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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-0 Colchester United

Ellis Harrison secures late winner at Stadium MK…

26 December 2023

Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-0 Colchester United

Ellis Harrison secures late winner at Stadium MK…

26 December 2023

Ellis Harrison’s late goal secures all three points at Stadium MK as MK Dons ascend into the play-off places of the Sky Bet League Two table.

Mike Williamson made one difference to his side from the previous outing against Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium. Jonathan Leko switched places with Conor Grant as the number seven was named in the starting line-up to face Colchester at Stadium MK.

Captain, leader, legend Dean Lewington made history on this day as he became the EFL record holder for most league appearances for a single club. A monumental achievement which has seen the captain as a Dons and EFL legend.

Whilst the Stadium MK crowd made the noise in commendation of Lewington’s achievement, Mike Williamson’s Dons got underway with the Boxing Day action.

Colchester United saw first glance at goal, but this threat was quickly diminished by the brave defending of Warren O’Hora, who rushed out of the penalty area to block the oncoming strike.

It wasn’t long until the home side posed their threat on the U’s, which saw a handful of attempts that didn’t trouble Owen Goodman as the ball found its way narrowly wide at each time of asking.

Goodman then produced a heroic double save on the 16-minute mark to deny the Dons’ Alex Gilbey at each successive attempt from close-range. The strong goalkeeping display certainly denied an early opener for the hosts.

On-the-back of the midfielder’s efforts, MK Dons were rewarded with a corner-kick, which the U’s could only clear as far as Jack Payne on the edge of the area. With multiple bodies in the firing line, Payne intelligently reversed his strike to find the bottom left corner of the net, but was unsuccessful in his effort whilst it narrowly passed the left upright.

The travelling team were forced into an early change as Mandela Egbo, who picked up a knock in the opening exchanges couldn’t continue. Tom Dallison made his way onto the field in place of the injured defender.

MK Dons continued their pursuit in the U’s final-third, but struggled to create a clear opening in what was a stubborn defensive display from the visitors.

However, Joe Tomlinson certainly came close as latched onto Leko’s blocked effort in the box, but the effort from the tight-angle rattled the upright of Goodman’s goal.

Colchester United saw a glimpse of attacking action after they quickly conjured a counter-attack from winning a loose ball. O’Hora was joined by Lewington at the back as both defenders came across to close off any oncoming threat that the U’s posed.

Lewington ensured that an attack just before half-time was kept alive, which saw the opportunity for Max Dean to nutmeg his marker before playing the ball out wide to Cameron Norman. The number two returned it to Dean, whose effort was diverted behind the by-line.

Four minutes of injury time were added onto the first half, and Max Dean would come close to breaking the deadlock once again during this period.

The former Leeds Academy forward created an inch of space between him and his defender as he curled an effort from the edge of the area that brushed past the outside of the post.

This was the final action of the half as the teams entered the break with an unchanged score-line.

The first card of the game was brandished two minutes into the second half as MJ Williams arrived into his challenge late. A yellow caution for the Dons’ number six.

Full of confidence, Max Dean was amongst the action again as he looked to try his luck from a long way out. An effective strike forced Goodman to palm the ball past his post, but the U’s eventually headed clear the corner-kick that followed.

The wing-back pairing of Joe Tomlinson and Cameron Norman linked up well to create a threatening chance 15 minutes into the second half. The former found Norman with an-swinging delivery towards the back post, but the number two couldn’t quite connect the ball to turn it towards goal.

Minutes later, it would be the home side who were under threat as Colchester created a counter-attack through Joe Taylor who raced up the right of the field. As he entered the area, Taylor pulled to shoot but MacGillivray got down low to match the strike brilliantly, which also snuffed out any chance of a follow up attempt.

Mo Eisa entered the field of play as the first MK Dons substitution for starter Jonathan Leko.

Max Dean continued to knock on Colchester’s door, but was denied access once again as a well-timed sliding challenge stopped a certain goal in its tracks.

The game remained goalless as it entered the final ten minutes of action.

MK Dons substitute Ellis Harrison had broken the deadlock within the final minutes of the Boxing Day match! Jack Payne’s set-piece delivery located the back post where Harrison was positioned to turn the ball home! 1-0

Colchester had also found the back of the net late on, but their goal was ruled out for offside.

Harrison had secured all three points on Boxing Day with his late goal as MK Dons moved up into the play-off positions.


MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman (Harrison 78), Lewington (C), O’Hora, Williams, Leko (Eisa 67), Gilbey, Payne, Tomlinson, Robson, Dean

Subs: Kelly, Smith, Grant, Devoy, Tripp

Goals: Harrison 88

Yellow cards: Williams 47, Payne 54, 

Colchester United: Goodman, Iandolo (Akinde 69), Hall (C), Chilvers, McGeehan, Mitchell, Read, Egbo (Dallison 25), Taylor (Kazeem 69), Cooper, Fevrier  

Subs: Hornby, Greenidge, Jay, Hopper  

Yellow cards: Read 65, 

Referee: Alex Chilowicz

Stadium: Stadium MK

Attendance: 6,335 (552)

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