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Match Report: MK Dons vs Wigan Athletic

It was the Nick Powell show down in Buckinghamshire as Wigan came from 1-0 down to win 3-1 with Powell putting The Champions 2-1 up, Marc Antoine Fortune added the third to kill the game off mid-way extra time.

Clive Mason

Wigan needed extra time to set up a fourth round tie with Crystal Palace as the Cup Holders came back from 1-0 down to win 3-1 against MK Dons where Nick Powell netted 2 goals from the bench with Marc Antoine Fortune sealing the game after Luke Chadwick gave the hosts the lead 10 minutes in.

A thrilling 3-3 draw first time round set up the Tuesday night replay in Buckinghamshire where the hosts were attempting to knock out the cup holders on the second time of asking. MK Dons made the dream start when Luke Chadwick latched onto  Ben Reeves' cut back to give the League 1 side the lead. Latics' starting line up baffled many with Ali Al-Habsi, Stephen Crainey, Leon Barnett, James Perch, James McArthur, Ben Watson, Chris McCann, Roger Espinoza, Fraser Fyvie, James McClean and Marc Antoine Fortune, the tacticians amongst you will realize it is struggle to find a formation for that 11. Latics improved with James McClean scuffing an effort whilst Roger Espinoza fired over from a tight angle but had to thank keeper Ali Al-Habsi that the game was still at 1-0 when the Omani pulled off 2 world class saves from a Shaun Williams free kick that look destined to float into the corner and again at full stretch to deny Dean Lewington's drive. Wigan again came close . The whistle blew for the break and Karl Robinson would have been more than happy with his side leading the break with his side looking well organised at the back and Aston Villa loanee looking very dangerous going forward for the League 1 side along with Daniel Powell who found it all to easy to find space in the channels all evening with Uwe Rosler having been playing 3 centre halves of Chris McCann, Leon Barnett and Ben Watson.

Latics continued frustrating after the break whilst shifting the ball nicely and taking care of possesion, the Champions couldn't find a way through and seemed to be lacking in creativity and more importantly the final ball but a perfect chance was spurned when James McClean found the ball at his feet and seem to have an 8 yard tap in, but the Irish international seemed unable to get the ball from beneath his feet wasting a monumental chance to out the Latics on level terms. So then changes were decided by Uwe Rosler who knew his first half antics weren't working and decided to throw on Emmerson Boyce and Nick Powell for James Perch and Fraser Fyvie in an attempt to create a more stable back line and spark up some creativity going forward but Milton Keynes stayed organised at the back with positivity going forward and came close to doubling their lead when a Shaun Williams volley took a nick on the way through taking onto the post and out of harm's way, Wigan survived once more. Jordi Gomez was then thrown on to provide some extra initiative to the team for James McClean

As desperation looked to be kicking in, 11 minutes from time Wigan were on level terms. Chris McCann produced Wigan's first killer ball of the evening, his whipped cross was poked in by Nick Powell from close range. The 19th year old proved to be a key part in the team and changed the game not just on the score sheet but in Wigan's performance and the 19 year old provided initiative, creativeness and confidence in the team this proving a key presence on the field. Wigan seemed to be pushing for the winner in the remaining minutes but MK Dons proved dnagerous on the counter as Watson and Espinoza were shown yellow for fouls which ultimately stopped the League 1 side from countering successfully.  Referee James Adcock blew his whistle to signal the end of 90 minutes, extra-time was needed to settle the tie.

Barely 2 minutes into extra time and the visitors took the lead. The MK Dons high line had caused problems all night for the Wigan attack but on this occasion, Nick Powell raced away from the Dons defense to sublimely chip keeper David Martin and give the hosts the lead, Uwe Rosler couldn't have asked more from the 19 year old with an outstanding performace from the teenager. The home side tired but the Buckinghamshire side didn't give up as MK Dons still pushed for an equaliser.

Jordi Gomez had the chance to kill the game off when he beat the offside trap and trotted away from the defense only to scuff the ball in a one on one with the keep in very wet conditions with the surface becoming increasing slippery. A minute later the game was sealed as Roger Espinoza fed Fortune who finished from 10 yards a minute before the break to grab his 2nd goal in as many occasions and his 3 for the season. MK Dons still didn't fade in effort however as the home side still pushed for a way back into the game but their chances becoming increasingly slimmer as every minute went on with the League 1 side fading.

In the end, Wigan's quality shined through as they made it hard work for themselves again but the 3-1 win in front of a feeble 8,316 means the Latics have another home tie this time against Premier League Strugglers Crystal Palace on the 25th of January meaning our league game against Barnsley will be re-arranged.