Izale lays down a marker for Dons

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

KARL Robin­son need wonder no longer how to fill the MK goal void left by Pa­trick Bam­ford – as Izale McLeod showed him the an­swer has been at the club all along.

McLeod bagged a bril­liant dou­ble and also won the penalty that Ben Reeves slot­ted home as MK ended a run of three de­feats on the bounce by stun­ning ten-man play-off chasers Wal­sall.

Dons have strug­gled to find the net since 17-goal Bam­ford’s loan spell ended with a switch to Derby but MK’s all-time lead­ing scorer McLeod showed there is life af­ter the Chelsea loa­nee.

And Robin­son said:“In our hour of need, Izale’s come up trumps for us. It’s been dif­fi­cult for him with Pa­trick scor­ing 17 goals, he’s had to wait his turn.

“Izale was a won­der­ful sup­port mech­a­nism for him. Pa­trick knew he had to keep scor­ing goals be­cause Izale was al­ways on his shoul­der.

“The loan pe­riod at Northamp­ton did Izale the world of good and he’s got the jersey for the fore­see­able fu­ture, it’s up to him to keep it.

“But he’s got to train right. And he’s done that all week – I had no other choice to put him in be­cause of his train­ing. And he took his chance re­ally, re­ally well.”

McLeod wasted two early chances, drilling one wide and fir­ing an­other straight at Richard O’Don­nell, be­fore sub­limely chipping the Sad­dlers keeper to give MK a de­served 29th minute lead.

It was 2-0 just be­fore the break as Reeves slot­ted home from the spot af­ter McLeod was felled from be­hind by Sad­dlers skip­per and last man Andy But­ler, who was sent off

Wal­sall wasted a chance to get back in it as Paul Down­ing’s free header was straight at MK keeper David Martin and McLeod’s stun­ning fin­ish from a tight an­gle sealed the win on 70 min­utes.

And Wal­sall’s mis­ery was com­pounded late on as Liver­pool loa­nee Michael Ngoo won a penalty but the debu­tant saw his poor spot­kick com­fort­ably saved by Martin.

Wal­sall dropped out of the top six with the de­feat and boss Dean Smith was un­happy with But­ler’s red card.

He said:“If you go in 10 down at half-time and your cap­tain is still there, you’ve got a chance– I think it was a penalty but I don’t think it is a sendin­goff as McLeod is tak­ing the ball away from goal.

“We didn’t play well in the first half and we de­served to be be­hind. It was much bet­ter in the sec­ond half.

“Whether the weather comes into it, I don’t know but I don’t want to make ex­cuses. It was hor­ri­ble out there but we were sec­ond best first half.”

STAR MAN IZALE MCLEO

D MKDons

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