EVANS READY TO SPLASH THE CASH
LEEDS United boss Steve Evans has promised his side will look very different come the end of the month after watching his current charges snatch a scarcely deserved share of the spoils at Elland Road.
Antony Kay’s bizarre and agonising own goal in the dying moments of a largely disappointing game gifted the hosts a point that never looked likely.
It was hard on MK Dons, who had been the better side throughout the match.
For Evans, his side’s dire display was proof he needs to freshen things up during the transfer window.
He said: “It is seven unbeaten for us now but we have let ourselves down, the club down and the fans down.
“I pride myself on performance as much as the result but it was poor for about 90 per cent of the game. There was no questioning the battling qualities – it was what we did with the ball that was disappointing.
“We are keen to strengthen the squad and we will strengthen the squad because there are lots of people working hard behind the scenes to make things happen.
“We want three or four players and the side will look very different at the end of the month.”
In front of a typically expectant Elland Road crowd the hosts edged a cagey, but chanceless, opening 15 minutes. Probe as they might, Evans’ outfit lacked any genuine pace or imagination to unlock a well drilled MK Dons.
The visitors, who have won just once on their travels all season, had a big shout for a penalty turned down midway through the opening period. A surging run by the impressive Rob Hall drew a sliding challenge from Charlie Taylor in the box – only for referee Jeremy Simpson to signal a corner.
This sparked MK Dons into life. After Hall curled a free-kick inches over the bar, the deadlock was broken in the 31st minute – courtesy of the move of the match. Striker Nicky Maynard latched onto a Samir Carruthers pass, wriggled free down the right, before expertly cutting the ball back for Hall to stroke the ball home.
United increased the tempo after the break and after goalkeeper David Martin failed to hang on to the ball, the home attackers could not capitalise during a go a mouth scramble.
Taylor then came within inches of equalising on 56 minutes when his 25yard free-kick rattled the post. Mirco Antenucci brought some direction and creativity to United’s play in the second half. His bright run and cross on the left was almost turned into his own net by Kyle McFadzean, but for a smart stop by Martin on 62 minutes.
Seven minutes later and Marco Silvestri came to Leeds’ rescue with a superb save from Maynard – the latter having done well to spin his marker and run through on goal.
Leeds struggled to impose themselves on the game but found a lifeline from nowhere after 88 minutes. Taylor’s deep cross looked harmless enough but central defender Kay, under little pressure, somehow headed the ball out of the reach of a stunned Martin.
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson said: “This is the greatest game in the world – because of its unpredictability. It was just human error – a very small error. It wasn’t a lack of commitment or desire. It was an error that words can’t describe.
“I put my arm round him after the game and told him to get his head up.
“Our players were excellent from the first whistle to the last. This would have been one of my best wins as a manager.
“We have a few injuries at the moment but this was a unique performance and I am not going home disappointed.”
HEARTBREAK: MK Dons’ Antony Kay heads into his own goal in the final stages to cancel out Rob Hall’s opener, inset