Friday, 8 December 2017

Stadium MK


Milton Keynes Dons 4-1 Maidstone United

2nd December 2017

Whilst sharing a taxi from Milton Keynes Central to Stadium MK with a late-running Maidstone supporter, I listened politely to the chap relating his apprehension for the upcoming tie.  His team, after flirting with the upper echelons of the National League a few weeks back he told me, had suffered 4-0 defeats in each of their previous two matches.  Surely they could not ship four for a third week running, he pondered?

Well, perhaps with a grim inevitability, that was exactly what my companion’s team did.  Although, I suppose, he at least did have the pleasure of a half-hour spent basking in the glow of his heroes leading a League One side; Maidstone United having taken the lead around the 25th minute mark, when defender Magnus OKUONGHAE had gleefully bashed in a rebound off home goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

The non-league side were well worth their lead, which they held until half-time, I felt.  Delano Sam-Yorke and and Joe Piggott had given home defenders Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Wooton a decidedly uncomfortable 45 minutes each.  Whilst Dons' wingers Gboly Ariyibi and Aidan Nesbitt, who each looked as if they could play a bit, only rarely succeeding in escaping from their respective markers’ attentions.  Even the two wide men swopping flanks for a spell, before the break, had improved their fortunes not a jot.

But ten minutes into the second half Maidstone’s Zavon Hines was found guilty of ball watching, allowing Ariyibi to run off him; the latter’s cross eventually finding its way to NESBITT for the equaliser.  Substitute Kieran AGARD's quick-fire double (64th & 70th minutes) effectively ended Maidstone’s resistance; the visitors’ attempts thereafter restricted to speculative shots from progressively further and further out.

Peter PAWLETT (one of three Scots who turned out the Dons this afternoon) scored a fourth, minutes from the end, to put a not totally undeserved, I felt, sheen on the scoreline.





MK Dons V Maidstone - December 2017





Josh Hare & Aidan Nesbitt

Not a penalty for handball.

Maidstone's Joe Anderson, I think.



The two 2's at full-time: Josh Hare and Dons' captain George Williams 

Robbie Neilson's dress sense does not get any better.

The Maidstone 1500


Stadium MK certainly is an impressive arena, with it's filled-in corners and striking-looking spongy black seats.  But in reality it is (at present, anyway) way too big for the club.  The fans (home and away) behind each goal did their best to create some sort of din, but ultimately having less than 5,000 bods scattered around a 30,000 capacity arena, clearly we were not going to be in Hampden Roar territory here.


Panorama of Stadium MK.

Panorama of Stadium MK.

Milton Keynes cows - the one on the left a homage to Liz Leys' 
(in)famous) concrete sculptures, the one on the right a nod to the 
amp manufacturer Marshall, who are located in the town and, 
assume are or were a sponsor.

I am not sure if the horned helmet was a reference to the Milton Keynes cow 
(which I know has no horns), denoted membership of some local Hell's Angels 
Chapter or had some other connotation.  Whatever - I though it looked fucking cool.

Panorama of Stadium MK.


My ticket for the match forded me access to what was termed ClubRed – some sort of low grade hospitality area.  How I succeeded in doing so, I have no idea – although in truth, all it allowed me was access to a restaurant beforehand, a copy of the teamsheets, a free cup of coffee at half-time and use of nice toilets (always a consideration, at my age).  

I did enjoy, however, having the door leading to the seating area held open for me by a turbaned doorman.  That was nice.








Stadium MK - Milton Keynes.