MK Dons Under-18s began 2014 with a frustrating 3-1 defeat to Barnet on Saturday afternoon.
Mike Dove’s side travelled to North London this past weekend having not played since the middle of December due to the Christmas break and, more recently, postponements due to the recent wet weather.
The young Dons side, which included the likes of Charlie Burns, Harry Hickford, Remy Forrester and England Under-16s international Danny Collinge, were hoping to bounce back from a run of six games without a win but, in truth, they never really got going.
Following a flat first-half in which the closest either side came to scoring was from a long-range effort from Barnet which flew harmlessly wide of the post, the Dons fell behind courtesy of a well-taken penalty from the hosts.
Five minutes after the re-start, the Barnet midfield were able to win possession from a long ball forward from goalkeeper Burns and after a quick break forward the hosts earned themselves the spot-kick, which they duly dispatched to break the deadlock.
Then, just passed the hour mark, Burns struggled to control a back-pass on the difficult playing surface and the Bees strike-force were able to pounce and double the advantage.
The Dons, to their credit, responded and with 15 minutes remaining they were able to pull a goal back thanks to Kelvin Osei-Addo’s 14th goal of the season.
After some quick feet from Ben Tilney in the middle of the park, the ball found its way to Osei-Addo, who took a couple of touches before beating the Barnet ‘keeper from the edge of the area.
But any hopes of a late comeback vanished in stoppage time when the Dons lost possession in their own half and conceded for a third time.
The result means the Dons’ wait for a competitive win goes on and after the game Director of Youth Mike Dove admitted he was very frustrated with the sloppy performance.
He said: “It was very frustrating. I was surprised with our lack of enthusiasm given that it was our first game back since Christmas.
“We did have our moments but overall our pass competition was low and our loss of possession stats were a lot higher than usual. Credit must go to Barnet, though, for their attitude and commitment.
“Hopefully we’ll have a chance bounce back and improve at home to Northampton on Saturday, weather permitting.”
MK Dons Under-18s (4-2-1-3): Burns; Daffern, Hickford (c), Collinge, Forrester (Weston 46); Wiltshire, Tingey; Tilney; Osei-Addo, Tshimanga, Okito.
Subs: Taylor (GK), Steele, Hunt, Owusu.
Goals: Osei-Addo 75