Dons missing strike duo

MILTON Keynes Dons will again be without their first-choice strike force of Izzy McLeod and Clive Platt for tonight's visit of Colchester United.Leading scorer McLeod and big target man Platt both missed the Dons 2-0 defeat at Layer Road on Saturday, and neither will return before Christmas.

By Carl Marston

MILTON Keynes Dons will again be without their first-choice strike force of Izzy McLeod and Clive Platt for tonight's visit of Colchester United.

Leading scorer McLeod and big target man Platt both missed the Dons 2-0 defeat at Layer Road on Saturday, and neither will return before Christmas.

Platt is nursing an ankle injury, while danger-man McLeod, who has 10 goals to his name this season, strained a leg muscle in training last week.


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The Dons will be further weakened by the absence of skipper Ben Chorley, and key central midfielder Gary Smith. Centre-half Chorley starts the first of a three-match suspension after being sent off for foul and abusive language on Saturday.

Smith, meanwhile, damaged knee ligaments during the first half of the 2-0 defeat by Colchester. He is expected to be sidelined for a fortnight.

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The Dons have already beaten Exeter City (3-2) and Barnet (3-0 away) in the first two rounds of the LDV Vans Trophy. But they slithered into the relegation zone following Saturday's loss.

Manager Danny Wilson was not happy with the way his side started against the U's, although he admitted that they were always likely to struggle without McLeod or Platt in the line-up.

“Of course we missed Izzy McLeod and Clive Platt. Any team would miss two of their best strikers, and I'm sure if you took Wayne Rooney and Ruud Van Nistlerooy away from Manchester United, they would struggle to score for a while,” insisted Wilson.

“While not deserving to win at Colchester by any stretch of the imagination, we showed a lot of spirit by not crumbling when we went down to 10 men.

“But I would have liked that mentality before we even started the game,” added Wilson.

Aaron Wilbraham and Wade Small deputised up front on Saturday, while substitute Gareth Edds, who replaced the injured Smith in midfield, is expected to start. The Dons operated with three centre-halves against United, but Chorley's absence might encourage them to revert to 4-4-2 system.

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