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Match Report


Posted Tue 27 Sep 11 at 21:47 PM


Yann Kermourgant came off the bench to earn a point for Charlton Athletic as MK Dons were denied the accolade of being the first team to beat the League 1 leaders.

The Dons had taken a much-deserved lead through Shaun Williams' first goal for the Club, which came from the penalty spot, in a first half where the men from MK were at their scintillating best.

Charlton could have counted themselves fortunate to not be further than one goal down at the break, however, the Dons paid the price for not making the most of their chances when substitute Kermorgant headed in the equaliser 14 minutes from time.

The opening 45 minutes of football at stadiummk will not be forgotten in a hurry as the home side turned in an incredibly dominant performance, looking virtually untouchable with their silky skills and creative play.

Yet, Charlton had more bite and urgency about them in the second half and always appeared likely to threaten the result. The draw, Dons' third in as many League games, moves the Dons into fifth place in the table while Charlton stay top.

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The Dons almost got off to an explosive start when the ever-adaptable Shaun Williams, playing in the hole in midfield, was involved in some fancy football on the edge of the box as he fed in Morrison who flicked the ball back for Angelo Balanta to unleash a powerful first-time effort against the upright.

The Dons were energetic in the early stages with Williams again playing a key role as the ball was played back to the advanced Darren Potter, but the midfielder's drive from distance was always rising and moments later Clinton Morrison, a panto-like character for the Charlton fans due to his time at Crystal Palace, was the first to force a save from Ben Hamer which proved to be comfortable.

Charlton struggled to get near the home side in the opening ten minutes as the Dons continued to find themselves in good positions in front of goal. The passing was short, crisp and accurate, the movement was constant and the tempo fast. When Dean Lewington found acres of space down the flank he was able to find Stephen Glesson stood 25-yards out and the midfield maestro took a touch to shuffle to a better angle before shooting into the body of Hamer.

Karl Robinson's men were given the opportunity in front of goal that they deserved in the 20th minute when their movement again caused panic in the Addicks' defence and Chris Solly hacked down the free-running Lewington leaving referee Roger East no choice but to award a penalty.

Williams was the man to step up to the spot for the Dons and showed nerves of steel in front of a large travelling contingent as he emphatically found the top corner. The Irishman wheeled away to celebrate with the 'W' sign for 'Wolfpack' signalled to his fellow countrymen in the team.

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With confidence soaring through the camp the Addicks' goalie was force to fingertip save when Potter hit a shot with sting from distance.

Charlton found it difficult to establish their rhythm in the game and were limited to scrappy half-chances inside the Dons' box, but their work in the final third continued to let the down as Bradley Wright-Phillips and Paul Hayes struggled to get involved.

Williams was denied a second on the stroke of half-time when he was released free into the box but Hamer produced a brilliant away, while Wright-Phillips at the other end shot straight at David Martin.

Having been on top by some margin in the first half it was important for the Dons to come out after the break with the same mindset and if they were to defend or add to their lead. As expected Charlton came out of the blocks quickly and were able to get in amongst the Dons with a succession of dangerous looking Johnnie Jackson corners causing trouble, before Flanagan's attempt to head away a long ball into the box only served to tee-up Dale Stephens who sent Martin scrambling to make the save.

On the hour-mark Dean Bowditch was introduced off the bench in place of Balanta while the Dons pressed forward and Williams watched a thunderous shot from distance skim over the bar.

Opportunities to add to the scoreline kept coming for the Dons, but Mark Beevers was left wondering how he had not registered on the scoresheet when he got his angles wrong and nodded a free header from Williams' corner into the ground and Clinton Morrison, with his back to goal, missed the chance to turn in the loose ball.

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Charlton, much improved on their first half performance, made chances as they brought on Danny Green and Yann Kermorgant. The latter almost made a huge impact after only a minute on the pitch when his stooping header to latch onto a cross fizzed in from the left, but went wide.

The Dons were left frustrated when Daniel Powell failed to make the most of a mistake by the visitors when he picked up a poor ball and raced one-on-one with the keeper only fire straight at Hamer.

And they were left to count the cost of their spurned chances when Lewington was caught out by Green who then raced free down the right flank and Kermorgant timed his run to perfection to head home his cross at the near post.

The equaliser had given the Addicks the boost they needed and Dons were called into some strong defending when Wright-Phillips was released into the box, but a superb challenge that had been timed to perfection by Beevers stopped the striker before he could pull the trigger.

Both sides, desperate for a winner, pushed forward for the decisive goal and there were hopes of the Dons finding it when Powell was found inside the box by Chadwick and he unselfishly cut back for Williams, yet the tame shot that followed was easily matched by the Addicks keeper.

A winner never came as the two sides had to settle for a point from the entertaining encounter.

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Chicksen, Flanagan, Beevers, Lewington (c); Potter, Gleeson; Chadwick, Williams, Balanta (Bowditch 59); C Morrison (Powell 67).

Subs unused: McLoughlin, Kouo-Doumbe, McNamee.

Booked: Morrison, Gleeson

Goal: Williams 21 (pen)

Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Hamer; Solly, M Morrison, Taylor, Wiggins; Wagstaff (Green 67), Stephens, Hollands, Jackson; Hayes (Kermorgant 72), Wright-Phillips (Hughes 88).

Goal: Kermorgant 76

Subs unused: Sullivan, Cort.

Referee: Roger East (Wilshire)

Attendance: 8,114 (1,229)

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