MK Dons Under-18s returned to winning ways on Saturday, displaying good character during a hard-fought 2-1 win over Peterborough United.
The Dons took an early lead at Woughton and despite being pegged back midway through the second half, Mike Dove’s side responded well, netting what turned out to be the winner just two minutes after.
The Dons started brightly and opened the scoring after just three minutes when the ball was played across from the the left-hand side by Georgio Rasulo and Kelvin Osei-Addo
The visitors then began to get a feel for the match with the lively Jaanai Gordon and Matthew Sparrow both creating good chances for Posh.
Kelvin Osei-Addo impressed for the Dons with a couple of good first-half chances and he even had the ball in the net inside the first ten minutes, however the referee had blown the whistle earlier in the move and so the goal did not count.
The Dons then suffered a blow on the half-hour mark when goalkeeper Amiel King, on his first start for the Under-18s, got kicked while challenging for the ball inside the box.
Once it became clear King could not continue, and with no replacement keeper on the bench, Dele Alli donned the gloves but was largely untroubled for the rest of the first half.
The visitors began to dominate during the second half and equalised when Gordon, who impressed throughout, finished well after lobbing Alli in the Dons goal.
Moments later, Dove decided to swap goalkeepers, with Kyran Whiltshere having a stint between the sticks and Dele Alli returning to his place in midfield.
The Dons fortunes then changed for the better at the other end, which resulted in a Posh player turning the ball into his own net following a good move, to put the Dons back ahead.
The hosts showed good character and resilience to hold on for the win in a match where the midfield dominated and chances were at a premium.
Afterwards, Director of Youth Mike Dove revealed he was very pleased with his players’ application as they held on for the victory.
He said: “I am very proud of them today. We lost our goalkeeper with an hour still to play and then did really well on some areas we have struggled with such as working hard defensively, recovering and tackling.
“During the last 15 minutes we did exceptionally well, protecting Dele Alli in goal. We showed great character, which is something that we have been talking about for a couple of weeks.
“It was something that this group of players needed to add to their game. It was under adverse conditions today that we suddenly drew it out of them.
“Now they have shown they can do that and added to their technical ability they were just different class at times today.
“I’m pleased for the boys because wins always boost their confidence. I’m more interested in the performance and the longer term aims. It is about development. We set some targets in the changing rooms and we achieved a lot of them today so that is what it is all about.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): King (Wiltshire 30); Grant, Hickford, Galloway, Tilney; Alli, Osae; Tshimanga, Summerfield (Hunt 90), Rasulo (Daffern 87); Osei-Addo.