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2-3
13 November 2018 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Report: MK Dons 2-3 Brighton & Hove Albion U21

MK Dons exit the Checkatrade Trophy after defeat at Stadium MK...

13 November 2018

MK Dons were eliminated from the Checkatrade Trophy at the Group Stage after a 3-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s

Brighton had to come from behind to pick up the win after an Aaron Connolly hat-trick secured the victory for Simon Rusk's side.

MK Dons had taken an early lead through Kieran Agard's strike before Connolly drew The Seagulls level for the first time. 

Hancox then scored his first goal in a Dons shirt to send Tisdale's side in 2-1 up at the break with the lead, before Connolly netted second of the evening after the break to put Brighton back ahead 

The striker completed his hat-trick with 15-minutes left to play and in the process eliminated the Dons from the competition.

Paul Tisdale made seven changes from the starting XI that were beaten by Grimsby last Saturday with George Williams, Joe Walsh, Kieran Agard and Baily Cargill the four who kept their place. 

Stuart Moore was preferred between the sticks with Mitch Hancox replacing Dean Lewington on the left. There was a return to action for Conor McGrandles who made his first appearance since his injury at Oldham on the opening day.

Elsewhere, Robbie Simpson, Ousseynou Cisse and Lawson D’Ath all took to the field from the off.

The first chance of the game came in the opening minute as Brighton’s Mathias Normann sent his looping effort over the bar. 

McGrandles, who look comfortable from the off, almost grabbed an assist on his return to action - his whipped cross was just over the head of Hancox.

The breakthrough for MK Dons came five minutes in and it was certainly an eye-catching move to create the goal. Williams found himself with time and space on the right before crossing towards D’Ath. The midfielder laid his touch on for Agard who found the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box. 1-0.

Brighton looked to respond immediately, however, a low cross from wide was well claimed by Moore.

Cisse then tried his luck from almost 30-yards with his dipping effort being tipped over the bar by Hugo Keto. 

It was almost the perfect return to action for McGrandles who almost connected with Hancox’s cross at the far post. 

Brighton should have been level after a corner routine found Aaron Connolly who somehow put over the bar from two-yards out.

It was that man Connolly who levelled the scoring after the striker found the net from a tight angle 23-minutes into the clash. 1-1.

It was nearly a quick-fire double for the visitors, but Jordan Davies was unable to test Moore with his effort from distance.

The Dons retook the lead with 40-minutes through Hancox found himself unmarked at the far-post before D’Ath picked out the run of the defender who converted from close range. 2-1. 

The second-half started slowly with the first meaningful shot on goal coming with 52 minutes on the clock. McGrandles had his corner cleared as far as Cisse who controlled on his chest before firing a left-footed volley narrowly over the bar. 

Gyokeres looked to find a way past the Dons defence but was thwarted by Williams whose well-timed tackle disposed the striker. 

Watson’s corner then found the head of Simpson who couldn’t direct his header towards goal. 

Williams, who was captaining the side at Stadium MK, then produced another superb tackle this time denying Tilley a strike on goal. 

Brighton netted their second of the game as the clock approached 70-minutes through Connolly - he was found by Gyokeres’ driven cross before the Irishman slammed home from close range. 2-2.

Soon after, Connolly and Gyokeres combined once more to give Brighton the lead for the first time on the evening. It was Connolly who completed his hat-trick converting at the far post. 2-3.

Starting XI: Moore, Williams, Walsh (Brittain 45+2), Cisse, Watson, Hancox, Agard, McGrandles (Houghton 65), Simpson, D’Ath (Gilbey 78), Cargill. 

Unused Subs: Nicholls, Lewington, Aneke, Healey.

Attendance: 1,018 (63)

Goals: Agard (6), Hancox (40)

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