MK Dons 0-1 Ipswich: Brett Pitman fires winning goal
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/12/15 6:52pm
Brett Pitman scored his sixth goal of the season and the only goal of the game as Ipswich won 1-0 at struggling MK Dons.
Karl Robinson's Dons have now gone five Sky Bet Championship games without a win - but could so easily have snatched a leveller in the dying moments with a number of chances.
Both sides started positively during the opening few minutes with Daryl Murphy going close for the visitors with a fizzing strike that angled just wide, before Dean Bowditch's well-worked effort from the edge of the Ipswich area curled just wide for the Dons.
But it was McCarthy's side who edged ahead after 10 minutes with the help of some suspect defending from the home defence.
Although Luke Chambers did excellently to create space for himself to whip in an inviting cross from the right side, Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers failed desperately to head the loose ball away from inside the box and it sailed into the path of an unmarked Pitman at the back post.
The hosts were clearly struggling to cope with the pace and power of Murphy in Town's front-line, as the Republic of Ireland international regularly beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with Dons goalkeeper David Martin - but efforts to chip in bounced wide on two separate occasions inside 30 minutes.
The Dons were still lacking any real attacking threat immediately after the break - but they did begin to start creating chances of their own just before the hour.
Nicky Maynard was the first to go close for the hosts with a weak header that was never really going to trouble Dean Gerken in the visitors' goal, before Bowditch's effort was also well saved.
Murphy again had another good chance to score a second goal for the Tractor Boys on 72 minutes after yet more sloppy play from the Dons.
Carruthers lost control of the ball and it was intercepted by the lively Murphy, who again found himself one-on-one with Martin in the Dons goal. However, his effort at a half-volley was rushed - despite having more time to compose himself - and he drilled his effort well over Martin's goal.
Robinson's side then had a number of good chances superbly saved by Gerken in the Town goal as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Ben Reeves cut inside on his left foot and drilled a shot towards goal but Gerken got down well and pushed the ball out for a corner before Carruthers' speculative effort from 25 yards was again tipped over by the 30-year-old.
And in the dying moments Rob Hall saw his thundering effort towards the top corner superbly saved too.