Woeful Colchester United are hammered by MK Dons on an afternoon of misery
MK Dons 6 Colchester United 0
Colchester United were hammered at MK Dons in a woefully one-sided League One clash in Milton Keynes this afternoon, with home striker Benik Afobe grabbing a hat-trick.
The U’s were simply outplayed, from start to finish, conceding six goals as well as having debutant Will Packwood sent off.
The talented Dele Alli broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, making room for himself before drilling a lethal 25-yard shot beyond Sam Walker and into the far corner of the net.
Afobe netted his first goal in the 37th minute. Carl Baker sliced open the U’s defence with a accurate pass across the face of the penalty area, and Afobe lifted his shot beyond Walker from a tight angle.
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Front-runner Afobe bagged his second, and the Dons’ third, in the 45th minute. Walker parried the initial shot by Baker, but Afobe was on hand to head the rebound into an unguarded net.
Into the second half and Afobe completed his hat-trick in the 58th minute. The Arsenal loanee burst through to calmly slot home the Dons’ fourth of the afteroon, and his 18th goal of the season (in all competitions).
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The U’s misery was almost complete when Birmingham City loanee Packwood was shown the red card in the 67th minute, for a professional foul on Afobe, who was through on goal when he was upended.
Ben Reeves dispatched the ensuing penalty to make it 5-0 to the Dons, leaving the U’s to play out the final quarter of the game with just 10 men.
And there was still time for defender Lee Hodson to blast home a long-range shot in the 91st minute to complete the scoring.
In short, what could go wrong, did go wrong, for the well-beaten U’s.
U’s boss Tony Humes had made three changes to the side that were beaten 1-0 at home by Coventry City last weekend.
Packwood, signed on loan from Birmingham City at the start of the week, replaced long-term injury casualty Magnus Okuonghae in the heart defence. It was the American’s U’s debut.
Ipswich Town loanee, Elliott Hewitt, was preferred to Sean Clohessy at right-back – Clohessy was not even in the match-day squad – while Rhys Healey came into the side up front, with George Moncur dropping to the bench.
The Dons started on the front foot and centre-half Antony Kay headed only a foot over the bar from a first minute corner.
However, Kay’s centre-half partner, Kyle McFadzean, almost gifted the U’s a fourth minute lead when diverting Hewitt’s dangerous cross onto his own post. That was a lucky let-off for the hosts.
Four minutes later and McFadzean must have thought that he had scored at the other end. His powerful header looked destined for the net, until the agile Walker threw himself to his left to pull off a wonderful one-handed save.
However, Walker was powerless to prevent Alli from firing the Dons into a 12th minute lead, his rocket fizzing past the U’s keeper.
And the visitors were soon under the cosh again, having to defend a succession of corners with some real last ditch defending.
A rare break saw Healey pounce on a defensive error to run into the Dons’ penalty area, on 21 minutes. However, the Cardiff City loanee’s final shot was well charged down by Kay.
Just after the half-hour mark and goalscorer Alli was threatening again with another powerful run goalwards. This time he was upended by David Fox, who was booked for the challenge.
At the age of 30, Fox was the oldest U’ player on the pitch today – by a remarkable five years!
The U’s did eventually concede again, on 37 minutes, as Afobe tucked home his 16th goal of the season (in all competitions) from Baker’s fine pass.
A minute later and it was nearly 3-0 as Dons’ left-back, Lee Hodson, ballooned a shot over the top from a good position.
But the home side did get their third goal, on the stroke of half-time, with Afobe nodding home his 17th goal of the campaign.
Only the woodwork denied the Dons a fourth goal in the 48th minute, McFadzean’s volley from Baker’s corner cannoning back off the near post.
Freddie Sears finally recorded the U’s first shot on target, as late as the 53rd minute, while just 60 seconds later and Afobe should really have been celebrating his hat-trick, only to lift his shot over the bar with just Walker to beat.
But Afobe did guarantee possession of the match-ball, by blasting home his hat-trick goal, and the Dons’ fourth, with a clinical finish in the 58th minute
It got much worse for the U’s when debutant Packwood was sent off for a professional foul – chopping down Afobe, who was through on goal – in the 67th minute.
Reeves converted the penalty to put the Dons 5-0 up against the 10-man U’s, before Hodson drilled home a spectacular sixth in injury time.
MK DONS: Martin, Hodson, McFadzean (sub Flanagan, 68), Kay, Spence, Potter, Alli (sub Green, 63), Reeves, Baker (sub Grigg, 73), Powell, Afobe. Unused subs: McLoughlin, Bowditch, Baldock.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Hewitt, Packwood, Eastman, Kpekawa, Fox, Gilbey (sub Eastmond, 57), Massey, Sears, Healey (sub Harney, 72), Watt (sub Moncur, 72). Unused subs: Lewington, Bonne, Szmodics, Sembie-Ferris.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)