DONS ARE DOWN IN DUMPS AT HOME

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Harry Wilmin

MK DONS haven’t won a league game at home for over six months – and Karl Robin­son ad­mit­ted play­ing at Sta­dium MK is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for his play­ers.

The last time the Dons picked up a home win was against QPR in March of last sea­son dur­ing their brief stint in the Cham­pi­onship.

And their win­less run in league fix­tures now stretches to nine games af­ter this draw with Michael Ap­ple­ton’s Ox­ford.

“I thought we were the bet­ter side against a top team like Ox­ford,” said Robin­son.

“I don’t know what more we can do. The play­ers do care and there is an ap­petite there, and we know the points tally isn’t where we want it to be but we have to work to­gether and move for­ward.

“I think we had five good chances against a good side – we’re just strug­gling with one or two things that aren’t there at the mo­ment.

“This place is be­com­ing a dif­fi­cult place to try and turn re­sults around, and I think you can sense an anx­i­ety creep­ing into the play­ers but that’s just the na­ture of the in­dus­try.”

The hosts started brightly, how­ever, and were the first to go close through Kieran Agard in­side six min­utes.

Dons’ record sign­ing rounded Ox­ford goal­keeper Si­mon East­wood in­side the box be­fore see­ing his strike on goal su­perbly cleared off the goal line by Chey Dunk­ley.

But the vis­i­tors re­sponded with a chance of their own min­utes later when Wes Thomas met Liam Ser­combe’s search­ing ball from the left in­side the six-yard box, but saw his close-range shot well saved by Dons stop­per David Martin. Ap­ple­ton’s side called the MK goal­keeper into ac­tion again as the game ap­proached the fi­nal stages when Ser­combe found him­self through on goal af­ter some sus­pect de­fend­ing from Paul Down­ing, but the mid­fielder’s at­tempted lob dipped just inches over the cross­bar.

And the Dons could have snatched all three points at the death as Dean Bowditch met a search­ing ball at the back post only for his ef­fort to drift ag­o­nis­ingly into the side net­ting.

“For what­ever rea­son our away form hasn’t been great and MK Dons’ home form hasn’t been great ei­ther,” said Ox­ford boss Ap­ple­ton.

“So I sup­pose a 0-0 was writ­ten in the stars be­fore the game to be hon­est.

“It was an ac­tion-packed game but there weren’t many clear-cut chances from ei­ther side.

“We’ve got a good point against a side like MK Dons who were in the Cham­pi­onship last year and we were in League Two.

“So it’s a good pos­i­tive for us to get a draw against a top side.

“But their goal­keeper was named man of the match so that prob­a­bly tells you all you need to know about the game.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports

THREAT: Dons mid­fielder Dar­ren Pot­ter heads at goal

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