Prosser nets winner as U's celebrate key victory at MK Dons
PUBLISHED: 16:53 22 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 22 December 2018
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MK Dons 0 Colchester United 1
Skipper Luke Prosser netted an early winner as Colchester United became the first team to win a league match at MK Dons this season.
The second-placed Dons had won eight and drawn three of their first league fixtures at home, but they were undone by the third-placed U’s this afternoon.
It was an instinctive finish by Prosser, who showed his ingenuity to stick out a boot and divert Brennan Dickenson’s corner into the far corner of the net, from 12 yards out.
This was the U’s first- ever away league win at MK Dons, in what was their 10th league visit to Milton Keynes. Their only previous triumph had been in the Trophy, back in 2005.
The U’s showed four changes to the side that were hammered 4-0 at Carlisle United last weekend.
Keeper Renen Gilmartin, centre-half Tom Eastman and striker Luke Norris were back in the starting line-up after recent injuries, while Brennan Dickenson was handed a rare start as boss John McGreal opted for a three-man central defence with wing-backs.
Kane Vincent-Young was out with a foot injury, while Barnes, Courtney Senior and Mikael Mandron dropped to the bench.
MK Dons settled the quicker and striker Kieran Agard blasted a shot into the side-netting from close-in on four minutes.
But it was the U’s who took the lead, thanks to Prosser’s deft finish from Dickenson’s 12th minute corner.
That corner had arisen from Dickenson’s powerful run down the left, his eventual cross being steered behind by Don’s wing-back George Williams to concede the set piece.
The U’s confidence visibly grew after that goal, and they played some good counter-attack football, with Frank Nouble particularly enjoying himself down the flanks.
The Dons did not threaten again until the 23rd minute, when skipper Dean Lewington’s strong cross flew just over the head of Rhys Healey, the former U’s loanee.
Harry Pell had a snap shot deflected wide for a corner, as the U’s continued to look dangerous, and they quite comfortably protected their lead until half-time, being quick to throw bodies in the line of shots at the other end.
The Dons made a double change at half time, with strikers Agard and Healey replaced by Peter Pawlett and Chuks Aneke, and the hosts nearly equalised inside two minutes of the half when Lawson D’Ath just managed to divert home a low cross from the edge of the six-yard box.
Paul Tisdale’s men tried to up the tempo and a rising shot by midfielder Cisse was tipped over the bar by Gilmartin in the 57th minute.
Just after the hour mark, substitute Aneke squandered a gilt-edged chance when heading over from point blank range, from Pawlett’s teasing cross.
The U’s so nearly put the game to bed with a second goal in the 75th minute. Ryan Norris burst down the right wing and found Norris, but the striker’s shot soared several yards over the bar.
The Dons rarely got behind the U’s back-line, and when they did, Williams could only head straight at Gilmartin, in the 84th minute.
MK DONS: Nicholls, Williams, McGrandles, Houghton, Cargill, Lewington, Cisse (sub Sow, 74), Gilbey, D’Ath, Agard (sub Pawlett, 46), Healey (sub Aneke, 46). Unused subs: Moore, Watson, Hancox, Simpson.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Gilmartin, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, Jackson, Pell, Lapslie, Dickenson, Nouble, Szmodics (sub Comley, 90), Norris (sub Mandron, 87). Unused subs: Barnes, Senior,Wright, Gondoh, Kensdale.
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffs)