Suspended skipper is a big miss for Dons

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Brighton ran out deserved 2-0 winners after a lacklustre display from the MK Dons at the Withdean Stadium.

Kazenga Lualua produced a pulsating performance for Albion, and it was the brother of the ex-Premier League star Lomana Lualua who opened the scoring on a rainy, and ultimately, miserable day in Sussex.

Gus Poyet, the former Spurs and Chelsea midfielder and now manager of Brighton, must have been delighted with the outstanding free kick Lualua converted to put his side1-0 up, smashing the ball past David Martin just minutes after the teams had returned after half time.

The Seagulls had had the better of the chances in the first half too, with Lualua the catalyst more often than not. His superb pace down the wing proved more than a handful for the Dons, and his energetic style left many suspecting that any goals in a quiet first half would come from him.

The Dons, though, had their chances with Peter Leven trying desperately to find a way through but with little success. Mathias Kouo-Doumbe came close with a header and Jermain Easter could have drawn level, but overall Casper Ankergren looked reasonably comfortable in the Albion goal.

Robinson looked to his substitutes to change things around midway through the second half, as the Dons threw on Jabo Ibehre and Lewis Guy in a hope for inspiration up front.

However, they found themselves up against a stubborn heart of the Brighton defence in Tommy Elphick and Adam El Abd. It was clear it would take something very special to get past them, something that the Dons never really looked like creating.

MK, possibly missing their captain and star defender Dean Lewington, who was sent off in the 1-0 home win over Hartlepool last weekend, struggled to contain Brighton’s numerous attacks in the second half,.

Lualua, on loan from Newcastle United, could have had anything up to four or five assists, with Glenn Murray missing a string of chances to put the game to bed.

Murray was not to be denied a goal on the day though as the usual suspect Lualua raced through the 18-yard-box leaving the Dons defence astounded, and whipped the ball over to Murray who headed home after 75 minutes.

As usual under Karl Robinson, MK refused to concede defeat, and Robinson used his last substitution to replace the pace of Adam Chicksen with the razor sharp shooting of Jemal Johnson with around ten minutes to go.

It had little effect though as there was scarce time for Johnson to play his way into the game, and the full time whistle signified a well-earned three points for Brighton.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Milton Keynes Dons
League One

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