MATCH REPORT | Charlton 0 MK Dons 2

Charlton suffered defeat against promotion-chasing MK Dons at The Valley on Tuesday night.

Tennai Watson fired the visitors ahead on 41 minutes before fellow wing-back Kaine Kesler-Hayden instinctively poked home from close range to double the Dons’ tally and ultimately seal maximum points.

Johnnie Jackson made five changes from last weekend’s defeat against Oxford United, restoring Chris Gunter, Sam Lavelle, Akin Famewo, Juan Castillo and Mason Burstow to his starting line-up.

MK Dons crafted the first opening on 12 minutes as Conor Coventry found Troy Parrott in behind the Addicks’ defence, though Craig MacGillivray was quick to pounce on the Republic of Ireland international’s loose touch.

At the other end, enterprising build-up play from Charlton culminated with Adam Matthews delivering a tantalising centre across the face of Jamie Cumming’s goal, only for it to evade a flurry of advancing red shirts before George Dobson rifled over from distance.

Lavelle towered highest to flash a header over from Albie Morgan’s corner as the Addicks continued to threaten. 

Only Akin Famewo’s heroics prevented the visitors taking the lead five minutes before the interval as the defender produced a superb, last-ditch lunge to foil Scott Twine after the forward had latched onto Harry Darling’s pinpoint ball.

The Dons took the lead less than a minute later, though. Coventry found Watson racing in behind Matthews with a well-weighted pass and the wing-back cut inside before poking past the onrushing MacGillivray.

The visitors carried that momentum into the early exchanges of the second period as Twine sent a free-kick whistling past MacGillivray’s left upright, before the latter produced a flying stop to thwart Connor Wickham after the forward had risen highest to meet Josh McEachran’s deep corner.

Then came the Addicks’ opportunity to restore parity as Morgan’s fizzed cross worked its way to Burstow at the far post, though the 18-year-old could only send his effort looping over Cumming’s crossbar.

Kesler-Hayden ensured Charlton would rue that miss as the Aston Villa loanee doubled the Dons' advantage as the game neared the hour-mark.

MacGillivray produced a sensational stop to repel Wickham’s low drive, only for Kesler-Hayden to stab home the rebound on the angle.

Albie Morgan flashed a half-volley over the crossbar and Jackson introduced Diallang Jaiyesimi, Elliot Lee and academy starlet Tyreece Campbell as the Addicks pushed for a way back into the game, though it ultimately bore no fruit as the Dons prevailed in SE7.

Charlton: MacGillivray; Gunter, Lavelle, Famewo; Matthews, Gilbey (c), Dobson (Campbell 88), Morgan, Castillo; Leko (Jaiyesimi 64), Burstow (Lee 71)

Subs (not used): Harness, Pearce, Purrington, Kanu

Booked: Gilbey 76 (foul on Parrott)

MK Dons: Cumming; O’Hora, Darling, Lewington (c); Kesler-Hayden, Coventry, McEachran (Kasumu 80), Watson; Parrott, Wickham (Eisa 64), Twine (Corbeanu 71)

Subs (not used): Ravizzoli, Boateng, Smith, Kemp

Goals: Watson 41, Kesler-Hayden 59

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 8,807 (605 from MK Dons)

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