U’s blown away by rampant Dons
Colchester United 1 MK Dons 5
COLCHESTER United have only lost five league games this season, but they have all been against top six clubs.
The fifth defeat was suffered at the hands of classy MK Dons this afternoon, following previous losses to Charlton, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield.
And yet John Ward’s men were 1-0 up and seemingly in control after the first half-hour, thanks to a headed goal by U’s man-of-the-match Matt Heath.
However, they were second best for the final hour, and a brace from former U’s loanee Charlie MacDonald (38 and 74 mins), a close-range effort by Tom Flanaghan (first-half stoppage time), an 87th minute bullet from Stephen Gleeson, and a 94th minute goal from Jabbo Ibehre sealed the points for the impressive Dons.
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On today’s evidence, the U’s look a mid-table team, at best.
They certainly don’t seem to have the guile, strength or resources to mix with the top six.
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And yet the U’s did dominate the first half-hour, and were deservedly ahead on 23 minutes thanks to Heath’s close-range header.
Lloyd James swung over a cross with his trusty left boot, and an unmarked Heath stooped to head past keeper David Martin from just outside the six-yard box.
The U’s had played some good football even before that goal, with Martin having to be at his best to parry long-range efforts by Ian Henderson and Andy Bond.
But MK Dons turned the game on its head with two goals inside the last seven minutes of the first half.
MacDonald steered home a low cross by Daniel Powell in the 38th minute, and poor marking allowed defender Flanaghan to blast home a shot from Gleeson’s corner in stoppage time.
Not surprisingly, the Dons had their tails up at the start of the second half and the U’s had to dig deep to stay in the game.
Kayode Odejayi almost stole an equaliser, when surging through on goal. He shrugged off three defenders and drilled in a shot that Martin managed to parry.
However, MacDonald made the game safe for the visitors by prodding home his second and the Dons’ third in the 74th minute.
Henderson blundered with a wayward clearance and MacDonald was in the right place to bury a cross by Mark Beevers.
Gleeson added a fourth in the 87th minute to heap more misery on Colchester, and Ibehre slotted home from Dean Bowditch’s 94th minute cross for a fifth.
The U’s ended a well-beaten team.
COLCHESTER: Williams, Wilson, Eastman, Heath, Coker, Vincent, Bond, James (sub Thomas, 70), Wordsworth, Henderson, Odejayi. Unused subs: Rose, Izzet, White, Duguid.
MK DONS: Martin, Smith, Beevers, Flanaghan, Lewington, Gleeson (sub Williams, 90), Potter, Powell (sub Balanta, 87), Chadwick (sub Bowditch, 66), MacDonald, Ibehre. Unused subs: McLoughlin, Doumbe.
Referee: Mr B Malone