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MK Dons v Spurs XI, 31.07.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Spurs XI friendly
       Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
    Wednesday 31st July 2013, 7.30pm

       MK DONS XI  v  SPURS XI
      (All White)    (All Blue)
         4-5-1         4-3-3

          1(1)          0(0)
MK Dons XI: McLoughlin(Burns 88), Otsemobor(Weston75), Flanagan(C), Reeves(Tingey 75), Alli(Wiltshire 58), Bamford(Osae 58), Baldock, Galloway(Osei-Addo 58), Rasulo, Summerfield, Hines(Grant 71)

Scorer:- Rasulo 34

Booked: Alli 57(Foul)

Coach:- G. Robinson

Spurs XI:- Miles(Archer 46), Fredericks, Ward, Bentaleb, Livermore(Gallifuoco 71), Stewart(C), Townsend(McEvoy 71), Carroll (Lameiras 71), Lancaster(Coulthirst 46), Falque, Ceballos.

Booked: Bentaleb 19(Foul), Carroll 69(Foul)

Coach: C. Ramsey

Referee: K. Stroud
Assistants: D. Robinson & A. Young
Fourth Official: C. O'Donnell

Attendance: 8671

It was a warm evening for this friendly match in Milton Keynes. I say friendly but whereas Spurs looked to get time on the field the home side came out meaning business. (Ed:- MK Dons start their league programme on Saturday) The Dons were charging a lot for this match which may have affected the size of the crowd. I have to complain about the blue second strip that Spurs were wearing, as it was very difficult to see the dark blue numbers on their backs, which should be changed to white.

Spurs lined up with Miles in goal behind a central pairing of Stewart and Livermore with Fredericks at right back and Ward on the left. Carroll pulled the strings in midfield with Bentaleb and Falque alongside him. Lancaster led the line with Townsend and Ceballos either side of him.

Spurs defended the north end in the first half and were soon put under pressure by the home side. The Dons took the game seriously and did not hold back in the challenge. A good example was how Galloway roughed up Townsend at every opportunity.

Miles saved from Reeves for a corner early on and Summerfield fired over before Falque drew a save from a corner. Livermore headed wide of the near post at another corner before giving the ball away in front of his own goal for Bamford to advance and fire wide.

Townsend found himself free of Galloway, and took the opportunity to have a shot that flew over. Hines hit a free kick over, before Bentaleb was booked for a foul from behind having failed with a sliding tackle on the same player. Lancaster had a shot that was over the bar before Flanagan headed a corner over at the other end.

Hines got down the left and provided a low cross for Summerfield who managed to clear the bar from inside the six yard box. Ceballos was played through but was foiled by McLoughlin coming out to block at his feet. When the home side failed to clear the ball Falque picked it up and took it to the line and whipped it across the goal with no player getting a touch.

The home side took the lead when a ball over the top found Rasulo who scored at the second attempt after Miles blocked his first shot. Miles prevented them extending their lead when he saved a free kick from Bamford at his near post that went for a corner. Miles was then out quickly to save at Bamford's feet when he was played through.

Spurs made two changes for the second half with Archer going in goal and Coulthirst replacing Lancaster up front. The Dons started the half with ten men as the referee was fed up with the time Bamford was taking getting his boot on.

Spurs started the half brightly with Ceballos firing wide and Falque seeing his shot deflected over for a corner. Ward was fouled by Alli as he drove forward which saw the Dons' player booked. Alli was then replaced along with two other players as Robinson began to use his subs.

Carroll played a lovely through ball for Coulthirst but the striker curled the ball just wide of the far post. Wiltshire drew a save from Archer before Reeves struck the crossbar with his free kick. Hines worked some space on the edge of the area only to see Archer get down to his drive. Carroll was booked when he stopped the home side breaking away from a Spurs corner by pulling back the player.

Spurs then made three more changes with Gallifuoco replacing Livermore at the back, Lameiras taking Carroll's midfield role and McEvoy replacing Townsend up front. Spurs began to move the ball out to the wings more with McEvoy getting in a couple of crosses within minutes of coming on. Ward drove wide from distance and McEvoy saw his drive blocked by Coulthirst making a run towards the near post. Ceballos hit a free kick over before Falque played in McEvoy to fire wide. Ceballos drew a save as Spurs began to look dangerous, but it was too late. Falque drew a save from the keeper and Ceballos drove a cross into the side netting before the referee blew for time.

The home side deserved to win as they worked hard to stop Spurs getting into any form of rhythm forcing errors all game long. It was only after Spurs made their changes that they looked to take the game to their opponents forcing them onto the back-foot stringing passes together and finding space. The Dons' defence stood up to the final efforts to hold onto their lead. With less than two weeks before the start of the U-21 campaign, which starts against Chelsea, Spurs need to sharpen up more.

Ray

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