Tue 06 Dec 16
at 07:08 AM
Report: MK Dons 3-1 Charlton Athletic (AET)
Two goals in extra-time saw MK Dons progress to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round for the fifth time in six years.
A superb strike from Ben Reeves was followed by a clinical Dean Bowditch finish after the replay had ended 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, just like it did at The Valley 10 days ago.
Former Don Adam Chicksen had initially cancelled out Daniel Powell’s early opener, but Robbie Neilson’s men took control in extra-time to book a trip to Sky Bet Championship high-fliers Brighton & Hove Albion.
Chuks Aneke was handed his first home start for the Dons while Daniel Powell and Ryan Colclough were also given a chance to impress new boss Robbie Neilson from the first whistle.
Ademola Lookman shot wide from long range in the opening minute and Brandon Hanlan couldn’t get enough on a dangerous corner as the visitors looked to make a fast start.
The Dons were far more clinical on their first real foray forward, Powell slotting home with aplomb after Darren Potter had done brilliantly to intercept Ezri Konsa’s pass and played in his team-mate.
Charlton responded with efforts from Lookman and Joe Aribo, which Lee Nicholls was able to comfortably watch past the post.
The men from MK1 almost extended their lead on 20 minutes but Dean Bowditch couldn’t reach George Baldock’s teasing cross from the right-hand side.
Powell had the ball in the net for a second time midway through the first half but his effort was ruled out for offside – the chance came about after a slick move involving Paul Downing, Aneke and Bowditch.
Just as the Dons were looking like they could add to their lead, former Don Adam Chicksen equalised for the Addicks after driving the ball into the far corner from 20 yards.
Aneke headed Ed Upson’s free-kick off target with 10 minutes of the first half remaining as the men from MK1 aimed to try and regain the lead.
Then came a poignant moment as the home fans joined together in a minute’s applause for Gareth Whiteside, an MK Dons supporter from the start who sadly passed away on Sunday. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with Gareth’s family.
Shortly afterwards, Colclough almost marked that special moment with a superb goal when he curled a 25-yard effort just inches over the top.
The second half didn’t start at the same pace as the first period, with both sides finding it difficult to create chances against stubborn defences.
Baldock almost brought the game to life on 55 minutes but, after cutting inside, he fired over Dillon Phillips’ crossbar from 25 yards.
Unfortunately that was his last involvement as he was replaced by Jack Hendry just before the hour mark after picking up an injury.
Nicholls ensured the game remained level shortly afterwards, expertly keeping out Lookman, who had found some space inside the Dons’ 18-yard box.
At the other end, Dean Lewington almost picked out Bowditch with a clever pass before substitute Ben Reeves forced Phillips into a superb save, tipping over the fierce 25-yard effort.
That sparked a better spell for the Dons and they had appeals for a penalty waved away for a possible foul on substitute Agard but, in truth, they were still finding it difficult to create clear-cut opportunities.
On 83 minutes, some smart passing ended with Lewington delivering a dangerous cross which the Charlton defence did well to clear with Agard lurking.
Nicky Ajose had a golden chance to win it for the Addicks in the final minute but, after cutting back on to his right foot, his effort was superbly kept out by Nicholls.
The Dons nearly won it themselves deep into injury-time but Darren Potter’s shot deflected narrowly past the right-hand post, meaning the tie went to extra-time.
However, just four minutes into extra-time, the men from MK1 hit the front in style courtesy of a superb Reeves strike from 25 yards, which found the top left-hand corner.
Reeves then turned provider two minutes later for Bowditch, who latched on to the former’s pass and expertly finished from 12 yards – his ninth goal of an impressive season so far for Dons’ No.9.
The second period of extra-time saw little in the way of goalmouth action, with Agard coming the closest courtesy of a long-range effort which was saved by Phillips.
Reeves and Bowditch had already done the damage in the first seven minutes of extra-time, though, as the Dons booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Baldock (Hendry 58), Downing, Lewington (c), GB Williams; Potter, Upson; Colclough, Aneke (Agard 61), Powell (Reeves 46); Bowditch.
Unused subs: Martin, Jackson, Carruthers, Tshimanga.
Goal: Powell (6), Reeves (94), Bowditch (96).
Attendance: 3,655 (374 Charlton fans).