John Bitting’s boys triumphed over Brentford to claim their first three points within the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League Two division.
MK Dons Under-18s fourth Merit League Two fixture saw victory for the first time since their placement within the division. The young Dons returned to Woughton on the Green Playing Fields with the mission to put right the wrongs in their previous defeat to Exeter City.
Inevitably, this match would prove a great success for the home side, who claimed three points within their search for redemption.
A sharp start from MK Dons saw a spell of possession within their favour whilst they contained most of the action within the travelling team’s final-third. The home side were on top during the opening stages, which saw Adepoju’s effort crash off the outside of the post just five minutes following the starting whistle.
Minutes after Adepoju’s near-miss, Ed Daffern then opened the scoring as he latched onto a ball in the box before the number ten fired his attempt into the top-right corner of the net. 1-0
MK Dons made great use of the authority they posed during the early events of the tie, which ultimately allowed an onslaught of pressure to break down Brentford’s defence. This time, Tommy Blennerhassett was the goal-scorer, the striker swiftly doubled the Dons’ lead on the 15-minute mark. 2-0
The confidence gained from two quick goals had only furthered the home side’s momentum. 25 Minutes had passed, yet the majority of the action remained in the travelling team’s half.
Jediah Bombo threatened a third, but his long-range strike was well-matched by Brentford’s Goalkeeper.
30 Minutes following the start of the fixture, MK Dons were awarded a penalty soon after the Bee’s defender mishandled the ball inside the box. Joshua Adepoju stepped up to the spot and the forward didn’t allow the pressure to faze him as he located the bottom-left corner with a well-place spot-kick. 3-0
No further goals were created within the first half after Adepoju increased the home side’s advantage to three. Although, a strong display from the whole team limited Brentford to minimal chances.
Soon after the restart, the game saw a complete turnaround from the opening exchanges within the first 45-minute stage. The travelling team had come out the blocks strong and sought to respond to their heavy set-back.
Four minutes following the start of the second half, Brentford had converted their first clear opportunity at goal. A one-on-one chance was placed past Ronnie Sandford, who was hardly called to action prior to this chance. 3-1
This goal seemed to enlighten Brentford as the visitors found a foothold within the game. Five minutes prior to the hour-mark, the Bees scored their second. 3-2
The second goal from the visitors could’ve applied immense pressure on John Bitting’s boys, who now sought to defend their lead.
Although they now only held a one-goal advantage, MK Dons kept their composure and remained cool when faced with near adversity. A cool-headed display was soon complimented by Joel Anker, who scored the fourth goal for the Dons. 4-2
This allowed plenty of breathing room for the home side, who sought to see out the rest of the clash to award themselves with their first Merit League Two win.
The action didn’t conclude there. Within the last kick of the game, Ed Daffern claimed his brace through Ronnie Sandford’s assist. The MK Dons Goalkeeper located Daffern in-behind Brentford’s defence, which made it easy for the number ten to curl the ball into the back of the net to restore the home side’s original three-goal lead. 5-2
A strong display from John Bitting’s boys rewarded them with their first EFL Youth Alliance Merit League Two success, which they will look to build upon in their upcoming match against Forest Green Rovers.
MK Dons: Sandford, Scholtz, Boyce (Clark-Anderson 78), Tripp, Mann (Wood 57), Anderson, Bombo, Anker (Silver 75), Blennerhassett (Troso 75), Daffern, Adepoju
Goals: Daffern 10, 90 Blennerhassett 15, Adepoju 30, Anker 65