MK Dons Under-18s picked up their first point of the season on Saturday after drawing 3-3 with Southend United at Woughton on the Green.
Ollie Leach, Tali Jallow and a trialist were on target for the Young Dons who are now on board in their EFL Youth Alliance South East campaign.
Tom Rowley went close early on for the Dons, glancing a header into the arms of the Southend goalkeeper from Jamie Robinson’s cross. The visitors countered and Bobby Unwin drew a save out of George Rose at his near post.
On 15 minutes, Freddy Eastwood saw a low strike deflected wide of Rose’s post. From the resulting corner, John Freeman produced an acrobatic stop to keep out a powerful header from Jimmy Wallace. That led to another corner from which Rose denied Issa Mpenga from point-blank range.
Southend maintained the pressure on goal and, shortly after dealing the corners, Rose was forced to tip over a long-range effort from Mpenga. He then had the crossbar to thank for keeping out Unwin’s header from the resulting set piece.
MK Dons responded from a set-piece of their own which resulted in Rowley getting a header on target - one which was saved by the Shrimpers keeper. At the other end, Rose did well to deny Unwin when one-on-one.
Mpenga and Eastwood tested Rose again before the tie swung the way of MK Dons in the 39th minute. After a break down the left, Joshua Bailey teed up Leach, who fired a left-footed strike past the Southend goalkeeper from 25-yards to give his side the advantage. 1-0.
The Dons maintained that lead into half-time although they almost found themselves pegged back within a minute of the re-start. Fortunately, though, Unwin blazed over from close range.
Rose, who was having an impressive morning, then produced another stunning save to deny Tommy Lambourne before the visitors eventually drew level on 52 minutes courtesy of the half-time substitute - Lambourne tapping in from close range after Rose had parried Eastwood’s attempt. 1-1.
Lambourne doubled his tally three minutes later, turning in a low cross from Unwin who had done brilliantly to work his way into the penalty area down the left side, before Unwin turned scorer to make it 3-1 shortly afterwards.
MK Dons, though, didn’t drop their heads and were soon back in the contest through a trialist, who, from a Finn Brennan cross, showed great composure inside the area to take a touch before finishing past the goalkeeper. 3-2.
Five minutes later and the Dons were level. John Freeman was the provider, threading a pass through to substitute Tali Jallow, who bent a delightful right-foot shot past the outstretched arm of the Southend goalie and into the top corner of the net. 3-3.
Both teams had chances to win it in the final 20 minutes but arguably Southend went closest. However, some last-ditch defending and an excellent late save from Rose ensured the scores finished level and the Dons walked away with their first point of the campaign.