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Report: MK Dons 0-1 Charlton Athletic

26 December 2016

MK Dons couldn’t make it three successive victories at Stadium MK as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic.

Ademola Lookman’s fine finish not long before the break proved the difference in a game which the men from MK1 perhaps deserved more, especially having dominated possession and chances in the first half.

Joe Walsh and Nicky Maynard returned to the starting XI in place of the injured George Baldock (hamstring) and the suspended Darren Potter.

Looking to build on back-to-back home successes, the Dons started on the front foot and Maynard was presented with an opportunity on four minutes but he dragged his left-footed effort wide.

Shortly afterwards, clever footwork and a smart pass from Samir Carruthers set up a chance for Ben Reeves who, after shifting the ball on right foot, curled off target.

Maynard’s movement was causing problems for the Charlton defence and he latched on to an incisive Ed Upson pass before narrowly missing – although it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the flag was up.

The Addicks’ first real foray forward came on 16 minutes when, after playing a one-two with Frederik Ulvestad, Josh Magennis fired straight at David Martin from 20 yards.

Robbie Neilson’s men came extremely close to the opener on 19 minutes when Dean Bowditch just couldn’t get enough on a superb delivery from Reeves.

Reeves himself then saw a header saved by Dillon Phillips after initially starting another smart move with a pass to Carruthers, who then returned the favour by picking out his team-mate.

To complete a dominant first 25 minutes for the Dons, Bowditch struck just over after pinball in the Addicks’ box before seeing another effort blocked after a purposeful run.

The pressure was mounting and Maynard forced Phillips into a further save, flicking on Reeves’ dangerous free-kick from the right-hand side.

However, the Dons were dealt a blow 10 minutes before the break when Bowditch had to be replaced after picking up an injury – George C Williams came on.

Just three minutes later and on only their second real attack, Charlton took the lead when star man Ademola Lookman got in behind and finished superbly past Martin.

The Addicks then enjoyed their best spell of the game without creating anything further while, at the other end, GC Williams headed wide – although the flag was up so it wouldn’t have counted even if he had found the net.

Maynard made the first opportunity of the second half for himself when he let the ball roll across his body before firing into the side-netting.

Shortly afterwards, Reeves dragged an effort wide when well placed after Carruthers had driven forward and found Maynard, who fed the Dons’ No.10 just inside the box.

A lull in proceedings followed as the Dons were unable to put their opponents under real pressure, with the Addicks happy to sit back and try to catch the men from MK1 on the counter-attack.

With 15 minutes remaining, Reeves couldn’t find Kieran Agard down the left before Daniel Powell was introduced as the Dons looked for a spark.

A burst from GC Williams threatened an opportunity but his cross was blocked while, at the other end, Martin was alert to block Nicky Ajose’s effort with his legs.

Chuks Aneke’s introduction brought an extra impetus to the Dons’ attack and he went down late on inside the area but the referee waved away the penalty appeals - with that went the last chance and an opportunity for an equaliser.

Starting XI: Martin; GB Williams, Downing, Walsh, Lewington; Upson; Agard (Aneke 86), Carruthers (Powell 80), Bowditch (GC Williams 35), Reeves; Maynard.

Unused subs: Nicholls, Hendry, Furlong, Tshimanga.

Bookings: Carruthers, Walsh.

Attendance: 10,257 (928 Charlton fans).

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