MK Dons under 18s concluded their Youth Alliance League season with a 6-3 win at home to Dagenham & Redbridge at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday.
In an end-to-end game on a fresh but dry day, a double from Ben Tilney (pictured) plus other goals from Kabongo Tshimanga, Jacob Daffern, Joe Steele and Laurence Vaughan ensured the Dons ended their campaign on a high.
The visitors started on the front foot with goalkeeper Andrew McCorkell, who is on trial with the Dons, forced to block a couple of shots from inside the area.
The Dons soon grew into the game and took the lead on 14 minutes courtesy of a goal gifted by the Daggers defence as they were aiming to clear their lines.
The hosts were proving full value for their lead and the Daggers keeper was forced to tip a couple of good efforts over the bar as the Dons looked to add to their advantage.
And they deservedly doubled their lead on 24 minutes with a good solo goal from right-back Daffern who ran at the defence and hit a shot from just outside the area which went in off the post.
The Dons continued to keep their foot on the accelerator, and made it three-nil on 33 minutes when Tilney tucked in from close range inside the box after good build-up play down the left.
After the break, the pattern continued and the Dons added a fourth goal just three minutes into the second half as Tilney scored his second of the game, finishing well across the face of the keeper after finding himself unmarked with plenty of time and space inside the area.
The game was becoming increasingly stretched and with both teams committed to attacking the goals began to flow. The Daggers pulled one back on 53 minutes when the visitors number seven found himself through one-on-one, rounded Dons keeper McCorkell and finished into an empty net.
The hosts’ four-goal advantage was then restored just four minutes later when midfielder Steele profited after poor handling from the London side’s keeper to make it 5-1.
Straight from the kick-off, though, Dagenham pulled a second goal back when their number 10 slotted the ball past McCorkell after getting round the back of the Dons defence.
The visitors were having their best spell of the game and their number six hit a shot which clattered off the crossbar and reminded the Dons the game was not yet sealed.
Any lingering hopes of a fightback from the Daggers, however, were extinguished when the Dons put the game to bed with a sixth goal eight minutes from time, as Vaughan manoeuvred himself into the box and shot along the ground into the bottom corner of the net to make it 6-2.
The final goal of an entertaining affair came in stoppage time when the Daggers number 10 bundled home from close range but the Dons were full value for a win which brought the curtain down on another successful and exciting season for the under 18s.
After the match Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “We dominated the first half today and I was really pleased with our performance because we had a different look to the team.
“Remy was the only second year, we had Andrew McCorkell on trial in goal who was excellent and overall we had good energy today and finished our chances well.
“In terms of the season as a whole, it was pleasing to finish on the pitch with a win but the best results for me are seeing some of our players stepping up into the first team.
“I think it has been one of our best years here at the academy and it is looking very promising for next year as we have quite a few talented players coming through.”
MK Dons (4-2-1-3): McCorkell; Daffern, Tingey, Forrester (c), Okito; Steele (Hunt 64), Wiltshire; Furlong (Owusu 76); Vaughan, Tilney, Tshimanga.
Subs not used: Taylor, Palmiero.
Goals: Tshimanga 14, Daffern 24, Tilney 33, 48, Steele 57, Vaughan 82.