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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 19 Nov 11 at 17:25 PM

REPORT: COLCHESTER 1 MK DONS 5

Two goals from Charlie MacDonald helped MK Dons come from a goal down to beat Colchester United 5-1 on their own turf.

The U's broke the deadlock through Matt Heath after dominating the opening stages of the game, but MacDonald levelled before a superb goal from Tom Flanagan put the Dons in front on the stroke of half-time.

Colchester put up a good fight in a scrappy second half but MacDonald's second combined with a late deflected effort from Stephen Gleeson and an injury-time tap in from Jabo Ibehre saw the Dons through to a comfortable win.

The Dons, with six changes to the side to win in the FA Cup a week earlier, went into the game looking to strengthen their position in the table and add pressure on to the top two in League 1.

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With Stephen Gleeson and Darren Potter back in the centre of midfield they were setup to cope with the five man midfield of the U's.

The home side started brightly, Ashley Vincent got the better of Dean Lewington in the tenth minute with a dummy turn that allowed him to break after a quick one-two before his fizzed in cross was cut out by Tom Flanagan as Colchester bodies pressed forwards.

Colchester had the control of the tempo and were looking dangerous in the final third, but a foul on Charlie MacDonald presented the Dons with a quickly taken free-kick which saw Adam Smith break down the wing and with the ball at his feet he was able to cut inside only for his tamely-struck effort from the edge of the box to trickle wide.

At the other end though there were warning signs for the visitors when from 25-yards Ian Henderson was afforded the time and space to lash a thundering shot on target, which David Martin saw late to tip away. From the resulting corner another shot flashed wide in the crowded box.

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The home side were comfortable on the ball and confident to spray the ball around. Set-pieces were extremely dangerous from the U's with Anthony Wordsworth forcing a superb save from Martin with a free-kick from 25-yards before a fiercely driven free-kick, this time from Andy Bond on the left, was denied by Martin's fingertips.

However, after holding firm the Dons' defence was finally broken in the 23rd minute when Wordsworth's vision to whip in a fine cross was met by the diving header of Matt Heath whose nod was enough to break the deadlock.

Despite not getting their grip on the game, the Dons were still confident and composed in their football as they continued to play on the floor on the back which may have taken the hosts by surprise.

The Dons began to find their feet in the game with Jabo Ibehre playing a vital role in holding the ball up and proving to be great foil for his team mates.

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Robinson's men forced the equaliser six minutes before the break, which would serve as a great confidence booster, when Colchester failed to keep tabs on the movement of Gleeson and the midfielder found Powell on the right of the box. The wide man drove through the crowded area and MacDonald turned the ball home in a scrappy fashion.

From that point the U's were on the back foot as the Dons upped the pressure and in added time before the break unlikely scorer Flanagan popped up with a superb volley. The centre-back lifted Gleeson's corner and his swinging left boot beat Ben Williams in goal to fire the Dons ahead at half-time.

After pinning Colchester into their own half after the break, the Dons almost allowed the U's back into the game when some slack defending helped Kayode Odejayi ease past Flanagan and Beevers and forced a diving save from Martin.

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Free-kicks at either end could have added to the score line with Wordsworth lifting his shot over while Gleeson's low driving effort was fired straight into the arms of Williams.

With only a single goal separating the two sides tension began to creep into the game and the battle down the wing between Lewington and Vincent certainly added to the spice of the game with neither player shying from a challenge.

The second half struggled to live up to the first as it became a scrappy affair, but there was always a hint that the U's could find the leveller. That was all but ended 15 minutes from time when the U's failed to clear the ball, offering Potter the chance to chip the ball back into the box. From that point Dean Bowditch fizzed a cross in and MacDonald waiting inside the six-yard box netted his typical poacher's goal.

Gleeson, who had been at the heart of everything good from the Dons, got his name on the score sheet in the closing minutes when he curled a shot from 20-yards and a deflection saw the ball hit the inside of the post and beat Ben Williams.

The Dons added further Colchester's woes in injury time when Bowditch broke free down the left, and his low cross was converted via the underside of the bar by Ibehre to send the Dons home with three valuable points.

Colchester United (4-5-1): Williams; Wilson, Heath, Eastman, Coker; Bond, Wordsworth, James (Thomas 70), Henderson, Vincent; Odejayi.

Subs not used: Rose, Izzet, White, Duguid

Booked: Vincent

Goal: Heath 23

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Smith, Flanagan, Beevers, Lewington (c); Gleeson (S Williams 90), Potter; Chadwick (Bowditch 66), Ibehre, Powell (Balanta 86); MacDonald.

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Kouo-Doumbe.

Booked: Smith, Chadwick, Lewington, Gleeson

Goals: MacDonald 39, 75, Flanagan 45, Gleeson 88, Ibehre 90

Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 4,247 (369 away)

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