Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s claimed a hard-earned victory in the Youth Alliance Cup as they beat Leyton Orient 1-0 on Saturday morning.
Will Summerfield’s well-taken goal five minutes into the second half proved the difference between the two sides as the Dons claimed their second victory in the competition.
The Dons made three changes to the side that lost to Colchester United at home in the league last weekend.
Ben Taylor was replaced in goal by Charlie Burns; other changes saw Brendan Galloway and Laurence Vaughan replace Luke Tingey and Kabongo Tshimanga respectively.
In an even first half, chances were limited, and although the Dons dominated possession and put together some smart moves, they broke down in and around the penalty area meaning the visitors ‘keeper was rarely tested.
The O’s posed slightly more of a threat in the first period, with Burns forced to twice parry away shots which were on target.
The hosts started the second half on the front foot and took the lead in the 50th minute.
Summerfield ran down the left side of midfield and after finding himself in space around 20-yards out, he unleashed a left-footed shot along the ground which nestled beautifully into the right corner of the net.
Buoyed by the goal, the Dons continued to press forward and three minutes later a shot from Ben Tilney forced the O’s keeper into action, and although the follow-up came out to Vaughan he couldn’t adjust quickly enough to direct the rebound towards goal.
In what was continuing to be a tight game, the Dons had a good chance to double their lead on 73 minutes. Aaran Weston opted to take a free-kick from 20-yards out and his shot which was heading for the right corner was tipped away by the O’s keeper.
The hosts were then indebted to goalkeeper Burns who was called into action in stoppage time to preserve their advantage.
The O’s number 10 managed to get a good header in on goal, and with the ball heading for the top-left corner Burns, at full stretch, clawed the effort away to allow the Dons to hold on and claim a 1-0 win.
After the match Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “It was a very creative performance from the players today. We worked hard throughout the game and produced a very mature display.
“This was a game that we had to win to give ourselves any chance of progressing further in this competition and I felt we managed the game very well. In the first half, we had a lot of good build-up play up until the final third, but then the moves kept on breaking down.
“Unfortunately, I missed the goal because I had turned around to talk to one of the substitutes, but apparently it was very well taken so I am looking forward to seeing it on the video at some point!”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): Burns: Grant, Galloway, Hickford (capt), Okito: Weston, Wiltshire: Summerfield: Vaughan, Tilney, Osei-Addo (Tshimanga 59).
Subs not used: Taylor, Tingey.
Goal: Summerfield (50)