Rochdale earned a hard fought point on the road on Tuesday evening at MK Dons’ Stadium:mk.
Will Grigg opened the scoring, but the home-side’s first half lead was short-lived as Dale drew level a minute later thanks to an own goal from the Dons’ Tom Flanagan. Reuben Noble-Lazarus fired Keith Hill’s side ahead in the 76th minute with an excellent long range effort, before Danny Green sealed a point for MK Dons in the 2-2 draw.
There were five changes to the side that lined up against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. Jack O’Connell recovered from illness to return to the starting eleven, replacing Olly Lancashire. Ian Henderson returned from suspension, while Andrew Cannon was handed his first start for Dale. Scott Tanser and Jack Muldoon were also named in the starting line-up. The suspended Matty Done and the injured Matty Lund were missing from the squad altogether, while Michael Rose and Calvin Andrew dropped to the bench.
MK Dons had the best of the opportunities during the opening exchanges, but were denied by an excellent Conrad Logan.
In the fourth minute Logan kept out Carl Baker at his near post, before doing the same eleven minutes later as Will Grigg fired a shot goal-wards, only to be kept put by the on loan ‘keeper.
But with 19 minutes on the clock the home side took the lead through Grigg, who lobbed the ball up and over an out-rushing Logan from 25-yards.
GOAL: MK DONS 1-0 ROCHDALE (Griff, 19)
Dale were immediately back on level terms, though, after they attacked straight from the re-start. Noble-Lazarus sent a cross into the area, which was turned into his own net by Tom Flanagan.
GOAL: MK DONS 1-1 ROCHDALE (OG-Flangan, 20)
Manager Keith Hill made his first substitution of the match shortly after the goal, with Bastien Hery replacing the injured Stephen Dawson.
Rochdale had their best spell following the equaliser, and finished the half on the ascendency.
Shortly before the half hour Dale had an opportunity to net from a set piece after Henderson headed across goal towards O’Connell at the back post. The on loan Blackburn Rovers defender connected with the ball, forcing the Dons defender to head up and into the top netting.
And in stoppage time Cannon fizzed a left footed shot narrowly wide of the upright from 20-yards, after leaving goalkeeper David Martin rooted to the spot.
HT:MK DONS 1-1 ROCHDALE
The home side started the second half brightly and were denied by the wood work two minutes after the re-start when Ben Reeves was kept out by the underside of the bar.
A confident Cannon had Dale’s first opportunity of the half as he fired a powerful left footed effort shot wide of the upright in the 52nd minute. Henderson then saw his deflected effort loop up and narrowly over the bar on the hour mark.
The home-side were on top as the half progressed and came agonisingly close to finding the target in the 67th from a corner. Somehow Kay could only steer his header, which looked destined for the back of the net, round the upright.
The Dons continued to test but it was Rochdale who went on to take the lead against the run of play – Noble-Lazarus firing home an excellent long range effort from the edge of the area on 76 minutes.
GOAL: MK DONS 1-2 ROCHDALE (Noble-Lazarus)
Shortly after the goal Dale made their second substitution of the match as Olly Lancashire replaced Jack Muldoon, but despite shoring up at the back, Dale continued to be put under pressure by the home-side as they searched for a goal.
The defence were resolute, as was Logan, who pulled off an excellent save to deny Grigg in the 81st minute, but he was unable to keep out substitute Green three minutes later. The on loan Leicster City ‘keeper had initially saved brilliantly with his feet to deny Benik Afobe, however, Green, who was the first to react, slotted the loose ball home from the angle.
GOAL: MK DONS 2-2 ROCHDALE (Green, 84)
The Dons went in search of a winner, but Flangan was unable to find the target with a Green cross in the 90th minute.
FT: MK DONS 2-2 ROCHDALE