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Kick off 11:00 (UK)

07 January 2023 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 11:00 (UK)

Southend United U18
2 - 3
MK Dons U18
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Match Previews

Preview: Southend United Under-18s

Young Dons return to action…

5 January 2023

MK Dons Under-18s will return to EFL Youth Alliance action following the conclusion of the Christmas break.

John Bitting’s boys prepare to face Southend United at the Boots and Laces Training Ground in their EFL Youth Alliance Group C clash. Currently, MK Dons place fifth within the group, and a win could see them rise to a top-three spot in the table.
The Shrimpers hold seventh position, but just two points separates them and the travelling side. Southend have lost three league games at home out of a possible seven.
However, in the previous meeting between the two sides at the Boots and Laces Training Ground. The Dons netted three and maintained a clean sheet to claim victory, only one other team within the league has managed to prevent Southend United from scoring on their home turf.
Kick-off is scheduled for 10:30am at the Boots and Laces Training Ground.
Five points separate Southend United and third place within the Group C table. Five wins and a draw has accumulated 16 points for the home side, but three consecutive league losses have added to their total of four for the season.
A dip in form wont dishearten Danny Heath’s side as they look to climb up the league table and return to a top three position, which they once occupied.
This season, the two teams have faced each other twice in different cup competitions. John Bitting’s boys knocked the Shrimpers out of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup after a convincing 3-0 victory. A month later, Southend responded with a 3-2 win in the FA Youth Cup, which saw the Dons bow out of the tournament.
In MK Dons’ previous outing before the Christmas break, they faced Northampton Town, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat on the road.
The young Dons have failed to find success in their recent two league matches but will look to abolish that record as they prepare to battle against the Shrimpers.
Southend United participated in FA Youth Cup action before the holidays. The hosts eliminated the Dons from the competition before they progressed into the next round and played Middlesborough Under-18s.
The Championship side’s academy put three past Southend at the Roots Hall Stadium. Their Lead Professional Development Phase Coach Danny Heath commented that ‘the players should be proud of their efforts’ within the tournament.

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Match Reports

Report: Southend United 2-3 MK Dons Under-18s

Young Dons start 2023 off with a victory…

9 January 2023

John Bitting’s boys claimed victory on the road in their first game of 2023 against Southend United.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats, the young Dons claim three points against the Shrimpers. Last Saturday’s success has resulted in MK Dons being three points adrift the top three places within the EFL Youth Alliance Group C table.
Edwin Daffern’s brace and Joshua Adepoju’s composure from the penalty spot secured the win in a tight contest at the Boots & Laces Training Ground.
Both sides had a strong start to the first 45 minutes, but it was John Bitting’s boys who opened the scoring. High pressure from the visitors allowed a quick turn over of possession, the ball then found its way to Ed Daffern, who made no mistake as he blasted a strike into the roof of the net. 0-1
A set-piece routine from the hosts saw the game level, once again. An outswinger delivery located Fiddes, the Southend United player then converted from close-range. 1-1

Both teams were unseparated, and the score-line remained level at 1-1 as they headed into the break.
Seven minutes following the interval, MK Dons were awarded a penalty after Corvell Pickering was fouled in the opposition’s box. Adepoju stepped up to take the set-piece and the young Don made no mistake as he composedly finished the spot-kick past the Shrimpers’ number one. 1-2
The hosts adapted to a more attacking style of play since going behind for the second time during the clash. However, this saw them exposed as the travelling team increased their lead to three.
Callum Tripp glanced up and picked out Daffern in a dangerous area, the forward player then claimed his brace whilst increasing MK Dons’ advantage to 1-3.
Southend were then awarded the second penalty of the match. Fiddes joined Daffern as both players from either side claimed a brace within the first fixture of the new year. 2-3
15 minutes remained after the Blues cut their deficit to one, but the score-line remained unchanged for the rest of the league battle, which meant that the young Dons claimed the spoils and cemented their fourth-place position.
When asked about the first game of 2023, Lead Professional Development Phase Coach John Bitting had this to say “I’m really pleased for the group.
“They’ve trained really hard under different circumstances over the Christmas period, but they were spot on today. Their attitude, grit and determination, as well as the product in the final-third was spot on.”

MK Dons: Stacey, Scholtz, Boyce (Clark-Anderson 84), Bombo (Matthews 65), Stirland, Wood, Adepoju, Tripp, Olaleye (Guzynski 90+1), Daffern, Pickering (Blennerhassett 65)
Subs: Silver
Goals: Daffern 16,60 Adepoju 52

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