League Two Stevenage forced a replay against MK Dons after both sides drew a blank at Broadhall Way in the first round of the FA Cup.
Graham Westley may have been alarmed to see the starting line ups, with several Dons stars returning to the fold, namely David Martin and Angelo Balanta.
The latter, returning from suspension, proved a handful for Stevenage with his pace down the wings, but the Colombian failed to find the net. It was at times difficult to tell that Westley’s side are in fact in a lower division to Karl Robinson’s men, as the two teams looked evenly matched, with Stevenage even taking control of large parts of the game.
Stacy Long nearly handed them a dream start five minutes in, only for his efforts to be thwarted by the feet of David Martin in the MK goal.
The Dons soon played their way into the game though, Peter Leven blazing just over the crossbar from 30 yards out. Ben May then later missed a header for Stevenage in what was largely a somewhat uneventful first half.
MK came out the better side after half time but failed to capitalise on it, as despite a positive spell and the attempts of Sam Baldock and Lewis Guy, who both missed opportunities to break the deadlock, the scores remained level.
Arguably the Dons’ best chance of the game fell to fan favourite Baldock, who could not quite get the power onto his header that was needed and although he beat the keeper, Jon Ashton was waiting on the goal line to clear.
In form John Mousinho then forced Martin into a good save as Stevenage fought their way back into the game, but the Dons should have punished them for wasting these opportunities with Luke Chadwick coming close, and Jemal Johnson saw his shot go agonisingly close to the goalposts.
It looked as though goals were not meant to be though as the teams will now have to replay at the stadium:mk, with the prize being a step closer to Wembley and the club’s name in the hat for the second round draw.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.