MK Dons produced a six-goal display in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Norwich City Under-23s on Friday afternoon.
A game played in three 30-minute periods saw the Dons run into an early one-goal lead through Matt Smith before Darragh Burns’ brace and a delightful finish from Conor Grant saw them lead by four at the end of the hour.
Dan Kemp and 15-year-old Callum Tripp were two of the substitutes made at the second interval and they both added goals to seal a positive afternoon’s work for Liam Manning’s men.
Liam Manning’s starting line-up included recent signing Dawson Devoy, making his first appearance in an MK Dons shirt alongside fellow summer arrivals Matt Dennis, Nathan Holland, Conor Grant and Darragh Burns.
MK Dons went close early on through Holland, whose goal-bound effort was blocked by a Norwich defender.
Manning’s men, though, did break the deadlock in style on 13 minutes when Matt Smith finished from the edge of the area after midfield partner Grant had won possession deep in Norwich territory. 0-1.
Youngster Edward Gyamfi almost made it two with an effort with seven minutes to play in the first period but MK Dons had to wait until after the re-start to double their advantage.
First 30-minute period - Norwich City U23 0-1 MK Dons
Four minutes into the second period, the lead was doubled through Burns, who showed terrific pace to get on the end of Holland’s low cross and convert at the back post. 0-2.
Franco Ravizzoli was forced into his first save shortly after the re-start, collecting a tame header from a Canaries free-kick.
Holland, heavily involved in the attacking action, then had a decent shout for a penalty late after the game’s re-start when he was brought down in the area. However, the game’s official opted not to award the MK Dons winger a spot-kick.
With 51 minutes on the clock, Manning’s men extended their advantage through Burns. Latching onto a pass from Smith, the winger showed great feet to work space for a shot before firing a shot underneath the Norwich goalkeeper. 0-3.
Matt Dennis then went close with an acrobatic effort from Devoy’s cross while Holland, again, went close with a drive just wide after he had beaten two Norwich defenders.
It was Grant, though, who would add a fourth prior to the second stoppage of the game. Burns was the provider with an excellent reverse through pass and Grant finished the move off with a six-yard finish past the goalkeeper. 0-4.
Second 30-minute period - Norwich City U23 0-4 MK Dons
Holland went agonisingly close to a deserved goal with a quarter of an hour but, after a great run, his attempt at goal went wide.
He would, however, provide the assist for substitute Kemp to make it five with five minutes remaining - the attacking midfielder collecting Holland’s through ball and beating the goalkeeper with a composed finish. 0-5.
The Dons then rounded off the scoring in stoppage time, as 15-year-old Tripp, from Joel Anker’s lay-off, drilled home a deflected sixth from range. 0-6.
Second 30-minute period - Norwich City U23 0-6 MK Dons
MK Dons: Ravizzoli, Gyamfi, Jules (Ilunga 61), Devoy, Smith (Tripp 61), Burns, Dennis (Kemp 61), Grant (Anker 61), Holland, Tucker (O’Hora 61), Davies.
Subs: Sandford, Watson, McEachran, Johnson, Barry, Lewington, Grigg.
Goals: Smith (13), Burns (34, 51) Grant (60), Kemp (85), Tripp (90)