MK Dons 6-0 Cambridge: Dons bounce back in style
It was a comprehensive start to 2019 for MK Dons as they thumped Cambridge United 6-0 at Stadium MK on New Year's Day.
Having thrown away a 2-0 lead in the final 12 minutes at Northampton on Saturday, the opening 12 minutes at Stadium MK put the game out of reach of the visitors, as Rhys Healey, Kieran Agard and Chuks Aneke fired Dons into a 3-0 lead.
While Cambridge twice hit the woodwork after that, Healey and Agard both added to their tallies before Osman Sow scored his first goal since 2017 to wrap up the thrashing.
Dons remained unchanged for the visit of Cambridge on New Year's Day, with Mathieu Baudry's impressive first start keeping him in the starting line-up. While Baudry is beginning his Dons career, Rhys Healey was making his final appearance for the club with his loan deal with Cardiff City expiring next weekend.
But the striker put the uncertainty out of his mind to open the scoring after just five minutes, nodding home Conor McGrandles' cross.
It got even better for Dons three minutes later when, in almost a mirror of the opener, Baily Cargill picked out Kieran Agard at the near post to double their advantage.
Having thrown away a two-goal lead against Northampton on Saturday, Dons went the extra mile by adding a third on 12 minutes, this time Aneke firing home from close range to ensure a goal apiece for the front three.
Boos rang out from the away end when Aneke twice went close to further add to Dons' total, with the visiting fans furious at their side's horrendous start to the game. Cambridge did find their feet though as Liam O'Neil came close, firing just over Lee Nicholls' crossbar.
Jabo Ibehre was given a warm welcome by his old fanbase, but those supporters were nearly cursing their former striker when he raced clear of George Williams, only to be denied by Nicholls, who bravely threw himself at the striker's feet.
In total control otherwise, Dons were still out to get a fourth and came close when Cargill skipped past Brad Halliday's weak challenge to unleash a fierce strike, well blocked away by Harry Darling.
As if to sum up Cambridge's first half, Ibehre thumped a header against the spot in the final minute with Nicholls rooted to the spot.
They rattled the bar again shortly after the restart from Paul Lewis' header, while at the other end, McGrandles raced in behind and cracked the cross-member from just inside the six yard box.
If there needed a silver-lining, Healey delivered it 19 minutes into the second period when he raced into the box, and with Gilbey in support, went it alone to lash home his second and Dons' fourth.
Not to be out-done though, Agard added his second from the penalty spot after he was up-ended by Jake Carroll with 14 minutes to go.
Osman Sow, who replaced Aneke with 23 minutes remaining, was proving a real problem for the Cambridge defence, twice nearly getting on the end of McGrandles' crosses before teeing one up for Agard to net, only to be denied by the flag. But the Swede was rewarded for his efforts with five minutes to go, tapping home Dons' sixth for his first goal since 2017.
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 8,128 (1,048)
MK Dons: Nicholls, Cargill, Baudry, Williams, Lewington, McGrandles, Gilbey (D'Ath ), Houghton (Watson 78), Agard, Healey, Aneke (Sow 67)
Subs not used: Moore, Hancox, Moore-Taylor, Simspon,
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Carroll, Taylor, O'Neil, Ibehre (Azeez 46), Darling, Maris, Lambe (Dunk 46), Brown (Osadebe 46), Lewis
Subs not used: Mitov, Amoo, Davies, John
Booked: O'Neil, Baudry, Halliday