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Match Report


Posted Mon 26 Dec 11 at 14:56 PM


MK Dons returned to winning ways in convincing style with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.

The O's put in a battling performance in the first half but when Dean Bowditch opened the scoring before the break it was inevitable that it would be the visitors who would be taking away the belated Christmas present of three points from Brisbane Road.

Bowditch's eighth goal of the season put the Dons in the driving seat and a commanding second half display from Karl Robinson's men, with a spectacular strike from Adam Smith and a typical fox-in-the-box finish from Charlie MacDonald , ensured they bounced back from the defeat to Preston over a week earlier in great style.

The goal of Smith - who scored a screamer against Rochdale to open his account at the Dons - was another stunning effort from the on-loan Spurs player, while MacDonald's goal allowed him to regain the position of joint-top scorer at the Dons alongside Bowditch.

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Playing at an earlier kick-off time to most of their rivals in the League, the three points propelled the Dons back up to third place in the table with Huddersfield's result later in the day dependant on whether they stay there overnight.

There was only one change to the side that lost to Preston with Mathias Kouo-Doumbe starting in place of Mark Beevers in defence alongside Gary MacKenzie.

The Dons were the more lively side to start the game with Darren Potter registering the first shot inside two minutes with an ambitious attempt from distance but it was a strike that was always rising and never likely to test Lee Butcher.

Orient's Lee Cook looked a threat early on when a quick break from midfield caught Dons' defence out as the ball found Stephen Dawson in the left of the box. Potter had tracked back to keep tabs on him yet the cross from the byline was still played into the area, fortunately for the Dons it was met by the grateful arms of David Martin, rather than the head of striker Jamie Cureton.

Former O's striker Jabo Ibehre seemed intent on returning to haunt his former side when, with less fewer than 15 minutes on the clock, he combined with Charlie MacDonald in midfield to drive into the box only to see his effort deflect wide of an Orient Terrell Forbes' heel.

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Orient began to pick up the pace of the game which forced a number of mistakes from the Dons. The home side should have taken the lead in the 20th minute when Cook rode the challenge of Bowditch inside the Dons' area and found his way through to the box. With Kevin Lisbie to his left Cook sprayed the ball into his path, but the O's forward let the moment get to his as, with only Martin to beat, his scuffed his shot and the ball bobbled into Martin's arms.

The Dons were happy to stand off in defence, although it was a risky plan especially when Cureton was able to riffle an effort an inch wide of the post with Martin beaten.

After a slow burning start the home side looked dangerous with every move forward with Cook having a great influence from the centre of the park and Cureton finding himself in good areas yet unable to finish the chances the half-chances that were coming their way.

Up against it, Adam Smith tried to respond to the O's play with a decent chance himself as he cut inside on the left to drill a shot at Butcher.

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While it seemed like Orient were the more likely side to break the deadlock, it was in fact the Dons who edged themselves in front eight minutes before half-time. Smith was found in an advanced role on the right wing and was able to whip in a high cross for Bowditch who, having got ahead of his marker, was able to apply a wonderful flicked right-footed finish beyond the flat-footed Butcher.

Although Orient had often threatened to cause a panic in the Dons' box they failed to do much with the chances that came their way and as they went in at half-time a goal down and without a corner coming their way.

A free-kick on the edge of the box from Dean Lewington was blocked minutes into the second half, but Smith looped the ball back in and MacDonald managed to outmuscle Ben Chorley only to see his on-the-turn shot brush inches past the top corner.

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Moments later Bowditch was afforded space in the box to get away from Chorley yet the boot of Butcher turned away the low drive.

Orient were given a slice of luck by the woodwork when a pass to Bowditch allowed the Dons goal scorer to riffle a shot at Butcher, who somehow was able to block with his heel to take the ball onto the underside of the bar before bouncing clear.

However, it was only a brief reprieve for the O's as Adam Smith, who had been excellent going forward with the ball, added to his tally with a second wonder goal of the season. The on-loan Spurs right-back exchanged passes with Ibehre before taking a few stride forward on the flank and from 30-yards out he picked out the back of the net with a delightful dipped strike.

It kept getting better for Robinson's men when just six minutes later MacDonald got involved in the scoring to add a third for the afternoon. The poacher bagged his eighth in Dons colours when Lewington's low shot from Bowditch's corner was parried as far as the striker who did not need a second invitation to turn the ball in from six-yards.

The Dons continued to pile forward in hope of causing further woe to their hosts which, at times, left them exposed at the back. The O's still failed to take advantage when the chances came their way though as a cross from the right of the box caught the Dons backline all out of position, but with only Martin to beat Cook sent the effort straight at the keeper.
In the end it was a convincing display from the Dons and one that gave plenty of festive cheer to the travelling support.

Leyton Orient (4-3-3): Butcher; Cuthbert, Chorley, Forbes, Craig; J Smith, Dawson, Spring (Porter 60), Cook; Lisbie (Mooney 78), Cureton (Tehoue 60).

Subs not used: Button, Laird.

Booked: Forbes, J Smith

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; A Smith, MacKenzie, Kouo-Doumbe, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Chadwick (Powell 78), Ibehre, Bowditch (Balanta 82); MacDonald (Williams 82).

Subs not used: McLoughlin, O'Shea.

Booked: Chadwick

Goal: Bowditch 37, A Smith 57, MacDonald 63

Referee: David Phillips

Attendance: 4,162 (362 away)

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