MK Dons Under-18s earned a hard fought draw against Peterborough United in their first home match of 2014 on Saturday.
The Dons made three changes to the side that were last in league action, with Wim Van Der Schoot, Will Summerfield and Laurence Vaughan replacing Charlie Burns, Danny Collinge and Remy Forrester.
In a highly competitive match with chances at a premium throughout, it was the visitors who created more opportunities during the first period.
The Dons suffered a real scare on 20 minutes when a free-kick from a Peterborough player hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Van Der Schoot left helpless. The rebound fell to a Posh player, who was unable to get the ball out from under his feet, allowing the hosts to clear the danger.
Dove’s side created their best chance of the first half three minutes later when good interplay between Kabongo Tshimanga and Kyran Wiltshire saw the latter hit a low shot which skimmed the outside of the post.
The rebound came out to Tshimanga who was unable to get his shot away after what appeared to be a push in the back, however the referee waved away the Dons’ penalty claims.
After half-time the match followed a similar pattern, with the majority of play contested in midfield and clear sights at either team’s goal very limited.
Four minutes into the second half Dons ‘keeper Van Der Schoot had to be at his best, as he stood firm to deny a Peterborough player who managed to get a clear sight on goal.
Defender Jacob Daffern then followed up by clearing the ball away from in front of the line, after it had looped dangerously in the air towards goal following the keeper’s intervention.
The Dons had another escape on 57 minutes when a Posh free-kick into the box was not cleared initially, and a Peterborough player struck the ball firmly into the net however the goal was ruled out as he was judged to be offside.
However, despite the Cambridgeshire side finishing the match the stronger, the hosts were able to hold out for a well-deserved share of the spoils in a match that proved to be something of a contrast to the reverse fixture earlier this season which ended 4-4.
After the match, Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “We always have good games with Peterborough, but today was not the prettiest match by any means.
“I think that was partly down to the pitch which did cut up quite a bit. I was pleased with the boys attitude and the fact that they tried to stick to our philosophy.
“We had limited numbers of apprentices available today for various reasons so it was a good chance to give some of the younger players a run-out. I decided to try Callum (Brittain) in the second half and I thought he did very well against good opponents.
“Overall, I was pleased we managed to get the game played today and I thought a draw was a fair result for both sides.”
MK Dons (4-1-2-3): Van Der Schoot; Daffern, Hickford (c), Tingey, Okito (Forrester 46); Summerfield; Wiltshire (Brittain 60), Tilney; Vaughan, Osei-Addo, Tshimanga.
Subs not used: Taylor (GK), Steele, Palmiero.