ROBINSON WANTS MK GOAL GLUT
KARL Robinson is targeting 100 league goals and promotion after watching his MK Dons side keep up the pressure on Preston in the race for automatic promotion.
First-half strikes from Samir Carruthers and Dean Bowditch, as well as a magnificent individual goal by substitute Daniel Powell was enough to give the Dons victory in an enthralling encounter at Spotland, despite Peter Vincenti and Ian Henderson netting for the hosts.
The travelling fans sang “Preston North End, we’re coming for you”, after their goals and, like his fans, Robinson is refusing to give up on second place.
“The season is not over, our dream is still alive,” said Robinson. “To get 88 points and score 96 goals is an incredible achievement and I’d love to get to 100 goals in the league – that would be a great way to sign off.
“Our fate isn’t in our hands yet, but it will be if we end up in the play-offs and we’ll roll the dice again.
“The players showed they are ready and willing to compete at any level.We were sensational.”
Spurs-bound star Dele Alli gave Dale an early warning, rattling the post in the third minute with a viciously struck half-volley.
Twelve minutes later the Dons were ahead when Bowditch played in Carruthers, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and slid it clinically under the dive of Jamie Jones from close-range.
Callum Camps squandered a glorious opportunity to level for Dale ten minutes later when he inexplicably fired wide after talisman Henderson had cut the ball back.
The miss proved costly for Dale as just before the half hour Bowditch doubled the visitors’ lead, side-footing home after being teed up by Carruthers, who had robbed Jamie Allen of possession.
The hosts rallied after half-time and were back in the match in the 66th minute when Henderson provided an inch-perfect low cross to present Vincenti with a tap in at the far post.
However the Dale fightback was snuffed out in the 76th minute by Powell who embarked on a wonderful solo run, waltzing away from several home challenges, before side-footing through the legs of Jones.
However Keith Hill’s men refused to lie down and Henderson gave them another lifeline with three minutes left when he neatly controlled a long ball inside the box and rolled the ball into the far corner.
“I’m really disappointed, that game summed our season up,” he said.
“We’ve made too many individual mistakes.
“We set our plan out to not make mistakes in our defensive third when in possession and we have done twice for two goals, so that really irks me. That proves to me players aren’t listening. “MK Dons are an outstanding side but you cannot give them the goals that we gave them in the first half, they were just gifts.”
KAPOW: Powell comes off the bench to tuck away an acute finish
SUPER SAMIR: Carruthers fires in for the Dons
STAR MAN DELE ALLI MKDons