MATCH VERDICT: MK Dons 2 Bury 1

OPINIONS might have differed in the camp as to whether Giles Coke deserved his red card in Milton Keynes – but there was no argument that his dismissal was a pivotal point in the Shakers’ fifth game without a win.

Even though Richie Barker’s men had been somewhat battered on Pancake Day, the first-half scoreboard at least showed them on level terms after David Amoo’s excellent finish had been cancelled out by Dean Bowditch's header.

In three crazy minutes, however, the whole game had been flipped when Coke was handed his second yellow for pulling Daniel Powell’s shirt on the edge of his own box.

The midfielder had barely disappeared down the tunnel when Cameron Belford brought Alan Smith crashing down in the penalty box, and Bowditch slotted calmly home from the spot.

“It’s 85 yards from goal and a pull of the shirt – I'm not sure when that became a yellow card,” questioned manager Barker. “There were worse challenges and he (the referee) told us before the game that he would do his best to prevent bookings but he got his yellow card out pretty quickly to me.

“Without getting myself into too much trouble I felt right from the start that it was going to be hard for us and that he wouldn’t do us any favours.”

Steven Schumacher, the Shakers’ captain, took a less sympathetic view.

“I don’t think Cokey has got any argument, to be honest,” he said. “I think he won the ball for the first one but unfortunately in this day and age you get booked for strong, aggressive tackles.

“For the second one, maybe he hasn’t thought about it and just pulled the kid back. I’m not sure the referee has got any option but to give a yellow card for that one.”

Both manager and captain would agree that the Shakers looked a more compact unit with 10 men than they had with 11.

Although they had snatched a lead after just 10 minutes when Schumacher played Amoo through for his fourth goal of the season, Mark Hughes had already cleared one Bowditch header off his own line.

Powell’s pace out wide caused Joe Skarz all manner of problems, and it was from the winger’s cross that the equaliser arrived on 20 minutes. Charlie MacDonald’s header was parried by Belford, and Bowditch capitalised on some slack defending at the far post to level the scores.

MacDonald then hit the base of the post before Belford was forced into a sprawling save from Steven Gleeson’s free-kick.

There was all manner of pushing and shoving at the resultant corner, including one shove on the keeper from defender Mathias Kouo-Doumbe that could have warranted an earlier red card.

Coke got that dubious honour on the stroke of half-time – and once Bowditch had put the home side ahead, there really was a mountain to climb.

But the Shakers defended manfully in the second half, rendering it something of a non event.

And they very nearly stole a point when Hughes stuck out a foot and prodded Skarz’s floated cross just wide of the post in the last minute.

It would have been harsh on the Dons, given the balance of play, but considering both Schumacher and Peter Sweeney were forced off through injury in the second half, it was a considerable achievement that Bury were in the game at all in the final stages.

“I was extremely pleased with the attitude in the second half, I thought they were excellent,” Baker said. “Somewhere along the line I knew we were going to get an opportunity. If we could stay in the game and make a few changes with five minutes to go, we may get something. Right at the death, we nearly did.”

MK Dons: Martin 6, Taverner 8, Gleeson 6 (Ibhere 5), Williams 6, Lewington 7, Powell 8 (O’Shea) , Kolo-Doumbe 6, Smith 7, Potter 7, Bowditch 7 (Chadwick), MacDonald 8.

Unused subs: McLoughlin, Chicksen.

BURY: Belford 6, Picken 6 (Eastham 6), Hughes 7, Sodje 6, Skarz 5, Amoo 8, Carrington 6, Schumacher 6 (Harrop), Coke 5, Sweeney 6 (Worrall 6), John-Lewis 7.

Unused subs: Elford-Alliyu, Williams.

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 6,405.

Comments (5)

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6:26pm Thu 23 Feb 12

nomoresurfin says...

Coke's sending off was a silly one but if the ten men had been able to reach half time still level maybe a reshuffle would have enabled the shakers to earn a point. But no,Calamity Cam dived in when there was no real danger gifting MK a half time lead and the game was effectively over.If a new 'keeper is not brought in and soon relegation is a real possibilty,it's obvious the rest of the team,particularly the back four have absolutely no confidence in the hapless custodian and this is leading to a spiral of more and more ridiculous goals conceded.So come on Richie,i'm sure you've always intended bringing in a new goalie in the summer,but that might be too late we need to get loanee in now.
Coke's sending off was a silly one but if the ten men had been able to reach half time still level maybe a reshuffle would have enabled the shakers to earn a point. But no,Calamity Cam dived in when there was no real danger gifting MK a half time lead and the game was effectively over.If a new 'keeper is not brought in and soon relegation is a real possibilty,it's obvious the rest of the team,particularly the back four have absolutely no confidence in the hapless custodian and this is leading to a spiral of more and more ridiculous goals conceded.So come on Richie,i'm sure you've always intended bringing in a new goalie in the summer,but that might be too late we need to get loanee in now. nomoresurfin

3:11am Fri 24 Feb 12

Ken Chesham says...

.......and the comical leaping about and flailing arms coupled with the inability to catch any shots and then ultimately when the ball is in the net then it's blame everyone else.
.......and the comical leaping about and flailing arms coupled with the inability to catch any shots and then ultimately when the ball is in the net then it's blame everyone else. Ken Chesham

9:54am Sat 25 Feb 12

nomoresurfin says...

Well done Richie Barker,the signing of Trevor Carson,even if it is only for 40 days,will hopefully enable the Shakers to retain our Leage One staus.In an ideal world safety will have been acheived by the tme Carson's loan is up,but even so I feel that on loan deadline day another 'keeper should be brought in ready to take over from the Sunderland man.Belford's exile from the first team should this time be permanent,he's a liability who conspires to make potentially decent defenders nervous because of their lack of trust in him and his bizarre antics.
Well done Richie Barker,the signing of Trevor Carson,even if it is only for 40 days,will hopefully enable the Shakers to retain our Leage One staus.In an ideal world safety will have been acheived by the tme Carson's loan is up,but even so I feel that on loan deadline day another 'keeper should be brought in ready to take over from the Sunderland man.Belford's exile from the first team should this time be permanent,he's a liability who conspires to make potentially decent defenders nervous because of their lack of trust in him and his bizarre antics. nomoresurfin

7:52pm Mon 27 Feb 12

Eileenshakers says...

I have to agree with all 3 commnents here and especially in relation to our liablility of a goalkeeper.I'm affraid he's not really good enough for league 2 never mind league 1.Poor Cam has been waiting so long for his big opportunity but he simply cannot cut it at this level.It doesn't help when he loses his cool with the fans either.He has been a shakey goalkeeper who needs the competition of another and a a good goalkeeping coach.I'm of the opinion that Richie Barker has struck gold with the Trevor Carson deal and what's more it looks like we have a deal in place for the summer so long as Alan Knill doesn't come along and pinch him.He did that with Ajose so he might do it again.If you look at the other clubs crapping around the bottom of the league 2 most of the clubs have managed to keep a few clean sheets we haven't so that is why we are not yet safe.Trevor will "fingers crossed" help us to do that.
I have to agree with all 3 commnents here and especially in relation to our liablility of a goalkeeper.I'm affraid he's not really good enough for league 2 never mind league 1.Poor Cam has been waiting so long for his big opportunity but he simply cannot cut it at this level.It doesn't help when he loses his cool with the fans either.He has been a shakey goalkeeper who needs the competition of another and a a good goalkeeping coach.I'm of the opinion that Richie Barker has struck gold with the Trevor Carson deal and what's more it looks like we have a deal in place for the summer so long as Alan Knill doesn't come along and pinch him.He did that with Ajose so he might do it again.If you look at the other clubs crapping around the bottom of the league 2 most of the clubs have managed to keep a few clean sheets we haven't so that is why we are not yet safe.Trevor will "fingers crossed" help us to do that. Eileenshakers

12:59pm Tue 28 Feb 12

Eileenshakers says...

Ps it would seem there is still very little love lost between our Capatain Fantastic and Giles Coke.The sooner he goes back to S6 the happier alot of us will be.You owe us a big performance Giles after that Yeovil indignity but have so far failed to deliver in your second spell with the club.No point in selecting him for the next 2 games as he won't be able to play against The Owls next week.
Ps it would seem there is still very little love lost between our Capatain Fantastic and Giles Coke.The sooner he goes back to S6 the happier alot of us will be.You owe us a big performance Giles after that Yeovil indignity but have so far failed to deliver in your second spell with the club.No point in selecting him for the next 2 games as he won't be able to play against The Owls next week. Eileenshakers

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