EMIRATES FA CUP REPORT | Milton Keynes Dons 3 Charlton 1 (AET)

George Jones reports from Stadium MK

A youthful Charlton side bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday evening after losing in extra-time against Milton Keynes Dons in a second-round replay at Stadium MK.

The Dons grabbed an early lead through Daniel Powell before Adam Chicksen levelled the scores after 24 minutes. The two sides then could not be separated during the remainder of regulation time, with Nicky Ajose coming closest to winning it in the 91st minute.

Three minutes into the additional, 30-minute period, Ben Reeves put the hosts back in front and Dean Bowditch then made it three to confirm MK’s place in round three, where they’ll head to Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion.

In terms of team news, Karl Robinson made six changes in personnel to the side that started at Bradford City on Saturday.

Youngsters Brandon Hanlan and Joe Aribo were handed starts in an attack-minded midfield, while club skipper Johnnie Jackson, Kevin Foley, Jorge Teixeira and Ademola Lookman also came into the XI.

The Addicks lined up in a 4-3-3 formation and they threatened inside 10 seconds when Lookman - one of four academy graduates to start the match - sent a shot wide of Lee Nicholls’ right-hand post from around 25 yards out.

Hanlan diverted a Lookman corner into the arms of Nicholls a couple of minutes later but the Dons then grabbed the lead with their first attack.

Powell robbed Aribo of possession and burst clear on goal before slotting beyond Phillips from inside the box.

Lookman scuffed a left-footed drive wide of goal, as Charlton looked for a quick response, and a good switch of play from Jackson then freed Hanlan inside the box, only for him to be snuffed out by the Dons defence.

At the other end, Powell was flagged offside when he poked a Dean Bowditch flick-on into the net. Charlton then grabbed their equaliser, and it came from a familiar face to the home supporters.

Chicksen received possession on the left flank, cut inside and whipped a low, right-footed strike into the corner of Nicholls’ net.

It was a deserved leveller for the Londoners and they quickly went in search of number two. Lookman fired a 25-yard effort off target and Jackson saw a speculative shot deflected over the crossbar.

Chuks Aneke glanced a header over the top for the Dons on the half-hour mark and Charlton were then forced into a substitution when Lee Novak limped off. He was replaced by Morgan Fox.

The tie was level at its halfway stage and, before play restarted, the Dons replaced goalscorer Powell with Ben Reeves.  

George Baldock fired over the top for the hosts on 55 minutes, in what was the opening opportunity of the second period, and that proved to be the full-back’s final contribution as he was then replaced by Jack Hendry.

A good spell of Charlton possession ended with Jackson shooting off target just before the hour mark and the Addicks then carved out a great chance to take the lead.

Lookman turned on Fox’s ball into the box and aimed at the far corner but Nicholls was well positioned to make a great save with his legs.

The visitors were dominating the ball with creating too much and, then at the other end, Reeves arrowed a stinging drive towards goal that Dillon Phillips tipped over his crossbar.

Colclough zipped a cross-cum-shot just over the top on 83 minutes and, as four minutes of stoppage time were indicated, the Addicks came so close to winning it.

Chicksen slipped in Ajose on the left, he chopped inside of his man and with only Nicholls to beat, the goalkeeper made a wonderful save to keep his side level.

The final chance of the 90 fell the way of the MK Dons. Ed Upson let fly from 25 yards but his effort deflected wide of the post.

The host grabbed the lead three minutes into extra-time when Reeves picked out the corner of the net from the edge of the box, giving Phillips no chance.

Charlton almost levelled immediately when Nicholls punched a Lookman free-kick against the head of Teixeira but the loose ball trickled inches wide.

Instead of celebrating an equaliser, the Addicks then found themselves 3-1 down. Bowditch broke clear of the Charlton backline and slotted into the corner.

Charlton probed for a route back into the game before half time in extra time but it wasn’t forthcoming and in their opening opportunity of the second period Teixeira headed Lookman’s free-kick over the bar.

The Addicks, to their credit, kept going for the remainder of the match but they were unable to find a route back into the game as MK Dons progressed into round three.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Baldock, Lewington, (c), Upson, Potter, Bowditch, B Williams, Powell (Reeves 46), Downing, Aneke (Agard 61), Colclough.

Subs (not used): Martin, Carruthers, Hendry, Jackson, Tshimanga.

Goal: Powell 6, Reeves 93, Bowdtich 97

Booked: Potter 90 (foul on Aribo)

Charlton: Phillips, Foley, Konsa, Teixeira, Chicksen, Jackson (c) (Johnson 80), Aribo, Lookman, Botaka, Hanlan (Ajose 73), Novak (Fox 40).

Subs (not used): Mitov, Charles-Cook, Umerah, Ahearne-Grant.

Goal: Chicksen 24

Booked: Foley 29 (foul on Colclough), Konsa 34 (foul on Baldock)

Referee: R Jones

Att: 3,655 (374 from Charlton)
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