Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s struck two late goals to beat Leyton Orient 4-2 at Woughton on the Green on Saturday morning.
In a game full of twists and turns, the Dons led twice through Kelvin Osei-Addo (pictured) and Will Summerfield before being pegged back, however late goals from Dele Alli and substitute Kabongo Tshimanga ensured the Dons ended the calendar year on a high.
Director of Youth Mike Dove made just one change to the side that lost to Aldershot Town last weekend, with Mo Ahmed replacing Kyran Whiltshire in midfield.
The Dons made the first breakthrough on the half-hour mark, with Osei-Addo producing a delightful lob over the advancing O’s keeper Grainger to give the hosts the lead.
The visitors began to pile on the pressure after going behind and it told on the stroke of half-time, when the ball was played in from the right and a visiting player managed to force the ball into the net amidst a mass of bodies.
Despite appeals for handball from the Dons players, the referee allowed the goal to stand leaving the scoreline 1-1 at the interval.
The Dons started strongest in the second half and despite missing some guilt edged chances, they did eventually manage to capitalise on their dominance with Summerfield finally managing to convert after both Giorgio Rasulo and Osei-Addo had been unable to apply the finishing touch to a loose ball inside the box.
However, Dove’s team conceded an equaliser for a second time just five minutes later when Affey Obaflim’s shot from the edge of the area went in off the right hand post to level the scores once again.
The game was increasingly open with both sides having opportunities to score a potentially decisive goal, which could have fallen the visitors way had it not been for a vital clearance off the line from Dons captain Mason Spence on 72 minutes.
A long goal kick from O’s keeper Grainger, was hooked towards goal by Joe Foley, and with Amiel King stranded out of his goal, Spence got back and made a vital intervention.
The Dons were able to take advantage of Spence’s last gasp clearance with ten minutes remaining, when a nice ball across the area was finished in composed and powerful fashion by Dele Alli.
The hosts then made the game safe with three minutes to go when a long goal-kick from King found Spence on the right, whose square ball found substitute Kabongo Tshimanga who finished convincingly to seal the win for Dove’s side.
Afterwards Director of Youth Dove said: “Looking back over the last few matches, one of the things we were focusing on was game management, so knowing where we are in a game, and getting the momentum etc.
“It was disappointing that we conceded late in the first half again after going ahead, and also that we created lots of good chances, particularly early on, which we should have taken.
“Overall, this year has been a good learning experience. At the halfway mark in the season I am very pleased. I have learnt a lot about the players, they are learning, but most importantly it was good to finish the year with a positive performance today.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): King; Spence (c), Galloway, Hickford, Osae; Alli, Ahmed; Rasulo: Summerfield, Tilney, Osei-Addo (Tshimanga 70).
Subs not used: Van Der Schoot, Weston, Whiltshire, Tingey.
Goals: Osei-Addo 30, Summerfield 54, Alli 80, Tshimanga 87