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Match Reports

Report: Charlton Athletic 0-2 MK Dons

22 February 2022

MK Dons made it seven wins from nine away from home with a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

Goals in each half from wing-backs Tennai Watson and Kaine Kesler Hayden saw Liam Manning’s men pick up another three points on road – a result which keeps them third in the Sky Bet League One table and extends their gap inside the play-off places to eight.

Team news
Connor Wickham was handed his first MK Dons start as Liam Manning made two changes his starting XI.

Wickham, who scored his first Dons goal in the 2-1 win at Sunderland, replaced Mo Eisa up front while Kaine Kesler Hayden came in at wing back for the suspended Daniel Harvie.

First half
Seven minutes in, Jonathan Leko flashed a ball across the face of the MK Dons goal. The Dons then responded through Troy Parrott but, after beating the offside trap from Conor Coventry’s lofted through pass, his touch let him down at the crucial moment.

On the quarter-hour mark, Adam Matthews sent another low ball dangerously through the six-yard box. It eventually led to a chance for George Dobson but he blazed over from distance.

Sam Lavelle headed wide from a corner as Charlton threatened again with 25 minutes played while Kaine Kesler Hayden did well at the far post to prevent Leko meeting a deep cross in from the right.

A superb bit of play from Wickham sparked MK Dons into life on the half-hour – his direct run past Addicks defenders saw a shooting opportunity open up for the striker, though his effort was blocked well by a sliding Charlton man.

Five minutes later, Wickham was the target of a Parrott cross which almost sneaked in at Craig MacGillivray’s near post. At the other end, Juan Castillo had a half-volley deflected away from goal by Kesler Hayden.

The Aston Villa loanee was involved in an attacking sense shortly after, delivering a teasing ball into the area that was just out of the reach of Scott Twine, who had made his way into the area.

MK Dons were fortunate not to be a goal down with six minutes to play until half-time, when a loose touch from Darling allowed Mason Burstow a shooting chance. Darling, though, recovered in time to make amends and perform a crucial block.

Twine almost made Charlton pay for that missed opportunity but was denied by MacGillivray. The Dons did, though, punish their hosts with their next chance, breaking the deadlock to give themselves a half-time lead.

It was Coventry who played the crucial pass through to Watson and he showed the composure of a striker to beat the Addicks goalkeeper with a deft finish into the bottom left corner. 0-1.

Half-Time – Charlton Athletic 0-1 MK Dons

Second half
The Dons made a bright start to the second half and won a free-kick inside the opening 40 seconds. Twine, a yard or two outside the area and to the right of the D, got his effort through the wall but could only the find the side netting.

A minute later, Twine delivered a searching ball into the six-yard area that had to the be turned behind with Kesler Hayden lurking. From the corner, Wickham had a goal-bound header saved superbly by MacGillivray.

Charlton should have drawn level soon after but Bairstow, from a right-wing cross, somehow failed to the hit the target with the goal at his mercy. The Dons, again, would punish them, as they doubled their lead through Kesler Hayden just prior to the hour mark.

McEachran won possession on half-way and found Wickham, who gave Parrott the opportunity to make a surging run into the box. While he couldn’t get a shot away, the Irishman did manage to return the ball to Wickham and although his shot was saved, Kesler Hayden was alert to hammer home his first MK Dons goal from a tight angle. 0-2.

In the minutes after the goal, Mo Eisa and Theo Corbeanu came off the bench for Manning in place of Wickham and Twine. One of Charlton’s substitutes, Elliott Lee, then forced a save out of Cumming but it was a routine stop for the MK Dons number one, who had little to do after that.

David Kasumu also came off the bench for the final 10 minutes and he played his part as the Dons comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest. They even had chances to extend their advantage - Kesler Hayden with their best effort in stoppage time.

Full-Time - Charlton Athletic 0-2 MK Dons.

MK Dons: Cumming, Watson, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, Twine (Corbeanu 71), Coventry, McEachran (Kasumu 80), Wickham (Eisa 64), Parrott, Kesler Hayden.

Subs: Ravizzoli, Smith, Kemp, Boateng.

Goals: Watson (41), Kesler Hayden (59)

Charlton Athletic: MacGillivray, Gunter, Dobson (Campbell 88), Famewo, Morgan, Gilbey, Lavelle, Matthews, Leko (Jayeisimi 64), Castillo, Burstow (Lee 72).

Subs: Harness, Purrington, Pearce, Kanu.

Booked: Gilbey, Castillo

Referee: S Purkiss

Attendance: 8,807 (605 away)


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