MK Dons maintained their 100 percent start to the 2018/19 season by comfortably beating Sky Bet League One side Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Dylan Asonganyi scored his first senior goal early in the first half and that was followed by Ryan Watson’s first goal in an MK Dons shirt.
Paul Tisdale’s men then added to their lead in the second half courtesy of an own goal, securing the their third consecutive victory and their ninth successive Carabao Cup Round One win.
Manager Tisdale made four changes to his starting XI, with Baily Cargill and Mitch Hancox coming into the side for their MK Dons debuts alongside David Kasumu and Saturday’s match-winner Ousseynou Cisse.
Kasumu, making only his fourth appearance for MK Dons, almost created a chance inside the first two minutes but he overhit his pass to Callum Brittain. Charlton then threatened with a cross from Mark Marshall but George Williams was there to head away.
It was Paul Tisdale’s side who edged the opening exchanges and they were rewarded with a goal on nine minutes.
Addicks centre-back Jo Cummings failed to deal with a long ball forward and young striker Asonganyi pounced. He outmuscled Ryan Blumberg on the edge of the area and then fired a fierce volley into the bottom corner of the net to register his first senior goal in only his second appearance. 1-0.
Hancox had a half-chance to make it two-nil five minutes later but, under pressure on the edge of the D, he sliced his effort over the crossbar.
It wasn’t to matter too much, though, has a little over 60 seconds later, Tisdale’s side doubled their lead through Watson who, after a driving run forward, curled a delightful right-footed shot past the outstretched Dillon Phillips from 25-yards out for his first goal since arriving from Barnet in the summer. 2-0.
Charlton tried to respond on 19 minutes, forcing a corner which was taken from the left. MK Dons couldn’t get the ball out of the area for a moment but some whole-hearted defending allowed them to eventually see out the danger.
Cisse and Watson then combined to create a chance for the latter to grab a second goal but the MK Dons number 7 saw his low effort blocked by Jennings. Hancox pounced on the loose ball but couldn’t connect with Asonganyi, who was lurking near the penalty spot.
Albie Morgan troubled Nicholls for the first time on 27 minutes but the MK Dons goalkeeper was equal to his long-range drive. Charlton then found themselves in a 3-on-2 situation but Walsh did enough to hold up their attack and allow time for his defensive partner Cargill to get back and make the tackle.
A confident Asonganyi, buoyed by his goal, tried his luck from distance on the half-hour mark but couldn’t keep his right-footed effort down. Nicky Ajose went for goal with an ambitious shot of his own moments later but he too cleared the crossbar.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, there was a sniff for Watson on the edge of the box after Cisse nodded down Brittain’s excellent cross-field pass. The midfielder lined up a volley but had the ball nicked off his toes by a recovering defender.
MK Dons were dominating possession and limiting their visitors to long-range attempts as the first-half drew to a close. Watson was particularly lively for the hosts and he forced Phillips into a save on 40 minutes.
Cisse was another who was having an excellent first 45 minutes and he was unlucky not to see his teasing cross turned in for a third goal late in the half. Shortly afterwards, the whistle blew.
With one eye on Saturday, Tisdale made a change to his side at the break replacing Jordan Houghton with Jordan Moore-Taylor.
His side remained on the front foot and Brittain went close to adding an early third but hit the wrong side of the netting on 47 minutes.
Near the hour point, Charlton’s Reeco Hackett-Fairchild thumped a 20-yard drive just wide of the right-hand upright. The youngster went even closer moments after but this time he was denied by a terrific save from a diving Nicholls.
MK Dons countered with Brittain picking out Watson on the edge of the area but the midfielder saw his low shot blocked. At the other end shortly after, Charlton saw penalty appeals waved away after Ajose took a tumble in the box.
On 65 minutes, Tisdale introduced Oran Jackson for his first senior appearance November 2016. He replaced Cargill, who had a solid first outing in an MK Dons shirt.
His players continued to push forward in search of a third goal to make their victory safe and it arrived on 70 minutes courtesy of an own goal. Kasumu lofted a wonderful pass into the path of Brittain, whose fierce cross was deflected past a helpless Phillips by Cummings. 3-0.
Charlton tried to restore some pride with a quarter of an hour remaining but substitute Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu’s header was tipped over by Nicholls.
It was MK Dons, though, who almost scored again on 80 minutes but Asonganyi’s on-target drive was blocked by a sliding defender.
With the tie all but settled, focus for Tisdale’s side was to secure a second straight clean sheet and the manager saw two of his young players on the pitch, Jackson and Kasumu, deny efforts from Ajose and Doughty late in the game.
In fact, it was MK Dons who had the better of the late chances with both Robbie Muirhead - a late substitute - and Asonganyi forcing Phillips into saves and Watson firing just over.
The scoreline didn't change in the end leaving a 3-0 scoreline which nobody inside Stadium MK could have any complaints with.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain (Muirhead 77), Williams, Walsh, Cargill (Jackson 65), Hancox; Houghton (Moore-Taylor 45); Watson, Kasumu; Cisse; Asonganyi.
Unused subs: Sietsma, Nesbitt, Sole, Agard.
Goals: Asonganyi (9), Watson (16), Phillps O.G. (70)
Sponsor’s Man of the Match, as chosen by DW Fitness First: Dylan Asonganyi
Referee: J Busby
Attendance: 3,052 (342 away)