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Match Report


Posted Tue 28 Sep 10 at 23:23 PM


MK Dons suffered a cruel late blow in a tight encounter with Charlton as Paul Benson's maiden Addicks goal settled matters at The Valley.

Benson, a recent signing from Dagenham, stretched to guide home substitute Kyel Reid's cross four minutes from the end of an even game and deny the Dons the point their efforts probably deserved. As they did against Peterborough on Saturday, the men from MK showed plenty of promise at the home of one of the division's promotion favourites, but lacked the cutting edge to make their good possession count.

Nevertheless, having limited a highly-fancied Charlton side to only a handful of chances, few would have denied them the point that looked to be theirs before Benson's late intervention. Robinson opted for a change in attack from the start, with Aaron Wilbraham picked to replace Jermaine Easter, making his first start of the season in partnering Jabo Ibehre up front.

The visitors started the game showing much of the same passing rhythm they showed at Peterborough at the weekend and were the quicker to settle without creating too much by way of chances. The combination of Gary Doherty and Jonathan Fortune, making his return to Charlton after rejoining the club on transfer deadline day, looked a tough one for the Dons to pass, with set-pieces looking their best chance of an early opening as Mathias Kouo-Doumbé flicked a header over from Peter Leven's free-kick. But Charlton slowly started to work their way into proceedings, led by the tigerish midfield pairing of Therry Racon and Jose Semedo.

Racing onto a Lee Martin pass on 13 minutes, Semedo was only prevented from working David Martin by Dean Lewington's immaculate sliding tackle. But seven minutes later he managed just that as he intelligently won possession from Leven in midfield before letting fly from 25 yards - Martin repelling to his right. It was a sequence that brought the home fans to life and they were incensed on 32 minutes when Danny Woodards, whose poor touch had allowed Martin a chance to race into Dons territory, illegally held up the former Wimbledon man on the edge of the box - a free-kick and a yellow card the award rather than the red the home fans craved.

Leven curled a free-kick from a promising position just over on 37 minutes, but the home side continue to look the more likely - Benson glancing Simon Francis' right-wing cross just past the far post on the stroke of half-time. Robinson's half-time team talk clearly had an impact on his side, who resumed with renewed vigour after the break.

They quickly buckled down the midfield area, preventing Semedo and Racon wielding the same influence in central areas, and the combination of Leven and Dietmar Hamann continued to exude promise. Aaron Wilbraham headed a Leven free-kick just over on 52 minutes and Easter's introduction in attack provided more dynamism to their forward movement. The Welshman was twice within inches of converting from close-range, with both Kouo-Doumbé and Gary Mackenzie knocking down separate Leven corners and Charlton, from a position of relative strength, suddenly looked less assured.

Easter was again close to getting a toe to Leven's swept cross from the right with nine minutes to go and when Benson fired straight at Martin when well-placed at the other end, a stalemate looked the only likely outcome. But substitute Reid fashioned an opening down the Charlton left, whipping a marvellous ball to the near post that Benson seized on to settle the tightest of games.

Charlton Athletic (4-4-1-1): Worner; Francis, Doherty, Fortune, Fry; Wagstaff (Abbott 70), Racon, Semedo, Jackson (Reid 75); Martin; Benson.
Subs not used: Daniels, Llera, Sodje, Stavrinou, Anyinsah.
Goals: Benson 86
MK Dons (4-4-2): Martin; Woodards, Mackenzie, Kouo-Doumbé, Lewington (c); Guy, Hamann (Carrington 82), Leven, Chadwick; Wilbraham, Ibehre (Easter 58).
Booked: Woodards Subs not used: Searle, Howell, Chicksen, Flanagan, Powell.
Attendance: 13,155
Referee: Jock Waugh (South Yorkshire)

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