Report: Dons 1-0 Charlton Athletic
Matt Upson returned to the starting XI in place of the suspended Kyle McFadzean while Nicky Maynard made his first start at stadiummk.
Roared on by a vocal home support, the Dons started well and forced their opponents into two important clearances from teasing crosses early on.
Charlton fired a warning shot on seven minutes when David Martin pushed away Jordan Cousins’ stinging 25-yard drive.
The men from MK1 were playing some nice football as they pushed and probed for an opener – Maynard going close to latching on to a ball over the top on 18 minutes.
Following some superb build-up, Maynard saw a shot deflect into the side-netting – Darren Potter flicked on from the resulting corner but no-one could quite get there to head home.
Josh Murphy, lively as ever down the left, delivered a dangerous cross midway through the half with Maynard inches away from connecting six yards out.
Their pressure finally told on 29 minutes when, after playing a clever one-two with Samir Carruthers, Dean Bowditch coolly slotted past Stephen Henderson from 15 yards.
Unfortunately Upson’s evening ended early when he was replaced by Lee Hodson three minutes later due to what appeared to be a reoccurrence of his calf injury – Jordan Spence moved inside and Hodson came on at right-back.
Spence, up from centre-back for a corner, was presented with a half chance before the half was out but he couldn’t get enough on his effort and the ball was cleared.
With the first move of the second half, Bowditch perfectly picked out Potter, who took a touch but was denied as he prepared to shoot 12 yards out.
Maynard was presented with a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 on 48 minutes but he was denied by Henderson after being put through one-on-one.
The striker tested Henderson shortly afterwards with a curling effort from the edge of the box following another smart move from the hosts.
Bowditch rattled the post with a fierce drive and Carruthers saw a dipping effort well saved as the Dons kept up the pressure on the Addicks, who were finding it difficult to deal with the men from MK1’s attacking threat.
More intricate football created a chance for Bowditch, whose goal-bound shot unfortunately cannoned off the back of Maynard on 64 minutes.
A lull followed which gave Charlton the chance to try and get back into the game, but the Dons really should have wrapped it up on 86 minutes but substitute Simon Church’s close-range effort was deflected behind.
MK Dons: Martin; Spence, Kay, Upson (Hodson 38), Lewington (c); Potter, Poyet; Carruthers, Bowditch (Baker 72), Murphy; Maynard (Church 77).
Unused subs: Cropper, Powell, Hall, Gallagher.
Goals: Bowditch (29).
Attendance: 9,575 (774 Charlton fans).
Referee: Andy Davies