Charlton's crisis deepens after dismal display saw Addicks lose 2-0 to MK Dons
Charlton Athletic’s crisis keeps on deepening after manager Johnnie Jackson's embattled side succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat to MK Dons courtesy of strikes either side of half-time by Tennai Watson and Kaine Kesler-Hayden.
Watson slotted Charlton in front on 41 minutes after a well-weighted cross by Conor Coventry.
Just minutes after the restart Mason Burstow had the chance to level things up but fired over with the goal gaping.
And that missed opportunity came back to haunt Jackson’s men as Kaine Kessler-Hayden turned home the follow-up on 59 minutes to put the game beyond doubt for the visitors.
Next to nobody was giving Charlton a prayer before kick-off and their dreadful run has now extended to four defeats in a row while MK Dons strengthened their case for promotion with a competent performance and convincing win.
They are now unbeaten in seven and third in the table while the Addicks are starting to worryingly look over their shoulder with only nine points separating them and Morecambe.
But with 13 games to play until the end of the season and the Addicks’ poor run of form right now, a capitulation in 2019/2020-style is not unlikely.
After a lethargic first half-hour Milton Keynes Dons raced out of the traps and took the lead through Watson who made the most of a delightful chip into the box with a confident close-range finish. That was the visitors’ first chance worthy of mention and they made it count after playing the bulk of the first half with the handbrake on and on the back foot.
Charlton were showing more urgency in their game but with Conor Washington, Jayden Stockley and Chuks Aneke absent they lacked someone to finish their chances off.
George Dobson saw his effort go over from distance and Sam Lavelle planted a header over the crossbar
As MK Dons were getting into their stride, Connor Wickham skipped past several Charlton defenders but saw his goal-bound shot deflected behind for a corner after the half-hour mark.
Charlton managed to temporarily take the sting out of the MK Dons' sudden upturn in performance but Juan Castillo’s well-taken volley flicked off a defender on 36 minutes.
Five minutes later they were caught out by a long ball at the end other end with Watson beating Craig MacGillivray in the six-yard area.
In the second period Alex Gilbey blocked Wickham’s free header after a corner before Burstow missed a sitter, slicing his shot with the goalkeeper already out of the equation.
All he needed to do was to place the ball into the empty net.
But despite the scare, MK Dons showed exactly why they are competing at the top end of the table and Charlton in the bottom half. And Liam Manning's boys were not in a charitable mood either.
Ex-Portsmouth keeper MacGillivray did well to keep Connor Wickham’s low drilled effort out but no Charlton player tracked Kesler-Hayden who turned home the rebound.
In injury-time the 19-year old could have rounded off an impressive game with a brace but fired over.