MK Dons Under-18s bounced back from their defeat last weekend with a reasonably comfortable 2-1 victory over Northampton Town.
A first half goal from Kelvin Osei-Addo, along with an own goal, put the Dons well on course for their fourth win of the season, although the hosts did set up a nervy finish with a late rally. Mike Dove’s side finished the game with over 70 percent of possession and a pass completion rate of 90 percent from over 570 attempted passes.
Boosted by the return of head apprentice Harry Hickford from injury and Brendan Galloway from first-team commitments, the Young Dons started brightly in Northamptonshire and they could have gone ahead inside five minutes had Osei-Addo converted his early chance.
The Cobblers, clearly aware of the threat posed by the Dons, sat back throughout most of the game and made it difficult for the Dons to break them down with, at times, a nine man defensive line.
Dove’s boys, though, kept patient and they were rewarded on the quarter hour mark when Galloway drove into the Northampton box and played a fierce ball across goal which was deflected off a helpless defender into the net, to give the visitors the lead.
Keen to make the most of their early dominance by killing the game off, the Dons went in search of a second goal which came courtesy of Osei-Addo ten minutes later.
After some good play out from the back by the Dons, Jacob Daffern picked out the in-form striker with a superb cross and he cooly slotted home, first time, to make it seven goals for the season already for the second-year scholar.
A touch of complacency then set in as the Cobblers, against the run of play, pulled a goal back direct from a free-kick after Galloway had committed his second foul in quick succession.
Rasulo had several good chances to add to his tally for the year either side of half-time but saw both his free-kick and close-range effort fly off target.
With the hosts sniffing out a chance of a point as the game drew to a close, it all became a little heated on the pitch with both sets of players losing their discipline both before and after the final whistle.
Director of Youth Dove, though, was pleased with the resilience shown by his players who dealt extremely well with their stubborn opponents. He told mkdons.com: “The big developmental thing for me is that the players will understand there are teams which will make it difficult and will be tough to break down.
“We should have taken our chances in the first half to make it more comfortable at the end. However the boys showed great personal resilience and they remained calm and dealt with their stubborn opponents well, remain calm, away from home.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): Burns; Daffern, Hickford (c) (Tingey 60), Galloway, Okito; Wiltshire, Weston; Summerfield; Tshimanga (Vaughan 70), Rasulo, Osei-Addo (Tilney 70).
Subs not used: Taylor (GK), Collinge.