SHEFFIELD Wednesday survived a late onslaught from MK Dons to earn a replay in an uninspiring FA Cup third-round clash at Hillsborough.
See The Star on Monday for full report, reaction and more.
Chances were few and far between for the most part, but Shaun Williams could have snatched it for the Dons as he was first denied by goalkeeper Stephen Bywater and then a post in the last 10 minutes.
The Owls made three changes from the side that lost to Burnley on New Year’s Day with Bywater and Martin Taylor replacing the rested Chris Kirkland and Anthony Gardner, while Chris Maguire was handed a rare start in place of the suspended Jeremy Helan.
Dons boss Karl Robinson also made three changes as Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, Alan Smith and Zeli Ismail came in for Angelo Balanta, Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell.
It was a sloppy start from both sides with the Dons frequently turning over possession and Wednesday had the first chance as Mamady Sidibe headed Miguel Llera’s free-kick over the bar.
Former Wednesday player Ryan Lowe had the first chance for the visitors as he broke clear and tested Bywater, but the former West Ham man was equal to it.
The Dons were beginning to assert themselves on the game with Darren Potter pulling the strings in midfield, but they lacked the final ball to really threaten the Owls.
The Hillsborough crowd showed their first signs of life as Maguire burst forward down the left, but his cross just evaded the onrushing Keiran Lee.
Lee had a better chance moments later as he was found by Michail Antonio, but Dons goalkeeper David Martin was equal to the shot.
Lowe was clearly getting frustrated operating as a lone striker and showed his anger as Ismail failed to find him from two good crossing positions.
The first chance of the second half fell to Sidibe but the on-loan Stoke striker decided to pass instead of shoot and his ball to Antonio was cut out.
He was replaced by Gray Madine moments later as Dave Jones made his first change.
The game lost all momentum and as the half wore on and both managers tried to inject some energy with Ismail and Smith replaced by Dele Ali and Gary MacKenzie for the visitors and the fading Maguire replaced by Jermaine Johnson for Wednesday.
But it was Ryan Harley who had the next chance as he let fly from distance with a shot that was deflected behind for a Dons corner which came to nothing.
The midfielder had a better chance with 10 minutes remaining as he fired over from six yards and just a minute later Bywater was forced into a good save by Williams.
The Dons were finishing by far the stronger and Williams went even closer as his shot hit a post with Bywater beaten.