MK Dons Under-18s made it five league wins in a row as they beat Watford 5-4 at Woughton on the Green on Saturday morning.
In what was a topsy-turvy affair, the Dons at one stage found themselves 2-0 down but second-half goals from Ben Tilney, captain Mason Spence, Remy Forrester (pictured) and a brace from Dele Alli saw the Dons complete a second successive turnaround victory.
The visitors took the lead just five minutes into the match when Hornets forward Alex Jakubiak ran at the home defence and finished into the corner, giving the helpless Dons keeper Charlie Burns no chance.
The Dons struggled to get into the game during for much of the first half, and were indebted to Burns who produced several good saves, including two from one-on-one situations.
The hosts did manage to conjure a couple of good chances before half-time, with Brendan Galloway squandering two good opportunities before Tilney was denied by the legs of visiting keeper Berti Schotterl after he had parried an effort from Giorgio Rasulo.
Despite finishing the first half strongly, the Dons were dealt a blow just a minute after the restart when they were caught out at the back by a through ball which was slotted into the net by Kurtis Cumberbatch to give Watford a 2-0 lead.
This Dons needed to react in order to hold onto their impressive run and they duly responded just two minutes later when a ball played in from the right was finished low into the net by Tilney.
Mike Dove’s side began to dominate the game following the goal and they deservedly found an equaliser on 65 minutes when substitute Alli finished well after the Watford defence failed to clear a loose ball.
Things then got even better for the Dons as they took the lead when a ball into the area deflected off Spence and fell for the impressive Alli, who scored his second in three minutes with a shot which went in off the post.
The hosts then doubled their advantage with just under 20 minutes left with a brilliant solo strike from skipper Spence. After picking up the ball on the right, he left two visiting players trailing in his wake with some neat movement, before lashing the ball across the visiting keeper and into the back of the net.
The boys from MK1 then made it 5-2 with a goal that delighted the on-looking Dons staff and supporters. Substitute Forrester, who had only recently returned from a lengthy injury lay-off picked up the ball on the edge of the D and unleashed an effort which looped brilliantly into the net out of reach of the helpless Hornets keeper.
The Dons were full value for their three goal advantage and were playing some excellent football and showing a clinical edge with their finishing, however Watford were able to pull a goal back with four minutes to go, when substitute Dennon Lewis finished from inside the area before Bobson Bawling reduced the deficit further in stoppage time after a corner from the left.
The Dons though held on for a much-celebrated and thoroughly deserved victory, which extends their unbeaten run in the league to five games.
Afterwards Director of Youth Dove said: “I was very pleased for the boys today. It is a fantastic run for us in the league. I take my hat off to them, we played really well today and beat a team near the top of the table.
“We played some great football in the second half after we went two down, and it was really pleasing that the lads stuck to our academy philosophy. A lot of these boys have grown up through the academy so they have a great team spirit.”
Dove added he was particularly pleased for Dele Alli, who scored a brace after coming off the bench at the break, saying: “Dele has been away with the first team over Christmas and he was then out injured for a couple of weeks.
“It was tough for him having to bide his time on the bench. I told him that he had to go out and prove himself on the pitch and all credit to him, he did just that. I thought he made the difference in the second half.
“I was pleased for Mason that he scored and more importantly for Remy. It was a great strike by him, and considering he has been out for a long time with an injury, it was fantastic that he was back among the goals today.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): Burns; Spence (c), Galloway, Tingey, Osae; Wiltshire, Ahmed; Rasulo (Alli 45); Grant (Forrester 68), Tilney, Tshimanga.
Subs not used: King (GK), Weston, Osei-Addo.
Tilney 48, Alli 65, 68, Spence 71, Forrester 88.Goals: