Cardiff City were left frustrated after being held to a lacklustre goalless draw at home to MK Dons. New signing Tom Lawrence impressed on his Bluebirds debut, but couldn’t find the breakthrough after being denied by a man of the match display from Dons goalkeeper, David Martin. The result means that Cardiff remain in 9th place in the Championship.
The first half lacked quality as both sides struggled to adapt to the heavy rain and greasy pitch. Striker Anthony Pilkington did have the ball in the net early on, but the Assistant Referee’s flag was already up for offside. New signing Tom Lawrence looked sharp upfront as he showed bursting energy to impress the Bluebird faithful.
The visitors went close through Jake Forster-Caskey’s free-kick but failed to provide any kind of threat throughout the first half. The Bluebirds finished the first period brightly and were unlucky not to break the deadlock. First, Lawrence saw his header hit the post after Whittingham’s teasing cross, and minutes later Pilkington’s glancing header was well-saved by Dons keeper’ David Martin.
With the rain still pouring down, the hosts continued from where they left off at the interval. A ten minute spell of persistent bombardment on the MK Dons goal went unrewarded after the impressive Martin made a string of inspiring saves to deny both O’Keefe and Lawrence.
And minutes later, Leicester loanee, Lawrence dragged his shot wide after dancing past a number of Dons defenders. At the other end former Bluebird Nicky Maynard squandered a golden opportunity after some sloppy home side defending with his shot going high and wide.
With Cardiff on the front foot, the visitors had to sit back forcing Cardiff to play with patience and precision. Slade brought on 6ft 4’ signing Kenneth Zohore but he, Pilkington and Lawrence struggled to penetrate the Dons’ defence. Joe Ralls took a desperate shot from distance which was comfortably saved by the solid Martin in goal.
Late on David Marshall made a diving save to deny Forster-Caskey a late winner, and at the other end Lawrence saw his shot blocked after creating a pocket of space in the penalty box.
Cardiff City: Marshall 6, Fabio 6, Manga 6, Connolly 6, Malone 6, Ameobi 6 (Zohore 5 77), Whittingham 6, O’Keefe 5, Ralls 6, Lawrence 8, Pilkington 6 (Macheda 5 86)
Subs Not Used: Moore, Peltier, Dikgacoi, Gunnarsson, Immers
MK Dons: Martin 8, Baldock 6, McFadzean 6, Walsh 6, Lewington 6, Hall 5 (Bowditch 5 86), Potter 5, Forster-Caskey 6, Williams 5 (Murphy 5 67), Maynard 5 (Emmanuel-Thomas 5 67), Carruthers 5
Subs Not Used: Cropper, Spence, Powell, Rasulo