Finn Azaz celebrates scoring against MK Dons


Milton Keynes Dons 1 
Grigg 49 

Argyle 4 
Whittaker 9 
Ennis 25 
Azaz 37, 59 

Belief is a beautiful thing in football and Argyle ruthlessly demonstrated the current contrast in fortunes between themselves and struggling MK Dons. 

The Greens extended their lead at the top of the table with a swaggering 4-1 victory, Morgan Whittaker, Niall Ennis and Finn Azaz applying a trio of clinical finishes for a comfortable half-time cushion. 

Will Grigg pulled one back for the Dons but any hopes of a home fightback were squashed by another delightful goal from Azaz on the hour. 

Argyle manager Steven Schumacher made three changes from the 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley, Azaz, Nigel Lonwijk and Adam Randell coming in for Sam Cosgrove, Brendan Galloway and suspended Dan Scarr. 

The Dons, play-off semi-finalists last term, have toiled through the first two months of this term and entered the game in the bottom four. Within nine minutes, the gulf in confidence was clearly evidenced in a tough moment for home goalkeeper Jamie Cumming. 

Argyle moved the ball beautifully through the lines, Randell and Azaz both finding incisive passes for Whittaker to cut inside for a low drive that Cumming appeared to initially save, but the ball slipped from his grasp and crawled over the line to continue an incredible Pilgrim record of scoring in every Sky Bet League One game this season. 

The Greens settled back into a comfortable rhythm of supressing the hosts and then broke with a lovely Azaz pass inside the full-back for Whittaker to cut the ball back to Joe Edwards, who was thwarted by a desperate last-ditch block. 

Azaz was next to breach the home defence, racing on to a clever hooked pass from Randell before lashing a left-footer wide of the far post. The second goal was coming and, when it arrived, the massive Green Army contingent were celebrating a brilliant team move. 

The Pilgrims carved their way down the right flank, Azaz finding Whittaker in another dangerous pocket and his cute pass behind the full-back was perfectly weighted for Ennis to steer the ball past a stranded Cumming. 

The Dons simply had no answer to the Argyle penetration, Ennis racing into the left channel for an angled drive beaten away by the fists of Cumming, but there was nothing he could do about the third. 

Randell won the ball in a dangerous area and it fell into the path of Azaz, who had the time and space to take a touch before threading a confident finish into the bottom corner to conclude a brutal first-half display from the table-topping Greens. 

MK Dons needed a fast start to the second period and the experience of Grigg delivered, picking up on a lovely through ball from Louie Barry and guiding an accomplished finish into the bottom corner, giving Mike Cooper no chance. 

The hosts suddenly had a spring in their step and Cooper, not knowing the offside flag would go up, produced a superb low save to repel a Bradley Johnson header.  

The Greens dampened the Dons’ fire with another sublime finish after another sloppy defensive error. James Wilson pinched the ball in midfield and Azaz had the freedom of the park to curl a delightful 20-yard finish around Cumming to find the corner of the net. 

Ryan Hardie and Conor Grant were introduced for Bali Mumba and Ennis, but there was no disruption in the relentless intensity of Argyle’s pressing of the ball, as over 2,600 proud members of the Green Army voiced their appreciation. 

A Zak Jules header over the bar failed to lift the home mood and Jordan Houghton again won the ball in midfield, leaving Hardie to race into a huge gap in the Dons’ defence, but credit to Cummings for standing tall to make the save. 

Teenager Will Jenkins Davies replaced Whittaker for the closing minutes, followed by Cosgrove for Azaz and youngster Finley Craske for Randell, as Argyle happily sauntered to another three points. 

For all the attacking flair and excitement from the Greens, a final word of praise for Matt Butcher, who was wonderfully assured in a slightly unfamiliar role as part of the back three. 

MK Dons: 1 Jamie Cumming; 3 Dean Lewington (c), 5 Warren O'Hora, 6 Josh McEachran (8 Ethan Robson 68), 9 Will Grigg (7 Matt Smith 81), 11 Nathan Holland (30 Matthew Dennis 68), 12 Daniel Oyegoke, 14 Bradley Johnson, 19 Louie Barry (16 Conor Grant 68), 21 Dan Harvie, 33 Zak Jules. Substitutes (not used): 23 Franco Ravizzoli (gk), 4 Jack Tucker, 15 Josh Kayode.   

Booked: Robson 70, Cumming 85 

Argyle: 1 Mike Cooper; 4 Jordan Houghton, 5 James Wilson, 7 Matt Butcher, 8 Joe Edwards (c), 11 Niall Ennis (9 Ryan Hardie 62), 17 Bali Mumba (15 Conor Grant 62), 18 Finn Azaz (16 Sam Cosgrove 87), 19 Morgan Whittaker (44 Will Jenkins Davies 81), 20 Adam Randell (36 Finley Craske 87), 21 Nigel Lonwijk. Substitutes (not used): 25 Callum Burton (gk), 22 Brendan Galloway. 


Attendance: 10,656 (2,603) 

Referee: Sam Allison