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Crewe 1-4 MK Dons

30 October 2021

Alex suffer heavy home defeat to MK Dons.

Crewe Alexandra were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by MK Dons this afternoon. Liam Manning’s side led 1-0 at the break thanks to Mo Eisa’s opening goal in the 11th minute and the former Bristol City and Cheltenham Town man would also have a second half penalty saved by Will Jaaskelainen.

Crewe rallied at the start of the second half and deservedly drew level after Chris Long converted a deep cross from Callum McFadzean. That hope was extinguished again on 64 minutes when a poor clearance from Rio Adebisi only dropped for Matthew O’Riley, who couldn’t quite believe his luck to tuck home for 2-1.

After Eisa’s tame spot-kick was saved minutes later, MK Dons scored further goals from winger Peter Kisoso and then substitute Max Watters deep into stoppage time.

It is four successive defeats in the League for the Alex with fellow strugglers Doncaster Rovers up on Tuesday evening.

David Artell made three changes to the side that so narrowly lost at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend. The Railwaymen were harshly beaten in the 97th minute at Adams Park, but Artell altered his formation for the visit of the MK Dons resulting in changes.

Following his goal as a substitute last week, Tom Lowery, was handed his first league start of the season. Mikael Mandron and J’Neil Bennett were also named in the starting XI with Chris Porter, Billy Sass-Davies and Madger Gomes the unfortunate ones to drop to the bench.

Crewe made a bright start to the game and were unfortunate not to register the first effort on goal inside the opening two minutes. Lowery was soon involved in the initial build up with Mandron and the willingness of Long down the right hand side saw him produce a tempting cross. The onrushing Bennett got there first, but under pressure couldn’t quite apply a true connection.

At the other end of the pitch, the influential David Kasuma shoved Daniels off the ball using fair means but his shot from the edge of the Crewe box took a deflection and spun behind for an MK Dons corner. From the set-play, the MK Dons appealed for an infringement but referee Haines wasn’t interested.

On 10 minutes, Crewe should have taken the lead. As a wide outlet, Bennett was permitted to carry the ball forward with purpose and although his first cross was cleared by Lewington before reaching Mandron, the second phase conjured up our best opportunity of the first half. Bennett retrieved possession and he released Lowery perfectly on the overlap. His far post cross was inviting for the advanced Adebisi and unmarked he headed against the MK Dons post and rebounded out. The full-back would be bitterly disappointed not to have scored after arriving in the box untracked.

As Crewe’s luck is at the moment, MK Dons went up the other end to take the lead. Barely 60 seconds had elapsed before Peter Kisoso reached the by-line down our left and his low cross was tapped home with far too much ease by the grateful Mo Eisa.

From should be 1-0 up, Crewe were now 1-0 down.

There was another shot for a penalty shout from the visitors when Scott Twine went down under a challenge from Offord and again the officials were not interested. The game became really stop-start, with MK Dons players going down far too easily at times and certainly taking their time in taking any deadballs or throw-ins. It became frustrating as the play was broken up and Crewe couldn’t discover any real rhythm.

Robertson nearly found Mandron through the middle but the official’s flag halted his run in his tracks. A longer hit ball from Daniels , did release Long down the right and his pace and determination beat Lewington to the ball and his instant cross dropped for Bennett to attempt an overhead kick but he couldn’t direct it on target.

Crewe had a real go towards the end of the first half to force an equaliser but a low cross aimed for Lowery was cut out and following a cross from McFazdean from the left, Mandron did get something on it but it wasn’t enough to trouble Andrew Fisher in the MK Dons goal. Crewe had not tested him enough in the first 45 minutes but then again Will Jaaskelainen had not been forced into too much action either.

What was ever said by Artell and his staff at half-time, it had the desired effect. Crewe produced their best football of the game in the opening ten minutes of the restart. Lowery, who gave everything before later going down with cramp, threw himself at a low cross from Bennett before Murphy’s header down inside the box just couldn’t find Mandron.

Offord made a strong block from a shot by Dan Harvie before Crewe drew level on 52 minutes. Crewe broke forward with real purpose and after Bennett found Mandron, his lay off out to McFadzean presented the full-back with a chance to cross and his accurate delivery to the far post was tucked home by Long via a deflection.

Crewe were level and at the time in control of the ball more than the opposition. It was there for us to kick on and perhaps go ahead but on 64 minutes we shot ourselves in the foot. A cross from Kisoso wasn’t dealt with well enough by Adebisi and his touch dropped for O’Riley, who tucked it home past Jaaskelainen.

All our effort to get back into game was eliminated within minutes and it could have got even worse when we conceded a penalty on 68 minutes. Robertson was caught in possession and after Kasumu fed Eisa through the middle, Jaaskelainen rushed from his goal and caught him. Eisa stepped up himself and his penalty was tame to say the least. Jaaskelainen read it perfectly to save and at that stage keep us in the game.

Bennett was booked for pulling O’Riley back before there was a flurry of substitutes. Murphy made way for Knight and that was soon followed by Porter for Mandron. Madger Gomes completed the trio of changes for Lowery.

Crewe tried to forced things and on the break we were done again. O’Riley played Kisoso in behind and he drilled home a third goal on 82 minutes to seal the points.

The Alex tried to muster something in the closing stages but Porter couldn’t direct his far post header on goal and Gomes had a late shot blocked before MK Dons got in behind us again in the 96 minute with their own substitute Max Watters given too much time and space to drill through a defenceless Jaaskelainen for 4-1.


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