Thursday, 1 October 2015

Creasey Park Blues for Kettering

After a summer of upheaval at Dunstable Town a poor start did not come as a surprise.  A win at home to fellow strugglers Kettering Town would make it back-to-back wins in the league for the first time this campaign and 4 in a row in all competitions.

Dunstable made a single change from Saturday's win in the FA Cup as Victor Osubu came in for Jamale McKenzie-Lowe on the left hand side.  Remember that name.

Dunstable got off to a perfect start as defender James Kaloczi headed in a corner from the left on just 3 minutes.

A flurry of chances came and went for Kettering who's finishing was lacklustre at best. The Poppies best effort hitting the post from a Brett Solkhon header.

They were punished further on  35 minutes as a tricky, mazy run from Osubu was finished off with a powerful drive through Enol Ordonez in the Kettering goal to double the lead.  Two minutes later a third arrived for the hosts as Luke Pennell headed home after a poor piece of goalkeeping, not the first from Ordonez, who had a poor game for the visitors.

Dunstable went in at 3-0, without really deserving their lead.  Manager Tony Fontenelle wasn't impressed was their first half performance despite the seemingly comfortable 3-0 score line.  "I felt Kettering had better periods in the game than we did, they were dictating play to us and winning the midfield battle, at half time it was about being more organised" was the Dunstable boss' verdict on his sides first half display.

Just 3 minutes into the second half and any small possibility of a mammoth comeback was over as David Keenelyside put the Blues 4-0 ahead with over 40 minutes to play.

The game turned just minutes later as Jevan Brown lunged in on left back Luke Pennell in which looked a very reckless and dangerous tackle right in front of the dugouts, sparking somewhat of a fracas between both sets of players and staff. Brown was awarded just a yellow after the melee, which may have been a touch fortunate for the Kettering midfielder.

From then on a series of strong and late challenges were displayed by both teams in a game that included 5 cautions.  Kettering coach Scott Godwin was banished to the Creasey Park dressing rooms for tripping Dunstable left back Pennell as he tried to retrieve the ball.

Following that the game rather calmed down somewhat however the tempo still remained as both teams looked to score more goals to aid their poor starts to the season.

Dunstable will of course be the happier of the sides but a 4-0 result certainly flatters the Bedfordshire outfit, who still sit 19th in the Southern Premier Division.

Meanwhile it was Osubu who was undoubtedly the man of the moment for Dunstable, a goal and an assist for the winger signed just a month ago. Kettering right back Richard Bryan was time and time again beaten by the pacey wide man, without any sort of reply as he received a deserved and unsurprising yellow card for impeding Osubu in an attempt to stop him one too many times for referee Louis Marks' liking.

On his wingers performance and the strong tackle on Luke Pennell, Fontenelle explained how Dunstable were lacking someone like Osubu earlier on in the season.  "I like players that excite me and I think everyone can see Victor is one of those players that on his day can be the star performer." He added "From Kettering's point of view it's a fair tackle, from my point of view it's a late tackle, was it a red? I've seen them given."

Heading into the weekend, Town travel to Cambridge City looking for a third consecutive win in the league for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Fontenelle previewed his team's trip by saying he is "looking for more of the same against what will be a very well organised side with players of good quality proven at this level and the level above, it won't be an easy game." Finally commenting "we'll look to Victor to give him the ball and let him score from 20 yards again!"

Dunstable have bolstered their striking options for the game against mid table Cambridge, signing Geoff Mitchell, formerly of Hayes and Yeading, Histon and most recently Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Championship.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How will the Dons do?

'And MK Dons are heading for the Championship while Preston North End are heading for the play-offs.'

The 2014/15 season ended in delight for Karl Robinson's side as he watched his team decimate an already-relegated Yeovil side while Preston were left dejected as they went down 1-0 to Colchester before magnificently winning the play-offs with relative ease as they thrashed Swindon 4-0 in the final at Wembley to join the Dons in the 2015/16 Championship.

However from that day forward it was time to plan for a new season in a new league for the Milton Keynes club as they were to embark on their first Championship campaign ever.

Karl Robinson has had a busy summer, ensuring that the Dons' squad will not be back in League One come 2016/17 and maybe even spring a few surprises.


Joe Walsh
First through the door at Stadium:MK was Joe Walsh. 23 year old Walsh joined the Dons initially on loan from then-struggling Crawley Town in March 2015 with a view to a permanent move in the summer. Cardiff born Walsh began his career in the youth setup at Swansea, failing to make an appearance for the Swans and switching to Sussex on a free transfer at the start of the 2012/13 season, netting on his debut against Gillingham in the JPT. Centre-back partner Kyle McFadzean then joined the Dons in the summer of 2014 and Walsh was made club captain. Walsh, who can also play left back, then appeared 32 times in 2014/15 before moving to Stadium:MK including a sending off in his final game in a 5-0 home defeat to Doncaster.

Walsh made his move permanent in May following the expiration of his loan, for an undisclosed fee.

Cody Cropper
On the 1st July Dons announced a triple signing, one of which being Cody Cropper. Cropper, who is yet to make his professional debut at the age of 22, arrived on a free transfer from Southampton where he had been for 3 years after joining the Saints from Ipswich.

Dale Jennings
Part two of the 3 was Dale Jennings. Karl Robinson made no secret of the fact he was an admirer of Jennings whilst the winger was still in his teens. As a 17 year old, Jennings put 2 past the Dons in a 4-2 loss to Tranmere at Prenton Park in October 2010.

Jennings went on to score 6 in 32 in the campaign before being snapped up by Bayern Munich's B team in 2011 for around £420,000 after being voted apprentice of the year. However a horrific knee injury hindered his playing time at the 5 times Champions League winners and he only managed 36 appearances in 2 seasons, before being sold to Barnsley for £250,000.

In his Barnsley debut the Liverpudlian was sent off in a 4-0 defeat to newly-relegated Wigan. He was then loaned to the Dons after just 5 appearances. 

The tricky winger played 6 games in Milton Keynes, impressing boss Karl Robinson before moving back to Barnsley for the rest of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 season featuring 51 times and scoring 6 goals.

Upon the expiration of his contract he was released at Barnsley before joining Karl Robinson's side.

Simon Church
Simon Church was without a doubt the most high profile of the 3 signings on July the first. Wales international Church began his career at Reading, with loan spells to Crewe, Yeovil, Wycombe and Leyton Orient between 2007 and 2009, scoring 5 goals in 40 loan appearances in his 5 loan spells. The target man went on to play 104 league games for Reading, starting just 55 of them, scoring on 22 occasions. Following 1 goal in 7 games on loan at Huddersfield he was released from his boyhood club and signed for Charlton where in 2 seasons he went on to score 5 goals in 31 starts.

Church also joined the Dons for free on July 1 on a 2 year deal.

Cristian Benavente
On July 17 was the day Karl Robinson's talk about foreign talent finally came true with a real coup. Signed from Real Madrid Castilla, Cristian Benavente. Midfielder Benavente was promoted to the clubs Castilla side from the youth squad in 2013, making 33 appearances in all competitions and scoring 3 goals, all in the 2014/15 season. He made his Peru debut in April 2013 following a number of u17 and u20 call ups. He currently has 8 international caps and 1 goal, coming against Panama.

Rob Hall
11 days after Benavente, Hall put pen to paper for the Dons on a season-long loan, his third Dons loan spell. Hall made just 2 appearances on loan from West Ham as an 18 year old in 2012. After loan spells with Oxford and Birmingham he joined Bolton where he was not given regular game time. After just 13 starts Hall was farmed out to the Dons once again and was crucial in the Dons promotion chase making 7 appearances and scoring a hat trick in a 6-1 demolition of Leyton Orient.

The pacey winger joins the Dons once again for another crack at the Championship.

Sam Gallagher
The 28th July saw Robinson secure his second loan signing of the window as Sam Gallagher joined from Southampton. The striker has joined the Dons for his maiden loan spell away from Southampton, whom he joined from Plymouth. Gallagher has made 20 appearances for the Saints, 15 from the bench, finding the net on 2 occasions.

Matthew Upson
2 days later and a marquee signing for the Dons. Former England international Matthew Upson. The last man to score a goal for England against the Germans arrived at MK1 on a 1 year deal from Leicester. The former Brighton, West Ham and Arsenal centre back was employed to add much needed experience and cover at Championship level and with over 450 career appearances and 21 England caps Upson could be key in any of Dons success this term.

Sergio Aguza
Last but not least.. for now. Sergio Aguza, Real Madrid Castilla's captain. Aguza broke into Real Madrid's 'B' team in 2013, being handed the captain's armband. In 2 seasons for Castilla the central midfielder featured 46 times, scoring 7 goals.


At the end of the promotion winning campaign of 2015, most of the Dons departures were the expiration of loans. Will Grigg, Dele Alli, Rob Hall, Lewis Baker and Devante Cole all returned to their parent clubs, albeit briefly for Hall. Second-choice 'keeper Ian Mcloughlin was not offered a new contract and winger Danny Green was allowed to join league two Luton on a free transfer later on in the summer.

Transfer business

All that meant Dons had lost their two main assets of last season. Dele Alli has been well and truly integrated into Spurs' first team during pre-season, meanwhile the Dons were unable to afford Will Grigg and thus he moved back to League One in the form of Wigan for just under £1 million. Danny Green didn't feature much after his hamstring injury in early Septermber, whilst Devante Cole didn't bring much extra to the already talented Dons squad. Lewis Baker's creativity will be missed in midfield, however the signings of Aguza and Benavente should go some way to recreating that midfield that controlled so many games last season. Upfront is where the Dons may struggle, Church and Gallagher hardly prolific at Championship level and may not give the Dons the firepower that Afobe, Grigg and Bamford have done in recent times.

Where do Dons need to improve?

Karl Robinson made an excellent signing in keeping goalkeeper David Martin. The shot stopper has now made 263 appearances for the Dons in two spells, keeping 24 clean sheets in total last season.

In front of Martin is the defence. Exactly the same as last year with the addition of Upson, I expect a solid, stubborn, tough to break down back line, guarded by Darren Potter in the holding role.

Next to Potter will be Samir Carruthers, Aguza or Benavente. Depth and hopefully quality. Carruthers dogged attitude combined with the flare of Benavente and Aguza could be a very tidy combination. If the Dons also manage to pull off the signing of Sam Morsy, they will have an extremely strong midfield come the start of the season.

In attack is where the Dons really do need to strengthen. Carl Baker at 32 is unlikely to be able to be an ever present and Daniel Powell is very hit and miss. Ben Reeves needs to find the form of 2013/14 that saw him win 4 awards at the end of season dinner to be effective in the Championship, otherwise creativity will be lacking from the number 10 role. On the left, Jennings, Bowditch and Hall will provide depth and all offer something different. Bowditch should add goals, whereas Hall and Jennings will always be a threat out wide. Karl Robinson should definitely be trying to add another striker, with Gallagher being a certain gamble and Church not prolific. A proven Championship striker should be the aim for the Dons boss.


Karl Robinson is embarking on his 6th season as Dons boss, after taking over in 2010 from Paul Ince. After 2 unsuccessful, disappointing seasons, Robinson's recruitment and squad overhaul came good as the Dons ended up on 91 points to secure second on the last day of the season. Backed by Richie Barker and now Keith Andrews, the backroom staff are all raring and ready to go to try and guide MK Dons to championship safety in 2015/16.

Many were critics of Robinson, with a good, young and healthy squad for all 4 years prior to promotion, but working with a limited budget and in 3/5 summers not spending a penny, Robinson should definitely be credited for building his own squad with his own philosophy that he would not deviate from.

This year the Dons and Robinson definitely need a plan B and C, something the Dons have been lacking when its not been going their way in recent years, as the Stadium:MK side definitely won't be getting things their own way all season this time round and will have to find a different way of consistently picking up points in a higher division.


It's certainly not going to be a walk in the park for MK, as without spending a penny to date and without a notable signing upfront to replace Grigg and Afobe, goals may be lacking in 2015/16. Going from a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond is always going to be a tough ask and therefore the Dons must not get too low when things don't go their way, although vice versa also applies. A tough, exciting yet competitive campaign should ensue for the Dons and I think a comfortable lower mid-table finish certainly isn't unrealistic. My prediction? 19th.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Roy Ruins Somerset's T20 Hopes

I made my way down to The Oval on Friday evening knowing that another loss would virtually end any hopes Somerset had of reaching the quarter finals of the Natwest T20 blast.

I was hopeful as I entered the ground, knowing Surrey themselves were only one point and one place above their visitors and like Somerset plenty of work to do to ensure progress in the competition.

As I took my place in the Lock Stand to the right of the pavilion Surrey's innings had just got underway as Gareth Batty won the toss and chose to bat on what looked like a very flat wicket. 

Somerset opened up with their now familiar line up of Jim Allenby and skipper Alfonso Thomas, whereas the hosts started with Jason Roy and 38 year old Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakarra.

Somerset, looking to improve on their poor powerplay performance over the course of the 2015 blast started steadily with the medium pace of Allenby allowing just 7 runs from the first over of the match. This was then backed up by Thomas who allowed 9 to leave the score at 16/0 off of 2 overs.

However it was in the third over that Somerset made what was to be their biggest mistake of the whole game. As Tim Groenewald steamed in from the Vauxhall end of the ground Jason Roy miscued a lofted straight drive that went straight up into the evening sky to where Jamie Overton was perched at long on. The 6'5 pace bowler never looked like taking the catch, jogging to his left, then some more.. and then again, as he tried to get under the ball. Despite getting two hands on it Overton could not hold on, much to the delight of the Surrey crowd and of course Roy.

Roy then never looked back, 10 from Groenwald's first over translated into 57-0 at the end of the powerplay as Somerset's seamers took a hammering due to some lusty blows from Roy and Sangakarra to all corners of a packed Oval.

At this point I moved round to directly behind the wicket opposite the pavilion. Right into Jason Roy's hitting zone. No I don't know why either.

On came the spin of Max Waller, out went the field. Same result. 8 from Waller's first over was the sign of things to come from Surrey. It took till the ninth over for Somerset to claim their first victim as Sangakarra came dancing down the track to a ball from Waller that was never there to be hit. Awaiting was New Zealand international Luke Ronchi who calmly removed the bails to send Sangkarra back to the dressing room, leaving Surrey 84-1 off nine, a start they would definitely have taken.

This was to be Somerset's one and only wicket as in the 10th over Roy brought up his 50 with a well ran two out to the leg side boundary. Minimal celebration from the South African born England international as he was nowhere near done for the day, notching up his first of six maximums shortly after, smashing Jim Allenby over long off towards the dressing rooms.

Replacing Sangakarra was Rory Burns, who didn't take long to settle. Two overs after Roy he also had his first maximum as he crashed a six over midwicket and into one of the many Kia Oval advertising hoardings.

Roy and Burns were really going for it now as 102-1 off 11 became 123-1 from 13. A further nineteen was added in the fourteenth over as Allenby was well and truly taken apart by the two Surrey batsman.

Once again Jamie Overton dropped a catch, this time off the bowling of Allenby as Burns powerfully struck one flat, straight to Overton who fumbled the ball which was met by an even louder roar by the Surrey crowd. Allenby's allotted overs were complete and he had gone for 45 in his four.

The seventeenth over then saw what most of the ground had came to see and especially what myself and Jamie Overton didn't. Jason Roy well and truly making Somerset pay for their sloppy fielding as he dispatched Overton into sightscreen to go to 104 from just 56 balls with 8 fours and 4 sixes. As soon as the ball left the opener's bat he stood in the middle of the Oval, arms aloft, taking in the rapturous round of applause and offering a bow in return. Was he finished now? Of course not. 

The eighteenth over was superb from Alfonso Thomas as Surrey managed to scramble just 1 single and a hard ran two. The penultimate was bowled by Overton who's day was not made any better as he was hit for a further 16 runs to finish with figures of four overs 0-44.

Thomas then undone all his hard work from the eighteenth over in the last as he was carted over square leg for six by Roy and then with the final ball of the innings bowled a waist-high full toss.. no prizes for guessing the result of that. Another six to finish from Roy, who ended with an unbeaten 122 from just 65 balls accompanied by a well paced 46 from Burns, from just 33 balls.

This took Surrey's final total to 208-1 from their 20 as Max Waller was the pick of the Somerset bowlers, returning 1-26 from three overs.

This left Somerset needing over 10 runs an over and out came Jim Allenby and Johann Myburgh, which has become the norm since Chris Gayle departed to return home. The returning Jade Dernbach opened Surrey's bowling from the pavilion end.

The innings could not have started worse for the visitors as Myburgh punched a straight drive to Sam Curran at mid off. Curran fumbled and Myburgh set off for a single. Allenby did not move at the non-striker's end, clearly sticking to the age old adage of 'never run on a misfield' and Myburgh could not make his ground in time, running himself out without troubling the scorers.

Peter Trego then strolled out at 0-1 and timed his first ball to perfection as he guided a Dernbach delivery to a vacant fine leg for four. Somerset 8-1 at the end of the first. Dernbach's second over saw Surrey's second wicket. Backing away to make room, Allenby attempted to loft one over extra cover and didn't quite get hold of it as Zafar Ansari palmed the ball up and caught it on the rebound in what was a brilliant piece of fielding, but he was to go outdo that later on.

Allenby was gone for 2 with the score at 18-2. Somerset already needing 11 an over by this point and looking in trouble.

A minor recovery then ensued as the powerful Trego was joined by James Hildreth but this was to only last two overs as Trego once again tried to flick one to fine leg, this time off the bowling of Sam Curran. Trego miscued and picked out the awaiting Azhar Mahmood who was never going to drop it,
moving slightly to his left. Trego couldn't believe it, knowing a foot either way and he'd have another boundary to his name. However he too had to go, for 26.

Next in was Tom Cooper. He and Hildreth managed to make it to the end of the powerplay, another disappointing one for Somerset. 43-3 from six.

Hildreth and Cooper then set about repairing the damage. Hildreth as usual was going at a steady pace of just over a run a ball with some classy strokes, matched by some powerful blows by Cooper.

In the tenth over though it was Ansari again who took a brilliant catch to break the partnership. Cooper aimed to slog sweep Batty over cow corner but could only top edge it as Ansari sprinted 35 to 40 yards in from the midwicket boundary. It looked certain to drop a number of yards short of Ansari but he was never going to give up. Sliding on his knees and outstretching his left arm, the ball dropped perfectly into his hand. Disbelief was all around as Cooper could not believe what he'd just seen, neither could any of the Surrey fielders. It was like a scene from a football ground as they came running over and knee sliding towards Ansari who sat on the turf with his arms in the air, making the most of a truly superb catch.

Batty himself was to finish with economical figures of 1-22 from four overs, keeping Somerset's batsman under wraps throughout his spell.

Cooper was gone for 29 which brought Luke Ronchi to the crease and I felt a whiff of last chance saloon as the kiwi was Somerset's last recognised batsman.

The new man had clearly noticed the required run rate was now above 12 an over as he took no time in lofting the ball over long on towards us for a huge six, 15 rows back and around 10 seats to my right.

Less than two overs later he was at it again, smashing a pull shot even further to the square leg boundary and the required rate was slowly starting to drop.

Those two lusty blows were all that Ronchi could muster in his last Somerset game as he hauled out to long off, rather summing up Somerset's innings, day and competition as he was gone for a short but sweet 21 from 13 balls and 17 year old Sam Curran had his second wicket of the evening. He was to finish with 2-37 from three overs.

Meanwhile Hildreth was still at the crease, now joined by Lewis Gregory. The Milton Keynes born batsman made his way to 50 with little if any celebration. Not long later he also hauled out, this time to Jason Roy at cow corner who just wasn't going to be kept out the game.

That was the final nail in the coffin for Somerset as the crowd became more interested in keeping their beer snakes away from eagle-eyed stewards and Surrey's boundary riders were rather pre-occupied with trying to start Mexican waves in the crowd.

It was left to Lewis Gregory to have the final say for Somerset, making 27 from 15 with 2 fours and 1 six until he departed after being trapped LBW by Tom Curran.

That was it in the end and Surrey had won by 38 runs. Somerset had lost four games this season by three runs or less but were never even close to Surrey's total after being comprehensively outplayed in all three areas of the game. The visitors will be left to rue their dropped catches, poor batting and undisciplined bowling.

Nothing was to stop Roy and co. however and Surrey's hunt for a top four finish continues while Somerset are left to battle it out in the County Championship and Royal London One-Day cup.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The New Face at the DW

Will Grigg has today signed for relegated Wigan Athletic but will he be a success?

When Will Grigg arrived in Milton Keynes on a season-long loan from newly promoted Brentford, the midlands-born striker was the second of three young, hungry strikers Karl Robinson was to employ for the 2014/15 season after Tom Hitchcock was acquired on a free transfer from QPR.  A week later Benik Afobe joined from Premier League Arsenal and the Dons front line that was to score a record 101 league goals, was complete.

The Northern Ireland international was to make an instant impact at Stadium:MK, netting an equaliser in the Dons season opener as we came from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2, however it didn't take long for Grigg to truly endear himself to the Dons faithful as the frontman scored the first two goals in the unforgettable 4-0 annihilation of Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, famously using his chest to caress the ball past a helpless David De Gea. 

Playing second fiddle to the prolific Afobe for the first half of the season, Grigg was made to accept he wouldn't be given a continuous run of starts as Karl Robinson's implemented his controversial yet effective rotation policy. Afobe grabbed himself 19 goals prior to Wolves deciding to splash the cash to lure the England u21 international to Molyneux in mid January.  The departure of Afobe was followed up by Tom Hitchcock's loan move to fellow League One club Fleetwood Town and left the former Walsall forward as the lone striker at Stadium:MK and oh how he delivered.

A blistering second half of the season containing a crucial brace away at Swindon left Grigg with 20 league goals from 43 games taking his total tally for the season to 22, only the second ever player to reach the milestone of 20 league goals in a Dons jersey, finished off with a header against Yeovil in a 5-1 demolition resulting in the Dons automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time.

Deemed surplus to requirements once he returned to parent club Brentford, the Dons amongst a host of other championship clubs were sniffing around for the forward, yet it was relegated Wigan Athletic who took the plunge and met Brentford's hefty asking price in the region of £1 million, but will this be an outlay worth making for the Lancashire club?

It wasn’t  just the goals he netted that made Grigg a fans favourite in Milton Keynes despite not even being a Dons player, the manner in which the forward played added to his proven quality to ensure a big impact on the Dons squad and I envisage the same impact will be made at the DW.

Without having much strength due to being just 5'11 Grigg is a very clever player, constantly using his nous and trickery to evade defenders often means he finds himself in acres of space.  A classy, natural goal scorer, Grigg is a poacher, frequently in the right place at the right time to finish off the hard work done by those supporting him. Effective yet unspectacular the forward will get goals wherever he plays for sure.

Grigg's work rate is also exceptional, never giving up on chasing a lost cause, combining an element of comedy in his celebrations with a dance dubbed ‘the Griggle' by Dons fans, the striker's personality rubs off on supporters and team mates alike and will not only add quality to the squad but also lighten up the dressing room and the terraces at the DW stadium.

Grigg is undoubtedly a brilliant signing at League One level with proven experience and quality. The only question will be, can Wigan get enough support up to him to the poacher to get the goals to fire Wigan back to the second tier? Only time will tell.

Goodbye and good luck Will, thanks for everything..

Friday, 25 April 2014

Blues on the brink

Dunstable Town are on the brink of second successive promotion this Saturday.

Following last season's unbeaten league campaign that yielded 143 points and a goal difference of 110, Darren Croft's side went into the Calor League Division One Central.

The Town,who boast the likes of Kerry Dixon and George Best in their ranks in times gone by, kept talisman Lee Roache following last season's success and the former Barnet striker has scored 22 league goals this season. Backed up by winger Chris Marsh who has chipped in with 14 league goals and the likes of Nathan Frater and former Luton player Adam Watkins, the Blues find themselves just one win away from a double promotion.

This win however, must come on the final day of the season tomorrow, at home to 10th placed Uxbridge.  With Kettering Town, rugby Town and Daventry Town hot on their heels for the one and only automatic promotion spot, the Creasey Park side have no room for error come 3pm.

Should the Blues be promoted,they will find themselves in the Calor League Premier amongst the likes of fellow Bedfordshire sides Arlesey Town and Biggleswade Town.

Friday, 4 April 2014

MK Dons player of the season 13/14

So here we are again, time to vote for your MK Dons player of the season.  It's been a season similar to last year for Karl Robinson's men with a long injury list, inconsistency and the usual ups and downs that any team goes through, but through this, there have been some shining lights in the Dons camp this year, here are my top 5-

5. Dean Lewington

Dons' skipper and long time servant Dean Lewington has beenalmost ever present this campaign.  After an early injury suffered in the opening day draw with Shrewsbury, left-back Lewington has never looked back barely missing a game since.  Lewie is a bit like your Grandad, not as quick as he once was, always there when you need him and has a very good day every now and again.  Another consistent year for Lewie, solid and mostly ever-present patrolling up and down the touch line and screaming at another unsuspecting linesman.  With highs such as his last minute winner at Stevenage and his upcoming 500th game (providing he doesn't miss another game) at home to Leyton Orient, a player of the year gong would be a perfect way to cap off the red haired full-back's 10th season as an MK Dons player, his 500th game and 30th birthday.

4. Patrick Bamford

Baby-faced Bamford may have only blessed us with his presence for half a season this term, but what a half a season it was.  Full of goals, passionate celebrations and the odd piece of eye candy supporting him at games. Personally, I never saw what was to come when it was announced the Nottingham-born striker was resigning for his 3rd loan at Stadium:MK but it was definitely a welcomed surprise.  17 goals in 30 appearances for the Dons and his first England u21 call-up left a host of Championship clubs fighting for his signature come January and it was Steve McClaren's Derby that won the race as Bamford inevitably took the Championship in his stride. Definitely a contender and one can only wonder where the Dons would be if we could have retained the 20 year old.

3. Stephen Gleeson

Stephen Gleeson- the man that only scores wonder-strikes.  Once again, the fiery Irishman has been a shining light in the heart of the Milton Keynes' midfield.  Determined to play as many games as possible after his broken foot last season a series of niggling short team injuries have kept the 25-year old out for various short periods across the year.  Gleeson has of course added 10 yellow cards to his 2 long range strikes against Port Vale and Crawley.  With his undoubted quality Gleeson is sure to want to try himself in the Championship before too long but whether it will be with the Dons or not is yet to be known.  Another season where the former Wolves' man has shown his class has definitely left him in the mix for the award later this month.

2. David Martin

 The son of former West Ham and England defender Alvin Martin, David along with skipper Lewington are the only 2 players left in the Dons ranks from the move north from South London.  For the second season running goalkeeper Martin has suffered with his fair share of injuries during October but has been unmovable from between the sticks since.  Putting in a number of man of the match performances already this season, the Dons number one has been in fine form and kept Karl Robinson's side in games on numerous occasions, often being the base for the men from MK1 to go and pick up valuable points in their quest for the play-offs. Despite his couple of costly mistakes at Bradford and Swindon, a usually calming and reassuring persona at the back has been a key to the Dons success this season.

1.Ben Reeves

Dons current top goalscorer and my personal choice for the award has to be Ben Reeves. In his first permanent move from boyhood club Southampton, Karl Robinson's first signing of the 2013 Summer took time to settle in Buckinghamshire, due to the fact he was used to playing slightly deeper than his 'number 10' role assigned by manager Robinson.  But after a run of 6 goals in 10 games over December and January any Dons fan will find it hard to question Robinson's persistence in Reeves.  The Summer signing has even managed to force out Premier League winner Luke Chadwick who was sent out on loan to Cambridge.  With his willingness to work non-stop for 90 minutes on a Saturday and his talent he has shown such as an impressive 30 yard strike in the 3-2 win at Stevenage, Reeves has to be my pick for MK Dons player of the year 2013/14 and his ankle injury suffered last month will not be enough to ruin what has been a brilliant first season in an MK Dons shirt.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Barker Hired

Richie Barker has today been appointed as Karl Robinson's assistant at MK Dons.
Dons boss of almost 4 seasons, Robinson is now onto his fourth number 2 after the unsuccessful appointment of Mick Harford, that lasted just one season, and Gary Waddock.
2 weeks ago tomorrow (Saturday) former Wycombe, Aldershot and QPR boss Waddock left his post as Robinson's right-hand man to take over at league 2 promotion chasers Oxford United.
Barker, fresh from his Pompey firing earlier in the week, was quick to secure his place back in football, taking a short term deal after spells in charge of Bury and Crawley preceded his 20-game Pompey reign.
Providing all goes well, one can assume that the 38 year old will take the role full time as Karl Robinson seeks for a long-term, successful replacement to Waddock.
Barker will be in the dugout for MK Dons' visit of league leaders Wolves on Saturday.