MK Dons Under-18s sailed into the FA Youth Cup Second Round Proper after a convincing 6-0 victory over Hereford United at Edgar Street on Tuesday evening.
Off the back of their first defeat in the Football League Youth Alliance Cup two weeks ago against Northampton Town, Mike Dove’s side were keen to make amends from that defeat against the Herefordshire-club in one of youth football’s most prestigious tournaments.
The Dons, who were knocked out in the opening round of the competition last season by Walsall, made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 to the Cobblers, with Ben Grant and Giorgio Rasulo coming in to replace Kyran Whiltshere and Ben Tilney.
Grant came into midfield to partner Dele Alli, who travelled with the first team to Crawley Town and Scunthorpe United last week, while Rasulo took his place on the right-hand side of a front three.
Dons’ U-18s started brightly and asserted their dominance over a Bulls side that never really had any control on the game.
Dove’s team took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes after a free-kick from Mason Spence cannoned back of the post, which allowed Will Summerfield to follow up and get the visitors off to a perfect start.
The Dons, however, seemed to take their foot off the gas after the early goal and headed into half-time without extended their lead.
Manager Dove was keen to re-iterate to his players at the break that they needed to stick to the game-plan and keep working hard in order to see out the victory.
The talk seemed to work wonders as only three minutes after the re-start the Dons doubled their advantage thanks to Mo Ahmed, who delicately placed a left-footed shot into the near post after cutting inside from the right.
Then, in the 67th minute, the Dons’ academy prospects made it three after some neat footwork from Jon Osae allowed him enough room to pull the trigger and the full-back’s shot was too good for the Hereford ‘keeper.
The Dons’ grip on the contest never looked like letting up and they added a fourth with 15 minutes to go – Mo Ahmed grabbing his second after rounding the ‘keeper.
Not before long it was five, this time Brendan Galloway getting on the scoresheet after he pounced on a rebound from Alli’s free-kick.
The scoring was completed in the 84th minute when Rasulo, who had had a fine game in front of the watchful eye of first team boss Karl Robinson, powered a shot on goal which could only be palmed into the net by the United goalie.
Dove was understandably delighted with his side at the full-time whistle and praised his players for their dominant performance.
Speaking to mkdons.com he said: “We played some outstanding football, dominated the game and I’m very pleased with them all.
“I thought Dele Alli was brilliant along with Mo (Ahmed), Giorgio (Rasulo) and Mason (Spence) but they were all outstanding and now I’m really looking forward to the next round against Stevenage.”
The Under-18s will now host the Boro at stadiummk in the Second Round Proper with a date yet to be confirmed. Mkdons.com will have the latest once a date has been announced, along with ticket details which will follow in due course.
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): Burns; Spence (c) (Weston 86), Hickford, Galloway, Osae; Alli, Grant (Tilney 77); Ahmed; Rasulo, Osei-Addo (Tshimanga 77), Summerfield.
Subs not used: King (GK), Okito.