MK Dons Under-18s returned to winning ways last weekend with an impressive 5-3 victory over Southend United.
Four goals from Kelvin Osei-Addo (pictured) and a first half strike from Kabongo Tshimanga saw the Young Dons come out on top in the eight-goal thriller although Mike Dove’s side did have to survive a late onslaught from the hosts.
The Dons travelled down to Essex on Saturday boosted by the return of trio Brendan Galloway, Charlie Burns and Aaron Weston, all of whom missed the disappointing defeat to Portsmouth last weekend. Dove was also able to move Kyran Wiltshire into his usual position of centre midfield after the first-year scholar was forced to fill in at centre-back against Pompey.
The returning trio seemed to have a positive effect on the Dons, who started the game brightly, going close to opening the deadlock with a number of chances early on.
It was no surprise, then, when they took lead on 7 minutes courtesy of Osei-Addo’s first of the morning. The striker showed great strength to break free of his marker down the right flank before firing a powerful strike past the ‘keeper.
The Young Dons continued to dominate possession after the goal, keen to extend their slender cushion, and they went close on several occasions with Kabongo Tshimanga and Will Summerfield both missing chances.
The former then had a great opportunity to double the visitors lead from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the Southend box, however the first-year failed to beat the United goalie with his 12-yard strike.
Tshimanga, though, finally got his first goal of the season just before the break when he reacted the quickest to an initial blocked effort to slot home from 6 yards.
The half-time interval didn’t seem to affect the Dons as they continued to dominate the second half and they all-but made sure of the points on 64 minutes when Osei-Addo, after being played through by a fantastic ball from Weston, rounded the Southend ‘keeper and finished into an empty net.
Defender Luke Tingey then went close to a fourth with a terrific 30-yard drive before Osei-Addo completed his hat-trick with a near post finish after cutting in from the right.
Despite the scoreline, Southend United continued to work hard and they were rewarded with two goals in the space of a minute – the first coming courtesy of a long-range effort from their left winger which sailed over the head of Burns and the second due to a lack of concentration at the back from the visitors.
Any hopes of a dramatic comeback, though, were dashed three minutes into injury time when Osei-Addo netted his fourth in similar to fashion to his previous strike.
Southend did add a very late consolation with the final kick of the match after Kyran Wiltshire was adjudged to have fouled a Shrimpers striker in the box but it wasn’t enough to effect a result which delighted Director of Youth Dove.
Speaking after the game, he said: “We needed to bounce back from last week and the players did that, they played some magnificent football for most of the game.
“We dominated the first half and we were really positive going forward, creating chances and scoring two goals. We had 60 percent of our shots on target and Will (Summerfield) on his own made 102 passes.
“We were disappointed with conceding the three goals and we should have won by a lot more because of the chances we’ve had. Still, it was a great response from the week before.”
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Burns; Daffern (Okito 80), Tingey, Galloway, Osae; Wiltshire, Weston; Summerfield; Tilney (Vaughan 80), Tshimanga, Osei-Addo.
Taylor (GK), Hugo, Collinge.Subs: