Bristol Rovers pay the penalty as former Bristol City striker scores in MK Dons win

The Gas paid the price of conceding an early penalty as the Dons left the Mem with three points
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Bristol Rovers fell to a third consecutive defeat in League One as they lost 2-0 to MK Dons at the Memorial Stadium after conceding an early penalty and a stopp-age-time strike.

Mo Eisa - on his return to Bristol - after one-season with Bristol City in 2018, scored the opening goal of the game as he dispatched a penalty in the third minute after Liverpool loanee Jarell Quansah fouled him. Eisa then supplied substitute Max Dean for the insurance goal just before five minutes of additional time were shown.

The Gas drop in to the bottom-half of the tabe and down to 13th with Charlton Athletic’s win over Exeter City taking them into the top-half. Next weeks opponents Lincoln City claimed a 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley.

The deadlock was broken early by the visitors who took their opportunity from the spot after being awarded a penalty. MK picked up possession in the centre Dawson Devoy’s cross fell to the feet of Eisa, who was upended by Jarell Quansah. Eisa picked himself up from the foul and drilled home his penalty to the opposite direction of Balcombe.

Eisa was a handful for the Rovers defence and worked Ballcombe into a save after sweeping a shot from 25-yards out after being picked out by Jonathan Leko. It was the Dons’ second shot on target.

Rovers had their fair share of possession but it was a quickly-worked free-kick that nearly opened the gates to the away teams defence. Sam Finley scooped a ball over the top to Aaron Collins and he pulled his header back for Josh Cobun who could not direct his header home.

Another former ex-Bristol City player caused problems as one-time loanee Jonathan Leko’s shot deflecting over the bar from a narrow angle in the last meaningful chance of the half.

The introduction of Ryan Loft at the break for Paul Coutts brought two half chances with Collins floating in a cross that he headed oer, before sliding a shot wide from a drilled cross. Rovers had an attacking spell for 15 minutes, but then the game fell back in to the favour of MK.

Substitute Bradley Johnson was denied by a superb goal line block from James Connolly, who put his shot fully in the way from Johnson trying to power a shot home.

MK would end up not regretting not scoring from Johnson’s opportunity as substitute Max Dean put the game beyond doubt. Lamar Bogarde’s pass was intercepted and Eisa was able to run in at goal and square it to Dean to tuck underneath Balcombe.

Bristol Rovers (4-3-3): Ellery Balcombe; James Gibbons, Jarell Quansah, James Connolly, Lewis Gordon; Sam Finley, Grant Ward (Lamar Bogarde, 85), Paul Coutts (Ryan Loft, 46), Aaron Collins, Josh Coburn, (John Marquis, 75), Scott Sinclair (Luke McCormick, 62).

Yellow Cards: Paul Coutts 18, Sam Finley 59’

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Jamie Cuming, Tennai Watson, Zak Jules, Jack Tucker, Daniel Harvey; Paris Maghoma, Josh McEachran (Bradley Johnson, 69), Sully Kaikai (Henry Lawrence, 90+2,), Dawson Devoy, Jonathan Leko (Max Dean, 83), Mo Eisa (Will Grigg, 90+2)

Yellow Cards: Dawson Devoy, 45+2, Paris Maghoma 68, Jonathan Leko 75, Max Dean 90+4

Goals: Mo Eisa, penalty 3, Max Dean 90+1

Attendance: 8,429. (300 from MK Dons).