MK Dons Under-18s travelled to Gillingham for an EFL Youth Alliance League fixture, which resulted 2-0 in favour of the hosts.
Heading into this fixture, the Gills were in great form having not lost within 90 minutes in their previous five fixtures. The only defeat they received within those recent games was due to a penalty shootout against Cambridge United in the cup.
MK Dons had a slow start to the fixture and were unable to implement their play within the opening stages of the match. This later punished John Bitting’s side.
Gillingham were awarded a corner in the latter stages of the first 45 minutes. The hosts capitalised on the Dons’ failure to clear the ball and pounced on the opportunity to gain the advantage before the break, despite having multiple shots blocked prior to their goal.
Contrast to the first half, MK Dons came out stronger within the second stage of play and gained control of the game. This allowed the travelling team to dominate their opponent as they attempted to find a way back into the match.
John Bitting’s boys created a lot of problems for Gillingham, but they were unable to finish the chances they had created in the home side’s final-third.
As the game entered the final minutes, the Gills then replicated their first goal to double their lead. Another corner-kick that found its way into the Dons’ net. Although a much improved second half performance, the young Dons were unable to claim a result on the road.
John Bitting’s thoughts
The Under-18s Head-Coach shared his post-match thoughts. After the defeat, Bitting had this to say “It’s disappointing to concede from two separate set-pieces.
“We started the game off slow and there was a lot to work on in the first half, but the boys put on a dominant display within the second 45 minutes. It’s just those small parts the boys need to learn, that you need to be clinical in both halves of the game.
“I’m disappointed in the result, but there are some positives that were shown after the break, especially with a few of the boys returning to the team after injury.”
MK Dons: Stacey, Scholtz, Lucas, Anderson, Wood, Waller, Tripp, Bombo, Blennerhassett, Anker, Adepoju
Subs: Pickering, Kelly, Boyce, Daffern, Olaleye