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Match Reports

Report: Southend United 1-2 U18s

1 September 2014

MK Dons Under-18s came from behind to beat Southend United on Saturday and pick up their second straight victory.

Mike Dove’s side, on the back of their 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the Youth Alliance Cup, claimed their second three points of the season thanks to goals from Laurence Vaughan and Connor Furlong (pictured).

Despite enjoying some early possession in Essex, the Dons had keeper Andrew McCorkell to thank for keeping the scores at 0-0 on six minutes when he made a strong save. Moments after that stop, Kabongo Tshimanga fired wide with the visitor’s first chance of the afternoon.

In the eighth minute, Aaran Weston fired a long-range shot over the crossbar before McCorkell pulled off a terrific triple stop to prevent the Southend number nine from opening the scoring.

The Dons’ young keeper was then forced into making another save midway through the first half before he was finally beaten by a neat strike into the far corner on 25 minutes.

 Dove’s youngsters could have been forgiven for letting their heads drop but, instead, they reacted well and Ben Tilney went close to an instant equaliser but his shot from Vaughan’s pass was well saved.

First-year scholar Kevin Owusu then had a chance to level just on 32 minutes but his shot from the edge of the area was comfortably gathered by the Shrimpers keeper, before the Dons did find an equaliser, courtesy of a fine first-time effort Vaughan, just before the break.

After the restart, Weston played through Tshimanga but the forward, who has been in good form at the start of this season, appeared to rush his shot and, in the end, fired wide.

Dove then introduced Scotland Under-16 international Furlong in place of Owusu and just ten minutes after that change, the winger put the Dons ahead with a tidy finish inside the box following some good work by Jack Hadden.

Furlong did have an opportunity to double his tally minutes later but, after being played in by Tshimanga, he fired his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

There was still time for the Dons to have one final effort to increase their margin but they were denied by both the crossbar and a Southend defender on the line in stoppage time.

Starting XI (3-4-1-2): McCorkell; Jackson, Hunt, Okito; Vaughan, Wiltshire Weston, Tilney; Hadden (Logan 85 (Omar 88)); Tshimanga, Owusu (Furlong 62).

Subs: Wyant (GK), Thomas-Asante.

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