U’s doubled by MK Dons after close encounter
MK Dons 1 Colchester United 0
U’s MK Dons completed the league double over Colchester United, but they had to work hard for their slender victory.
The U’s had been swept aside 5-1 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium in November, but they were far more competitive on the Dons’ own ground this afternoon.
In the end, it needed a 53rd minute own goal by centre-half Magnus Okuonghae to wrap up the points for Karl Robinson’s promotion hopefuls.
Dons centre-half Gary MacKenzie ghosted in at the far post to put pressure on Okuonghae, and the U’s defender could only divert home Dean Bowditch’s cross on 53 minutes. That was enough to sink the U’s.
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There was very little in the way of goalmouth action in the first period.
MK Dons were off target with their half-chances, with ex-Ipswich Town attacker Bowditch drilling a couple of shots wide.
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At the other end, the U’s did not seriously threaten until first-half stoppage time when Steven Gillespie’s 20-yard free-kick clipped the top of the defensive wall and flew over the bar.
Gillespie took the set piece in the absence of dead ball specialist Anthony Wordsworth - the U’s leading scorer was sidelined with chicken pox.
But it was the Dons who took charge after the break, with Okuonghae’s unfortunate own goal nudging them into the lead from close range.
Ben Williams had to be at his best to deny the hosts a second goal just before the hour mark, when parrying a goalbound shot by the impressive Luke Chadwick.
Williams also did well to keep out a free-kick by namesake Shaun Williams, but at the other end the U’s never really threatened an equaliser.
MK DONS: Martin, Kouo-Doumbe, MacKenzie, Williams, Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Ibehre, Chadwick, MacDonald (sub Powell, 81). Unused subs: Flanaghan, Collins, O’Shea, McLoughlin.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, White, Duguid, James sub Izzet, 71), Bond, Henderson, Gillespie, Odejayi (sub Coker, 61). Unused subs: Rose, Baldwin, O’Toole.
Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey)