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Report: Crewe 0-5 Dons

31 January 2015

The Dons moved to the top of Sky Bet League 1 after a first-class 5-0 victory at Crewe Alexandra.

Dean Bowditch finished brilliantly either side of a Devante Cole brace on his first Dons start in the first half.

Second-half goals from Carl Baker and Daniel Powell put the seal on a perfect afternoon for the men from MK1, who also kept their 16th clean sheet of the campaign.

Daniel Powell, Devante Cole and Dean Bowditch started in place of Jonson Clarke-Harris, Danny Green and Will Grigg, who missed out with an ankle problem. Bowditch began up top with Cole and Powell operating on the left and right wings respectively in a 4-3-3 formation.

The Dons started strongly and Dele Alli forced Ben Garratt into a smart save away to his left from 20 yards four minutes in.

Crewe’s stopper was again called into action twice in quick succession shortly afterwards to cut out dangerous crosses from Powell and Jordan Spence.

Their early pressure was rewarded on 12 minutes when Cole, on his first start for the men from MK1, finished from 12 yards via a deflection after Bowditch had raced through and seen a shot saved following good work by Carl Baker.

The Alex responded through Jamie Ness, who saw a 25-yard free-kick deflected over the top by Darren Potter while, at the other end, the impressive Baker flashed an effort from the edge of the box off target on 19 minutes.

Another slick attacking move from the Dons involving Baker, who won the ball back, and Cole set up Bowditch but, after a smart run and cutting in, he was denied by Garratt from 15 yards midway through the first half. 

However, the Dons’ No.9 was clinical on 28 minutes to increase their lead, brilliantly controlling Potter’s perfect through-ball before expertly lifting the ball over Garratt from inside the box.

With virtually his first involvement, David Martin ensured the score remained at 2-0 with a smart stop to deny substitute Anthony Stewart’s header finding the back of the net on 36 minutes.

That proved all the more crucial as, just minutes later, Cole swept home Powell’s cross at the back post after the winger had latched on to a loose ball and raced down the right.

It could have been 4-0 four minutes before the break but Spence got too much on Dean Lewington’s cut back from Baker’s cross and the ball landed on the roof of the net. 

Crewe started the second half in brighter fashion but, apart from a goalmouth scramble, they didn’t really threaten the Dons’ goal.

In fact, it was Karl Robinson’s men who came closest to adding to their lead when Cole headed Lewington’s cross off target on 57 minutes.

The Dons were once again inches away from making it 4-0 on the hour mark, however, Baker pulled his low drive just wide of the bottom right-hand corner after turning his man inside and out.

He made no mistake on 72 minutes though, emphatically firing past Garratt from the edge of the area after latching on to Lewington’s clever pass and cutting in from the left touchline.
Potter, imperious throughout, almost got in on the act with 15 minutes remaining when he forced Garratt into a smart save away to his right from 25 yards.

Shortly afterwards, the hugely-impressive Baker clipped the top of the crossbar with a chipped effort from the edge of the area as the Dons looked to rub salt into the wound.

After Martin kept the visitors’ clean sheet in tact with a fine stop to thwart Nicky Ajose, the Dons made it 5-0 on 90 minutes when Powell fired low under Garratt after the hosts had failed to clear Spence’s delivery from the right.

Starting XI: Martin; Spence, Kay, McFadzean, Lewington (c); Potter, Alli (Clarke-Harris 78), Baker; Powell, Cole (Carruthers 64), Bowditch (Hitchcock 78).

Unused subs: McLoughlin, Hodson, Green.

Bookings: McFadzean, Alli, Spence.

Goals: Cole (12 & 38), Bowditch (28), Baker (72), Powell (90).

Attendance: 4,319 (441 Dons fans).

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