MK Dons are out of the FA Cup as they were beaten 1-0 by Port Vale in Russell Martin’s first match as first team manager.
Port Vale took the lead through David Worrall just before the 20 minute mark at a damp stadium mk.
There was plenty of huff and puff shown by the home side, but it added up to little, as the Dons were unable to get chances created and the net result is the end of their FA Cup campaign at the first hurdle.
After the confirmation of Martin as the club’s new manager following last weekend’s reverse to Tranmere, MK Dons took to the field for the first time under him.
Martin’s first test came in the form of the FA Cup First Round, and with it, a match against a Valiants side who defeated local rivals Crewe last time out.
At a stadium mk being pelted by consistent rain, both sides would have early sights of goal. Ben Reeves would see a low attempt blocked by away goalkeeper Scott Brown, while for the visitors, Richie Bennett saw a fierce angled effort beaten away by Lee Nicholls.
MK Dons did have positive moments in the early stages, with Alex Gilbey seeing an effort turned wide, Regan Poole narrowly missing out on a tap-in opportunity, and some other forward bursts.
But it was Vale who took the lead. Conor McGrandles could only half clear a Port Vale cross, and a second ball by James Gibbons found Worrall, whose header found the net.
MK Dons did have their spells with the ball after that, but very few opportunities to get a breakthrough moment. The closest spells saw Gilbey have one deflected wide and Brennan Dickenson hit a free-kick over.
Indeed, in the final minutes of the half, the visitors could’ve made it 2-0. Scott Burgess headed over a Worrall cross, while Nicholls was called into action to keep out Leon Legge at a corner.
At the start of the second half, it was the Dons who looked more positive. Reeves saw a shot saved by Brown, while Dickenson and Callum Brittain both saw snapshots drift narrowly wide of the target.
Joe Mason was introduced for his debut as the Dons tried to find their way back, and the team did apply pressure, with Gilbey seeing a shot denied by Brown.
But the game largely lacked momentum after that. The Dons still had the majority of the ball, but found the away defence difficult to break through and continued to struggle to create shots.
The best chances fell the way of sub Mason, who was able to find space only to see two efforts deflected and lose any goal-bound momentum they may have had.
In the end, the Dons ultimately ran out of options to get back into things from there, and the away side were able to run out the clock and book a spot in Round 2.
MK Dons: Nicholls – Brittain, Poole, Moore-Taylor, Lewington – McGrandles, Kasumu (Boateng 70) – Reeves, Gilbey (Houghton 83), Dickenson (Mason 61) – Bowery
Subs not used: Moore, Cargill, Houghton, Boateng, Sorinola, Freeman
Port Vale: Brown – Gibbons, Smith, Legge, Montano – Burgess (Evans 88), Joyce, Taylor – Amoo, Bennett (Pope 68), Worrall
Subs: Maddison, Cullen, Browne, Evans, Brisley, Archer
Goal: Worrall (19)