15 January 2022

Liam Manning impressed by resilient MK Dons

15 January 2022

Liam Manning hailed MK Dons’ resilience and new signing Theo Corbeanu after his stunning first goal for the club fired them to 2-1 victory at Portsmouth and ended the hosts’ 10-match unbeaten league run.

Mo Eisa opened the scoring for the Dons and Wolves loanee Corbeanu added a second on the stroke of half-time with a ferocious strike from the edge of the area that crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Manning said: “It was a terrific strike and Theo’s a great character.

“You forget how young he is. He’s only 19 and stepped up in front of 15,000 people and produces that moment of quality to win us the match.

“What a performance from the guys in terms of everything that has to underpin our culture; work, fight and sticking together in tough moments.

“It was a terrific result and terrific performance for so many different reasons from what we’re normally associated with and I’m delighted for the guys.

“There is a team-first mentality when you’re at the club and everyone is fully committed and you can see the passion and togetherness with the staff and players after the game.”

It could have been a different story for the visitors had Connor Ogilvie not missed a gilt-edged early chance by blazing over from six yards.

Eisa opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a cool finish after Matt O’Riley had capitalised on a misplaced pass by Reeco Hackett.

Corbeanu doubled the visitors’ lead but Pompey gave themselves a lifeline on the hour thanks to George Hirst’s neat first-time finish.

Debutant goalkeeper Jamie Cumming made a brilliant late save to keep out Ogilvie’s back-post header and deny the hosts a point.

Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley had mixed emotions, and said: “It was a disappointing result but not the performance.

“For the first 20 minutes we dominated the game and created three or four opportunities and we need to be more clinical.

“I can be critical of the team in the way we responded to the first goal.

“You can’t play that well, have one moment of disappointment and it affects the team so much and it was too long, maybe a 15-minute period that had an effect on the crowd.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox