George Long– The blades recorded a vital win over Swindon at the weekend which stretched their unbeaten run to four games, leaving themselves two points clear of the drop zone. The young keeper saved well from Nicky Ajose and denied Ryan Mason in quick succession as he helped his side to their first clean-sheet in three league games.
Lee Hodson– Hodson enjoyed a fine afternoon for the dons contributing towards a clean-sheet away at Wolves by keeping Bakary Sako quiet, leading Jackett to bring the winger off at half-time as he was having minimal effect. MK Dons ended their run of three straight defeats in the league and will go into next week’s fixture with Port Vale full of confidence.
Dean Leacock– County have conceded 34 goals this season and Saturday was their first clean-sheet since October where they drew with Wolves 0-0 in the JPT. Leacock led his team from the back in a dominant display and will be hoping that they can turn around their fortunes after back-to-back wins in the league.
Shaun Williams– Williams has had no problem with scoring this season but has struggled to keep teams from netting against the dons. The dons had conceded nine goals in their last three league games before Saturday and will be delighted with a clean-sheet against one of the league’s top sides. Similarly to his right-back he dealt with Leigh Griffiths comfortably in the first half which led to him being taken off at the interval.
Joe Martin– Martin netted his second goal of the season on Saturday with a perfectly executed free-kick. This brought Gillingham back into the game and was the push they needed to take the lead through Cody McDonald. The gills looked set for three points but in the seventh minute of added time Assombalonga finished a scrappy goal from a corner to steal a point for Peterborough.
Jack Grealish– The Aston Villa loanee enjoyed a fine afternoon scoring the opener and setting up Gary Liddle for his late goal against Colchester at the weekend. His opening goal was a well worked move down the right hand side involving Jamal Campbell-Ryce where he kept his calm in the box before slotting the ball past Sam Walker.
Callum McGregor– McGregor has been in sublime form recently netting three goals in his last two games, he finished a well worked counter-attack with a quality left-footed strike just inside the box. Colchester couldn’t live with McGregor and Grealish and the pair will need to continue if Derry’s men are to get out of trouble.
Tom Lawrence– Lawrence has stolen all the plaudits this weekend with a stunning performance against Tranmere Rovers. Just 60 seconds into his full league debut he smashed home a stunning volley which was arguably the goal of the day. Personally, I think his second goal was even better; the youngster picked the ball up and after skinning three of his opponents in a 40-yard run, squeezed the ball home from a tight angle to seal the points for Carlisle. It was a dream home debut for the 19-year-old who currently averages a goal every 50 minutes in league one.
Ben Reeves– Although primarily a holding midfielder Reeves has found himself in various positions this season and Saturday was no different, playing in a number ‘10’ role. His goal which effectively decided the tie was a belter, after picking the ball up his neat turn left Dave Edwards which he then followed with a fantastic strike from distance which left Carl Ikeme scrambling.
Patrick Bamford– The key to Bamford’s performance was the youngster’s movement which proved a constant threat to Wolves’ back line. Danny Batth found this out in the 31st minute where the Chelsea loanee made a fantastic run to lose the centre-half and followed it up with a neat finish to put the dons ahead. Bamford was consistent throughout and will be a huge loss if Karl Robinson can’t retain the forward’s services in January.
Britt Assombalonga– Assombalonga was back to devastating effect on his return to the first team, netting twice to rescue a point for Peterborough. His first gave the posh the lead after capitalising on Stuart Nelson’s mistake but his second rescued a valuable point for Peterborough. It wasn’t the prettiest but Assombalonga has now scored as many goals this season as he managed for the entire of last season whilst on loan at Southend United.