MK Dons 0-0 Ipswich Town: The Warmdown
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The defences came out on top yesterday as MK Dons and Ipswich Town played out an entertaining draw in Sky Bet League One.

The Tractor Boys saw more of the ball and created more chances but the hosts probably had the better efforts on goal, including a Scott Twine free-kick that was firmly pushed away by Christian Walton in second half stoppage time.

  • Morsy on a mission and sizzling Celina

Town’s captain Sam Morsy was welcomed back into the fold at Stadium:MK from his controversial four-game suspension for an off-the-ball incident against Accrington Stanley at the end of January.

He was a real driving force in getting his team up the pitch.

Ipswich had their backs against the wall for much of the opening 20 minutes, before Morsy went on a surging run which ended up with Wes Burns firing over the top.

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This happened a number of times throughout the game, which allowed the creative Bersant Celina to find space in the middle between Dons’ defence and midfield.

The pair caused many problems with their directness and desire to get Ipswich moving forward.

They made the right decisions when in possession and, on another day, would have created a goal or two.

Defensively, Morsy was unbeatable in central midfield.

He broke up play with tenacity and his strength and battled hard from the first minute to the last.

He did pick up a questionable yellow card, but that shouldn’t put a dampener on what was a true leader’s display.

  • MK set up to draw

Whether that was by design or whether Ipswich were just too good on the day, MK Dons definitely looked content with settling for the point.

In the opening 20 minutes or so, it seemed that Liam Manning’s side would be on the front foot.

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Theo Corbeanu had the first chance of the game early on and Town just couldn’t live with him in particular.

Then, as Ipswich grew, the back three became more of a five and Troy Parrott up front was cutting an isolated figure at times.

In the second half, fatigue was a major factor, especially after the gruelling midweek trip to Fleetwood.

This meant that Dons did sit in and absorb the pressure from their opponents and struggled to create anything meaningful in attack.

It was a heavy pitch too, it did not look anywhere near it’s best which would have definitely been a factor for a passing side.

They did defend really well, though.

Jamie Cumming made numerous good saves and was commanding from crosses too while Warren O’Hora was solid alongside Harry Darling and Dean Lewington in the defence.

If the plan was to settle for a point, then they executed it perfectly.

  • Both sides showed why they have promotion aspirations

Despite it being 0-0 and clear-cut chances at a premium, it was still a thoroughly entertaining watch.

Ipswich displayed a lot of attacking potential, Burns and Celina looking dangerous when they combined while Kayden Jackson was a threat in behind all game.

MK Dons did grow into the final minutes and substitute Hiram Boateng tested Walton before Twine’s curling free-kick was saved.

Defensively, too, they were both strong and resolute which is why chances were hard to come by.

When they were breached, two goalkeepers in good form were equal to any efforts that came their way.

It is no surprise one is pushing the automatic promotion places and the other is on a resurgent run looking to break into the playoffs.

They are two sides who are technically brilliant and very well-drilled who were still able to perform well on an uneasy playing surface.

Both teams were missing a clinical striker, and maybe one up top wasn’t the way to go for either manager.

In fairness to both Manning and Kieran McKenna, they made the changes to two and even three strikers late on and it did look like a goal was coming.

That might be the way to go, rather than playing the 3-4-2-1 formation that both managers did.

MK Dons face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, while Ipswich host Burton Albion, both on Saturday at 3pm.

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