Milton Keynes Dons 3 Cheltenham Town 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 25 October 2008
Ali Gerba's brace helped inflict defeat on former MK Dons boss Martin Allen in a full-blooded encounter that ended with both teams reduced to ten men.

Wherever 'Mad Dog' goes he seems to bring controversy and this game didn't disappoint as stadium:mk witnessed its most exciting match in some time - it literally had everything!

Gerba tapped in the first inside ten minutes before Gavin Caines equalised with a neat header.

Dons then had keeper Willy Gueret sent off after he ludicrously chest bumped Stuart Fleetwood following an altercation with the striker.

Peter Leven then had a penalty superbly saved by Scott Brown in an action-packed first half.

Even with ten men, the Dons were on top and took the lead early in the second half when they were awarded another penalty after Jude Stirling had been held in the box by Darren Kenton.

Sam Baldock stepped up to coolly send Brown the wrong way this time for his eighth goal of the season.

Ten minutes from time the Canada international sealed the victory when he smashed a shot home after a precise Leven throughball.

To make things worse for lowly Cheltenham they then had Lloyd Owusu sent off for his second bookable offence late on.

Dons had got off to a dream start when Gerba started and finished a swift counter-attack to put the home side ahead.

He chested the ball down for Leven who put Baldock through on goal. He raced away from Caines but his left-footed shot was parried by Brown only for the Canadian to tap into the empty net.

The ever-inventive Allen didn't like what he was seeing and on 25 minutes he brought off former Dons winger Jonny Hayes.

A minute later they were all-square as Jude Stirling was harshly adjudged to have blocked Owusu.

From the resulting Ian Westlake free-kick Caines flicked the ball into the top corner, and added even more spice to the game with his exuberant celebrations in front of the Cowshed.

The game didn't need any more spice added to it but things then went to another level when Gueret was sent off four minutes later for some inexcusable behaviour.

Despite being flagged offside Fleetwood tried to round the keeper. The Frenchman tripped him and the furious striker got up and pointed to this thigh to show where he was kicked.

Gueret, not content with taking Fleetwood out once, launched into him with a bounding chest bump that sent him flying.

Referee Graham Scott sent him off in an instant and Dons had to sacrifice Mark Wright to bring on substitute keeper Nathan Abbey.

Despite having a man less Dons looked in control after the break and got their rewards on 55 minutes when they were awarded another penalty.

Kenton was all over Stirling from Leven's throw-in and Graham Scott didn't hesitate to point to the spot.

Baldock stepped up and there was only ever one result as he sent Brown the wrong way for his eighth league goal of the season.

The Robins were just not offering anything up front at all, with Owusu and Fleetwood having little effect. And when Dons got a third with ten minutes left it was thoroughly deserved.

Gerba got on the end of Leven's lovely pass and smashed home with aplomb.

It was celebration time from then for the Dons fans with things made even worse for the visitors in the last few minutes when Owusu was sent off for his second bookable offence.

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