Sunderland missed the opportunity to move further up the league table after losing 2-1 to MK Dons at the SOL on Saturday. It was another dreadful performance from Phil Parkinson’s side who had took the lead in the first half through Max Powers deflected strike only for Cameron Jerome to quickly equalise with a header. Max Power conceded a penalty early in the second half which Scott Fraser converted to seal MK Dons first win away from home in 14 months.
Phil Parkinson made four changes to the side that started Sunderland’s last league game against Ipswich with Matthews, Willis, Power and Grigg starting at the expense of Burge, Flanagan, McLaughlin and Maguire.
There was a minute’s silence before the game due to the recent passing’s of former vice chairman of the club John Hays and local photographer Dean Matthews. RIP.
MK Dons got the game underway kicking towards the North Stand and they forced an early corner after a good move down the left wing. The Dons almost caught Sunderland out with a well worked set piece with the corner played low towards the edge of the box which allowed Fraser to cross towards Lewington, but he nodded over. At the other end Sunderland forced a corner after good work from Will Grigg but Scowen’s set piece was easily cleared.
The visitors had another chance on the ten-minute mark after they sliced Sunderland apart after Hume rashly tried an interception allowing Gladwin the chance to run into the box though Hume did well to recover and concede a corner. MK Dons tried the low routine corner again this time Gladwin played it low to Cameron Jerome who clipped a shot well wide of the post.
We took the lead through Max Power’s deflected effort from the edge of the box after MK Dons failed to clear Lynden Gooch’s cross. Scowen had won a free kick after being fouled which Leadbitter took quickly and played to the American who clipped a cross forward towards Charlie Wyke. Power was the first to react to the loose ball driving a low shot goal wards with the slight deflection wrong footing the goalkeeper.
MK Dons equalised almost immediately, and their goal came from a set piece after Gooch fouled Kasumu on the left wing. Ben Gladwin curled the free kick into the box for Cameron Jerome who nodded past Matthews into the right-hand side of the net after evading the attention of Bailey Wright.
It was an entertaining and open start to the game partly due to the style of play of MK Dons leaving openings for the lads. Will Grigg should have exploited one such instance when he was picked out expertly in the box by Grant Leadbitter. Leadbitter cleverly chipped the ball into the box for Grigg but he failed to control the pass and the ball ran through to the keeper. Bailey Wright was guilty of some sloppy play when he lost possession, but he got away with it as the visitors failed to punish Sunderland as Fraser was unable to find the run of Cameron Jerome who would have been clean through on goal. At the other end Lynden Gooch tried an ambitious effort after cutting in from the right wing but he skewed a left footed shot way over the bar.
Before half time MK Dons carved Sunderland open again after Cameron Jerome set an attack away with a clever touch to Thompson. The ball eventually came to Walker on the left-hand side of the box who squared a ball across goal which only needed a touch but O’Nien did well to get back and clear.
There were no changes for either side at the break and Sunderland got the game back underway kicking towards the North Stand, but it was the visitors who were first on the front foot. Stephen Walker found space in the box after twisting and turning Bailey Wright up in knots, but his shot was blocked. Max Power then conceded a penalty trying to clear the loose ball but in the process upended Scott Fraser just inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot.
Scott Fraser got up to take the penalty and put MK Dons into the lead sending Remi Matthews the wrong way with a low strike to the bottom right corner of the net.
It took Sunderland ten minutes to venture forward with real purpose and we should have equalised after a well worked move down the left. Hume and O’Nien combined with Hume finding himself in a great position in the box but rather than shoot he tried to pick out another red and white shirt and his cross was cut out.
Sunderland should have equalised with twenty-five minutes but inexplicably Will Grigg failed to score with an open goal from a yard out. Lynden Gooch did brilliantly to nick possession on the edge of the box before driving to the byline and crossing across the face of the goal towards Grigg who failed to get a touch.
Phil Parkinson then made his first change of the afternoon with Chris Maguire replacing Max Power. Maguire was straight into the thick of the action curling a free kick wide of the post before creating a great chance for Hume who volleyed wide. Parkinson then made his second change of the game with Danny Graham replacing Will Grigg.
Ten minutes from time we had another opportunity to equalise when Hume got into another good position of the left-hand side of the box. This time Hume took a shot which took a big deflection which the keeper did well to keep out with his legs. At the other end MK Dons almost wrapped the game up after Sunderland were caught out with a counter attack but Matthews did brilliantly to block Fraser’s shot who had found himself one on one.
With five minutes remaining Phil Parkinson made his final change with Jack Diamond replacing Jordan Willis. There was five minutes injury time and the best chance fell to Denver Hume, but his shot was pushed round the post by the keeper.
Final Score: Sunderland 1 MK Dons 2
ALS Man of the Match: Luke O’Nien
SUNDERLAND (3-5-2): Matthews; Willis (Diamond 86), Wright, O’Nien; Gooch, Leadbitter, Scowen, Power (Maguire 67), Hume; Grigg (Graham 72), Wyke.
Subs: Burge (gk), O’Brien, Dobson, Sanderson.
MK DONS (3-5-2): Fisher; Lewington, Keogh, O’Hora; Sorinola, Kasumu, Fraser, Thompson (Sorensen 81), Gladwin (Cargill 77); Jerome, Walker (Morris 63).
Subs: Nicholls, Freeman, Johnson, Davies.