Charlton booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening, with Jonathan Leko’s injury-time header sealing a late victory over Milton Keynes Dons at The Valley. 

Johnnie Jackson made wholesale changes to his side for the trophy clash, with Ryan Inniss being handed his first start since August having returned from injury, while Adam Matthews also made his return to action having been sidelined since late October. 

After a slow opening, it took 33 minutes for the Addicks to register the first shot on target as they gained a foothold in the latter stages of the first period – Mason Burstow turned neatly some 27 yards from goal before firing towards the bottom left-hand corner, but Franco Ravizzoli was equal to it. 

The visitors had claims for a penalty waved away in the closing stages of the half when David Kasumu went down under pressure from Pape Souare, but referee Lee Swabey waved the appeals away. 

Two minutes before the break, Harry Darling headed over for Liam Manning’s men from a free-kick delivery, while the Addicks came close to an opening to break the deadlock in injury-time when Burstow crossed low for Jonathan Leko in a good position, but a heavy touch allowed Ravizzoli to collect. 

Six minutes into the second half, Leko was causing problems for the Dons’ defence again, twisting and turning in the box before finally getting his shot away, but Ravizzoli again got down well. 

The 55th minute saw the hosts come closer still, with Charlie Kirk delivering a teasing cross to the back post where Blackett-Taylor scooped over from six yards. 

With that, the game began to open up and MK Dons enjoyed the best opportunity to open the scoring in the 69th minute when Nathan Harness made a superb save to deny Kasumu from close range, before the Dons’ midfielder blazed over the follow-up. 

Mohamed Eisa was next to test Harness with an effort from distance which the Addicks’ stopper tipped away and it was end-to-end stuff in the closing stages with the game opening right up. 

And with a penalty shootout looming, it would be Charlton who would break the deadlock and book their place in the last eight. 

Pape Souare’s deep cross from the left was nodded back across the face of goal by Burstow for Leko to nod home the winner. 

Jackson’s men will discover their quarter-final opponents live on Talksport at 11am on Thursday morning. 

Charlton: Harness; Matthews (Elerewe 66), Inniss (Ness 77), Gunter; Blackett-Taylor (Williams 67), Henry (Dempsey 87), Watson (c), Kirk (Davison 87), Souaré; Leko, Burstow.

Subs (not used): Harvey, Gavin.

Booked: Watson 32 (foul on Bird)

Goal: Leko 90+1

MK Dons: Ravizzoli, Watson, Darling, O’Hora, Jules, Ilunga, Kasumu, Robson (McEachran 88), Boateng, Bird (Martin 60), Eisa.

Subs (not used): Fisher, O’Riley, Twine, Harvie. 

Booked: Kasumu 13 (foul on Henry)

Referee: L Swabey

Att: 1,653 (170 supporters)

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