MK Dons made a strong start to their pre-season campaign, beating Brackley Town 5-1 at St James Park.
Paul Tisdale’s men impressed in their first public appearance of the summer with goals from Jordan Houghton, Callum Brittain, Kieran Agard, Dylan Asonganyi and Sam Nombe securing them victory in front of over 1,000 people in Northamptonshire.
The Dons' starting line-up including three summer signings in Regan Poole, Hiram Boateng and Jordan Bowery, however it was one of his returning players, Houghton, who opened the scoring just five minutes courtesy of a terrific low drive from the edge of the area which skid past goalkeeper Danny Lewis and into the bottom corner. 0-1.
Tisdale's side doubled their lead five minutes later - this time thanks to an excellent attacking move. Dean Lewington picked out Boateng 30-yards from goal and his left-footed cross fell perfectly onto the head of Brittain, who headed home. 0-2.
Brackley responded well but the Dons - and Regan Poole in particular - were doing well to keep them at bay. The former Manchester United defender made a superb block tackle on Lee Ndlovu to prevent the striker having an effort from a cross.
Shepherd Murombedzi then saw fierce effort from distance fly just wide of Stuart Moore’s goal before Brittain had a low attempt blocked by a sliding Brackley defender.
Boateng was having a strong outing in the middle of the park and he went close to extending the Dons' lead on 25 minutes with a curling left-footed shot which Lewis managed to divert wide.
Brackley could have reduced the deficit moments later but Moore came up with a stunning fingertip save to turn Matt Lowe’s effort over the crossbar. They did, however, get on the scoresheet from the resulting corner - Gareth Dean heading in a corner from the left. 1-2.
Immediately from kick-off, the Dons restored their two-goal advantage through Agard. The striker collected a pass from strike partner Jordan Bowery and managed to do enough from a tight angle to send the ball past Lewis and Dean on the line. 1-3.
Tisdale’s men thought they had added a fourth in the closing stages of the first half but George Williams’ effort was adjudged to have not crossed the line. Williams had pounced on a loose ball inside the area after Bowery’s header had crashed against the crossbar.
The starting XI returned for the second half, which started at a much slower tempo to the first although the Dons remained in control of the contest, spraying the ball around and quickly chasing down any loose balls when out of possession.
They made their way off the field on the hour mark and were replaced in their entirety. Brackley Town also made changes, including the introduction of former MK Dons Player of the Year Carl Baker. He delivered an early cross but saw his teammate head wide.
One of the Dons’ replacements, Asonganyi, added to the lead on 71 minutes. The young professional collected a pass in space on the edge of the D and rifled a right-footed shot past Lewis and into the bottom corner. 1-4.
It wasn’t long before his fellow Academy graduate Nombe got in on the act. The young forward met Matthew Sorinola’s corner and found the net with a bullet header from 10 yards. 1-5.
The Dons’ side included eight Academy starlets, including first-year scholar Jack Davies and second-year defender Finn Brennan, who didn’t look out of place alongside the senior pros of Joe Walsh and Joe Mason.
Despite the team's good play, they weren’t able to add to the scoreline. Nevertheless an i ideal way to start the summer pre-season schedule.
Starting XI: Moore (Nicholls 46), Williams (Davies 60), Lewington (Brennan 60), Houghton (Kasumu 60), Poole (Sorinola 60), Martin (Walsh 60), Brittain (Nombe 60), Boateng (Bird 60), Bowery (Asonganyi 60), Agard (Mason 60), McGrandles (Pattison 60)
Unused subs: None
Goals: Houghton (5), Brittain (10), Agard (29), Asonganyi (71), Nombe (73)