MK Dons Under-18s concluded their home campaign in the Youth Alliance League with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Northampton Town at Woughton-on-the-Green on Wednesday.
Second half goals from Brendan Galloway and Dele Alli gave the Dons their second victory on home turf in five days following a 6-1 win over Portsmouth at the weekend.
The Dons showed just one change from the match against Pompey on Saturday with Aaran Weston replacing Kyran Wiltshire in central midfield.
The home side started the match on the front foot and Mason Spence almost opened the scoring on four minutes. He showed good control of a through ball, struck it sweetly on the half-volley which forced the Northampton keeper to tip his effort over the bar.
A rampaging run from left-back Jon Osae led to the next chance for the Dons on 17 minutes. He continued his run into the penalty area, and forced the Cobblers keeper to block the shot with his legs.
The visitors then created a rare opening on 20 minutes when a ball into the box led to a shot from Kieran Fitzgerald which went just wide of the right hand post.
Mike Dove’s side were continuing to dominate and on 37 minutes the Northampton keeper blocked Will Summerfield’s shot with his legs.
The best chance of the half for the hosts came just a minute before the break when Spence found himself through one-on-one however he hit his shot at the body of the advancing visitors keeper Ben Heath.
A similar pattern was maintained after half-time with the Dons dominating possession and territory, and continuing to carve out chances.
The hosts were beginning to wonder if the breakthrough would ever come when on 52 minutes they were denied three times in the same move, with Summerfield, Spence and Alli all having shots blocked by a desperate rear-guard action from the visitors.
The Dons then came close once again on 67 minutes when the ball fell at the feet of Kelvin Osei-Addo who diverted it towards goal with the keeper beaten, however on this occasion a Northampton player cleared from in front of the goal line.
The visitors defence was finally breached just two minutes later as the Dons were rewarded with the goal they deserved, when Brendan Galloway finished off a good move from a tight angle.
The hosts then made the game safe with 13 minutes to go at the second time of asking. After Galloway’s shot came back off the post with the keeper beaten the rebounded was convincingly hammered into the net by Alli to seal victory for an utterly dominant Dons side.
After the match, Director of Youth Dove said: “We had a real challenge today as a result of the tactics that Northampton employed with two banks of four.
“Most of the time the ball was in the middle third and their final third. It was a very professional display from the boys, because it would have been easy for them to get frustrated.”
With the Northampton match being the last home game of the season, it allowed Dobe the chance to reflect on the year.
“It has been a very pleasing year,” he said. “It has been a good year for the team and a lot of progress has been made by individuals. Brendan, Dele and Mason have all been on international duty, and some of the players have also had first team opportunities.”
Captain Mason Spence added: “The boys really pulled together today. They showed good courage and spirit and it was nice to get the win.
“We had so many chances and there were times when I wondered if it would ever go in but it did so that was good.
“As usual it has been an up and down season for us with a lot of very good performances, and definitely a lot of positives.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): Burns: Grant (Rasulo 45), Galloway, Hickford, Osae: Alli, Weston (Forrester 45): Spence (capt): Summerfield, Osei-Addo (Tingey 84), Ahmed.
Subs not used: Taylor, Tilney.
Goals: Galloway 69, Alli 77.