Lookman strike sees Robinson's Charlton see off MK Dons

    A first half goal from Ademola Lookman was enough for Charlton pick up the points at MK Dons.

    MK Dons 0 - 1 Charlton Athletic

    Lookman’s goal had come against the run of play, but was enough for Charlton to pick up their first victory under Karl Robinson. It capped off a miserable afternoon for the hosts, who also lost Dean Bowditch to injury in the first half.

    A tight game was to see no reward for the Dons, who at times toiled to break down their opponents. They remain 18th in League One, with defeat for Shrewsbury keeping them 3 points above the division’s relegation zone.

    After a disappointing reverse at Gillingham in the last game before Christmas, the Dons returned home looking to build on home successes in league and FA Cup. That bought with it a third meeting in a month with former boss Robinson and his new employers Charlton, who themselves were looking to bounce back after defeat in the South London Derby with Millwall on Wednesday.

    It was the Dons who had the early efforts, but their first attempts on goal lacked accuracy. Nicky Maynard and Ben Reeves saw looping efforts go off target.

    Charlton’s first chance was the first on target, although Josh Magennis’ effort was straight at David Martin. The Dons then spent time on the front foot, with a swerving Reeves cross narrowly missing Bowditch, before Reeves saw a header kept out by Dillon Phillips.

    MK Dons created further chances as the game approached the half-hour. First, Bowditch saw an effort deflected wide, and the Dons player then saw another effort go wide from the resulting corner after 2 previous efforts had been blocked.

    But the forward momentum enjoyed was hit by 2 injuries in quick succession. While Samir Carruthers was able to recover from his injury after coming off worse in a 50/50 with Patrick Bauer, Bowditch had to be removed from the action after pulling up while trying to receive a pass.

    The injury blow would not have helped Robbie Neilson’s side, coming after George Baldock sustained an injury the previous week, and there was to be further pain for the hosts when Charlton took the lead. A decisive through-ball from Andrew Crofts was received by Lookman, whose finely placed shot went into the roof of the net and put the visitors ahead.

    This was the cue for Charlton to look the more promising side going forward as half-time approached, although few concrete sights of goal would be made by either team before the break.

    It was the hosts who would have the first opportunity of the second period, with Maynard hitting the side-netting with a quick snapshot on the turn. A chance then seemed to open itself up after fast and slick work on the flank from Carruthers. But Reeves’ first-time shot from Maynard’s pass span wildly off target.

    As a tight game continued, the Dons were struggling to break through an increasingly compacted Charlton backline. While home fans were becoming increasingly frustrated with the time Phillips was taking over Charlton goal-kicks, the hosts were still finding chances harder to come by as the game headed towards its final minutes.

    The Dons introduced Daniel Powell and Chuks Aneke to try and force something. But a chance instead opened up for Charlton, with Martin saving with his legs to deny Nicky Ajose after the visiting striker had been more alert to Paul Downing’s backward header.

    The mood of the Dons fans had been growing steadily more hostile towards the ref as the second half ended, and was sent into overdrive when the referee first ignored an appeal for a foul on Aneke, and then a foul on Upson.

    But there was to be no comeback for the visitors, who lose at home for the first time under Neilson.

    MK Dons: Martin – G.B. Williams, Downing, Walsh, Lewington – Agard (Aneke 87), Carruthers (Powell 80), Upson, Bowditch (G.C. Williams 35), Reeves – Maynard

    Subs not used: Nicholls, Hendry, Furlong, Tshimanga

    Booked: Carruthers, Walsh

    Charlton Athletic: Phillips – Konsa, Teixera, Bauer, Fox – Lookman (Chicksen 87), Jackson (Aribo 56), Crofts, Ulvestad – Ajose (Johnson 90), Magennis

    Subs not used: Mitov, Foley, Botaka, Ahearne-Grant

    Goal: Lookman (38)

    Referee: Christopher Sarginson

    Attendance: 10,257

    Article by CitiBlog, Image courtesy of @MKDonsFC.

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