four yards when Bowditch picked him out after another slick move had opened up the Reds defence.

Reds came out for the second half with greater attacking intent and when Dumbuya was released down the right, his cross found Adams and as he pulled the trigger Williams got a crucial touch to deflect it just wide of the far post.

At the opposite end Lowe flashed a volley wide on the spin and defender Williams forced a strong save from Jones after handing off the attentions of Torres.

After an open start to the second half the game went flat until another flurry of chances came and went the Dons’ way in the final ten minutes.

First Bulman threw himself into a challenge to deny substitute Luke Chadwick a certain goal on 80 minutes.

Then Darren Potter shimmied his way along the edge of Reds box before side-footing wide with the goal gaping, before Bamford failed to find a proper connection to Otsemobor’s cross.

If anyone typified the hosts’ misfortune in front of goal it was striker Lowe - a player Barker sold when boss at Bury - as the linesman’s flag again denied him after he had combined with Bamford.

Bowditch shaved the outside of the post with a free kick and Reds then put in some gutsy challenges to survive a late bombardment to steal a point.

P Jones; Dumbuya, Sadler, Essam, Walsh; Bulman, Torres, M Jones (Hunt 90); Clarke, Adams (Connolly 90), Hayes (Proctor 71).

McLoughlin; Otsemobor, Chicksen, Kou-Doumbe, Williams; Gleeson, Potter; Powell (Chadwick 60), Bowditch; Bamford; Lowe.

MK Dons 0 Crawley Town 0 Crawley Town survive Dons onslaught

Crawley Town will wonder how they stole a point from their trip to MK Dons as the hosts missed a hatful of chances in a goalless draw at StadiumMK.

Striker Ryan Lowe typified the hosts’ luck in front of goal with three disallowed goals and was also denied by a brilliant Paul Jones save, while Reds rarely threatened throughout.

Richie Barker’s Crawley showed plenty of heart to withstand some heavy pressure to earn a sixth draw from their last eight games, while the result put a dent in the Dons’ outside hopes of making the play-offs for a third straight season.

Reds boss Barker freshened up his side with three changes from the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at Shrewsbury. In came Sergio Torres, Connor Essam and Mike Jones, replacing Mark Connolly, Jamie Proctor and the injured Matt Sparrow.

The hosts had the ball in the net inside five minutes, though Lowe’s header from a Patrick Bamford free kick was ruled out for offside - setting something of a theme for the match.

Lowe came close again when Paul Jones’s poor clearance from a bobbly back pass gave him a sighter but he curled onto the roof of the net.

Lone frontman Lowe must have thought his luck had finally changed when he connected with Jon Otsemobor’s cross inside the six yard box but Reds stopper Jones produced a magnificent one handed save to deny him.

The visitors had again started slowly and struggled to get a foothold in the match. Their best moments of the half came from Billy Clarke all inside a five minute spell.

First he met a raking crossfield ball on the full but his volley from 20 yards dipped just over the crossbar. The attacker, playing in a front three of Paul Hayes and Nicky Adams, then cut in from the right before shooting weakly at Ian McLoughlin, before flashing a cross/shot just inches wide of the far post.

The Dons came again at the end of the half and when centre back Shaun Williams robbed Hayes of possession he charged towards goal and produced a save from Jones, and following up Lowe was again flagged offside as he tucked home the rebound.

Then right before the interval Daniel Powell scooped horribly over the bar from four yards when Bowditch picked him out after another slick move had opened up the Reds defence.

Reds came out for the second half with greater attacking intent and when Dumbuya was released down the right, his cross found Adams and as he pulled the trigger Williams got a crucial touch to deflect it just wide of the far post.

At the opposite end Lowe flashed a volley wide on the spin and defender Williams forced a strong save from Jones after handing off the attentions of Torres.

After an open start to the second half the game went flat until another flurry of chances came and went the Dons’ way in the final ten minutes.

First Bulman threw himself into a challenge to deny substitute Luke Chadwick a certain goal on 80 minutes.

Then Darren Potter shimmied his way along the edge of Reds box before side-footing wide with the goal gaping, before Bamford failed to find a proper connection to Otsemobor’s cross.

If anyone typified the hosts’ misfortune in front of goal it was striker Lowe - a player Barker sold when boss at Bury - as the linesman’s flag again denied him after he had combined with Bamford.

Bowditch shaved the outside of the post with a free kick and Reds then put in some gutsy challenges to survive a late bombardment to steal a point.

P Jones; Dumbuya, Sadler, Essam, Walsh; Bulman, Torres, M Jones (Hunt 90); Clarke, Adams (Connolly 90), Hayes (Proctor 71).

McLoughlin; Otsemobor, Chicksen, Kou-Doumbe, Williams; Gleeson, Potter; Powell (Chadwick 60), Bowditch; Bamford; Lowe.