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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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18 February 2019 Venue Central League South Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

Milton Keynes Dons
2 - 3
Southend United
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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons Under-23s 2-3 Southend United Under-23s

MK Dons Under-23s suffer defeat in the league for the first time hthis

18 February 2019

MK Dons Under-23s were defeated 3-2 by their Southend United counterparts on Monday afternoon in a frantic encounter.

A number of first-team players were handed minutes in Monday's Central Development League encounter with Southend United, with Lee Nicholls donning the gloves between the sticks.

Mitch Hancox and Mathieu Baudry were handed starts in defence, with Finn Tapp and David Kasumu completing the back line.

Further forward, Jordan Houghton, Lawson D'Ath, Ryan Watson and Ryan Harley featured in midfield with Robbie Simpson and Stephen Walker up top.

The early pressure came from Southend United, after a spell of possession in the MK Dons half, the visitors had three corners cleared.

The third was cleared by Jordan Houghton and put Edu Rubio's side on the counter. It was Houghton's clearance that found the run of Stephen Walker. Having held up play well, Walker floated a cross towards the run of Simpson, he knocked down into the path of D'Ath before Smith saved.

Finn Tapp showed his defensive abilities as he held off Norman Wabo before blocking from the Southend's strikers shot.

Hutchinson then tried his luck from the edge of the box, only for his effort to be saved by Nicholls.

Houghton, who was controlling the tempo in midfield, picked out the run of Walker, who displayed pace to beat his marker before seeing his left-footed strike saved by Smith.

With 12-minutes on the clock, Southend had their best chance of the game courtesy of a free-kick from just outside the box. Tom Clifford was the man to take and despite slipping as he made connection, Clifford's attempt cannoned off the bar before Kasumu cleared.

Wabo was next to go close for Southend, he was denied by Nicholls at close-range, the offside flag, however, was raised.

MK Dons came close to opening the scoreline and it came after a patient spell of possession. Houghton found the run of Simpson who headed into the path of D'Ath, however, play was recalled as D'Ath shot for offside.

Moments before half-time, Southend took the lead through Charlie Kelmen. The Southend striker found himself with space just outside the box and found the far corner to give Southend the advantage at the break. 0-1.

It took until the 53rd-minute for the first chance of the Second-Half, and it was an attempt that drew the home side level. After Asonganyi pressured Ted Smith, the Southend keeper rushed his clearance and could only clear as far as Harley, who was stood 35-yards from goal. Harley composed himself and volleyed home into the back of the net displaying wonderful technique in the process. 1-1.

On the 55th-minute, Southend retook the lead, just two minutes after Rubio's side drew level. Wabo created it all himself with the Southend striker finding the bottom corner after some tidy footwork inside the box. 1-2.

The Dons thought they were level after a matter of minutes. Walker displayed his electric pace to beat Clifford before picking out Asonganyi with his cross. The striker volleyed home from 8-yards out, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Just two minutes later, Rubio's side were back level through Walker. He found himself inside the box, and after a drop of the shoulder, Walker struck past Smith and into the back of the net. 2-2.

The 10-minutes of madness weren't done just yet as Southend retook the lead with 65-minutes on the clock. Batlokwa drove Southend forward on the right - before he found the run of Kelman - the Southend striker tapped home for his second of the afternoon. 2-3.

With time ticking away, Asonganyi almost equalised in stunning fashion. D'Ath played a perfect ball over the top and after beating Sam Knock for pace, his dipping half-volley was saved by Smith.

Minutes later, Sorinola's dangerous cross just missed Asonganyi and Walker. 

MK Dons Starting XI: Nicholls, Kasumu, Hancox, Houghton (Wright, 85), Baudry (Sorinola, 60), Tapp, Walker, Watson, Simpson (Asonganyi, 46), Harley (Bird, 60), D'Ath.

Unused Subs: Jones.

Booked: Hancox, Kasumu.

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