MK Dons 6 Cambridge City 1
MK Dons set up their first ever meeting with AFC Wimbledon following their 6-1 defeat of Cambridge City in their FA Cup with Budweiser First Round Replay.
Evo-Stik Souther Premier side City had forced a replay following a goalless draw almost two weeks earlier, but the League 1 club proved too strong as they booked their place in the Second Round and with it an encounter with AFC Wimbledon in early December.
A strong Dons side had to bide their time after plenty of chances as they searched for the opener - which came in the form of a wonder strike from Irish defender Shaun Williams in the 12th minute – and two more followed before the break from Jay O’Shea and Dean Bowditch.
City clawed one back through Dave Theobold, but the floodgates opened late on with three goals in three minutes. Williams added a fourth for the Dons from the penalty spot before Academy starlet Dele Alli, on his full debut, and former youth player Adam Chicksen added their names to the scoreboard.
The Dons were without the suspended Luke Chadwick and ineligible Angelo Balanta and Ibra Sekajja, while Darren Potter and Jon Otsemobor were both rested. It offered the chance for 16-year-old Dele Alli to make his first start for the first team, after making his debut in the original tie.
Ryan Lowe look up the lone-striker position while Charlie MacDonald offered support from midfield, but it was winger Dean Bowditch who provide the first test for City when he cut inside and saw an early shot deflected wide.
In the original fixture the Dons registered an incredible 37 shots, but failed to find the back of the net. Cambridge City’s brave defending continued at stadiummk as they piled men into the box to prevent the Dons from taking an early lead. Jay O’Shea, starting on the left of midfield, thought he had done enough when he danced into the box but saw his shot block by a despairing City defender.
With almost everything from in and around the box failing to crack the Lilywhites defence Williams opted for a sensational option. The defender, who netted the winner against Sheffield United at the weekend from the penalty spot, decided to try an ambitious long-range effort from the best part of 40-yards and the dipping strike caught Zac Barrett off-guard to fire the Dons into the lead.
It was one-way traffic with the Dons bossing the encounter, and the home side could count themselves unlucky not to have doubled their lead when a fine through-ball from O’Shea allowed Lowe to ghosted through into the box, but his low shot was cleared off the line by Lee Chaffey.
O’Shea then had a chance himself in the 24th minute when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box and after a quick touch to get the ball under control he knocked a curling strike onto the bar.
The Dons’ dominance continued, yet they still found the Lilywhites hard to break down with Stephen Gleeson, Bowditch and Lowe all seeing efforts blocked while youngster Alli saw a fine shot fizz wide.
When City did break into the Dons’ half they tried to hurt the Dons as they found space down the left by the combination of Antony Kay and David Martin cleared up before Adam Marriott could turn the ball home.
It was a case of when not if, as the Dons awaited a second goal to add more comfort to their scoreline and it eventually came two minutes before the break when O’Shea was found on the right of the box, and this time he made no mistake as he unleashed a fine strike which curled into the top corner.
The scoreline had a more accurate reading come half-time as Lowe race through the middle to produce a magnificent save but could only parry the ball to the feet of Bowditch and despite getting his hand to the ball the City goalie was unable to prevent the latter’s strike from finding its way into the net.
The second half continued in the same pattern, with the Dons finding acres of space and time on the ball but to City’s credit, their defence remained determined not to ship any further goals. Williams tried to attempt another long-range effort, but this time the low piledriver came off the inside of the post.
However, City still had plenty of spirit and fight which they showed in abundance as the hour-mark approached. Adrian Cambridge’s corner caused a whole host of problems for the Dons and as the ball was played back in Theobold was in the right place at the right time to finish from close range and pull the score back to 3-1.
Dons, however, continued to create chances to extend their lead further with MacDonald holding the ball up to act as perfect foil for Dean Lewington to fire a strong effort for Barrett to save.
15-year-old Giorgio Rasulo, who had been at school earlier in the day, was introduced to add yet more Dons youth on to the pitch and was later joined by Brendan Galloway.
The floodgates opened with 20 minutes remaining when a foul on MacDonald by Tom Pepper earned the Dons a penalty and Williams stepped up to confidently convert.
The noise levels rose at stadiummk when the ball fell to 16-year-old Deli, who never looked out of place in midfield, took a touch from 35-yards out and drilled a stunning shot into the top corner to make it 5-1.
The Dons were in no mood to stop though, and when Adam Chicksen picked up the ball on the left of the box the Cowshed were on their feet in anticipation. And the utility man answered their calls as he picked out the bottom corner of Barrett’s net and duly celebrated in front of the fans.
It was a rampant display from the Dons and will be a huge confidence boost ahead of their huge npower League 1 fixture against League leaders Tranmere Rovers on Friday night.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin; Kouo-Doumbe, Kay, Williams, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Alli (Galloway 78); Bowditch (Chicksen 61), MacDonald, O'Shea; Lowe (Rasulo 68).
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Smith, Spence.
Goals: Williams 12, 74 (pen), O’Shea 43, Bowditch 45, Alli 75, Chicksen 77
Cambridge City (4-4-2): Barrett; Pepper, Theobald, Chaffey, Brighton; Allen (Abbs 69), Cambridge (c) (Nightingale 61), Prada (Lester 69), Marriott; Bryant, Hammond.
Subs not used: Ordonez, Midgley, Stynes.
Goal: Theobold 60
Referee: Neil Miller (County Durham)
Goal-Don Goal times: 1st goal – 11.14; 2nd goal – 42.36; 3rd goal – 45.00; 4th goal – 59.09; 5th goal – 73.56; 6th goal – 74.56; 7th goal – 76.04
Attendance: 4, 129 (579 away)