Milton Keynes Dons 1 Walsall 1

MK Dons were left cursing their luck after the woodwork denied them their first win in six games as they were held 1-1 against Walsall at the National Hockey Stadium.

Ben Chorley and Richard Johnson both came within a coat of paint of adding to goals scored by Walsall's Darren Wrack and Dons' Malvin Kamara.

But in the end Milton Keynes had to settle for a point in a game they could even have lost in the dying moments.

Walsall had marginally the better of a scrappy opening but took the lead in rather fortunate circumstances in the 14th minute.

Wrack's cross from 20 yards on the left side of the box eluded everyone, including Dons' young keeper David Martin who was distracted by Jorge Leitao's attempt to connect with his head, and the ball bounced high into the far corner of the net.

Dons had a great chance to equalise almost immediately when top scorer Izale McLeod turned Walsall centre-half Neil Emblen inside out, but his strike from just inside the box flew well over the bar.

Then as Milton Keynes continued to look for an immediate response, Chorley was unlucky with a 25-yard effort that rattled the post with Walsall keeper Joe Murphy well beaten.

Dons kept the pressure on and just after the half-hour mark Gareth Edds' 20-yard left-footed strike shaved the post after an excellent surging run by the full-back.

Dons' Alex Tapp cleared another Wrack effort off the line in the 35th minute, and then salt was rubbed salt into Walsall's wounds a minute later when Kamara broke up the other end to equalise.

On-loan QPR midfielder Johnson's delightful defence-splitting pass put the pacey Kamara clean through, who finished well past Murphy.

Three minutes before the break Michael Standing should have restored Walsall's lead after Leitao's clever back-heel fed him through, but his delicate chip over the on-rushing Martin dropped just wide.

Dons got the second half off to a lively start when Johnson's rasping 30-yard strike was tipped round the post by Murphy. And then McLeod missed a glorious chance to score his ninth of the season when he blazed over after a mazy run by Wade Small.

Dons struck the woodwork again midway through the second half when Johnson's fierce 35-yard thunderbolt hit the inside of the post, with Murphy left rooted to the spot.

But Walsall came more into it in an end-to-end last quarter of an hour, and Leitao should have scored when he rounded keeper Martin, only for his effort to be cleared off the line acrobatically by Dons' Steve Palmer.

Leitao again came close to bagging the winner in the closing seconds, but in the end defeat would have been harsh on either side.