Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s ended their 2015 home campaign with a 2-0 victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the Youth Alliance League at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday morning.
The Dons first chance came in the opening minute as a good passing move led to striker Sam Nombe having a shooting opportunity from a tight angle, which he could only put into the side netting.
Nombe turned provider for the hosts’ next clear scoring opportunity on 16 minutes when he crossed the ball from the right, however captain Adam Hunt’s diving header went just over the crossbar.
The breakthrough came for the Dons in the 20th minute as a good turn and cross from the lively Nombe found Thomas-Asante who stroked the ball into the bottom right hand corner from five yards out.
The Dons were indebted to their keeper Tom Wyant for maintaining their lead on the half-hour mark, as he tipped a shot from the penalty spot wide while at full stretch as he showed impressive reflexes in denying a certain goal.
The keeper had to be at his best again a couple of minutes later as he produced another vital save from point blank range after a spot of penalty box pinball, which enabled the Dons to take their lead into half-time.
On a grey and damp day, the Dons mood brightened as they doubled their lead five minutes into the second half thanks to some quick thinking from forward Thomas-Asante.
The number eight won a free-kick and showed good alertness in taking the set piece quickly, and after receiving the return ball, he curled a low shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The Dons then had an unlikely opportunity as they were given an indirect free-kick in the 63rd minute following a pass-back from a Dagenham player to his keeper.
With the set-piece awarded just a few feet out and slightly to the right of the net, the ball was passed backwards to a yellow shirt who from a few feet inside the box blasted the shot at goal, however the effort was blocked by the Daggers, who lined a wall up across the goal-line.
Two minutes later, the Dons were given a let-off as a free-kick forward was spilled by keeper Wyant and fell to a Dagenham player whose prod towards goal flicked off the right hand post before going away to safety.
The hosts saw the match out and ended their home 2015 fixtures with a deserved win against a Daggers side sporting training bibs due to a clash of kit colour.
After the match Dons Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “I felt we dominated the first 10 to 15 minutes and we should have been two or three goals up. We had a lot of play in the first half and we spoke at half-time about improving the quality of our finishing.
“We got a second goal early in the second half and I hoped we would build on it but we continued to make hard work of things.
“We got a clean sheet but with due respect to our opponent I felt we could and should have got more goals to represent the good work we did.
“I picked out our goalkeeper Tom Wyant in the team talk after the match because he made a fantastic left-handed save in the first half to deny a shot that was definitely going in. He made another good save in the first half and some more in the second and he was also very calm on the ball.”
Speaking about Thomas-Asante’s second goal Dove added: “I was about to have a go at him because he took three or four touches and I felt he should have passed the ball on.
“He got his free-kick, got up, took it quickly and that was bright play. We ask the players to do that and that was excellent and he got his reward for it.”
MK Dons (4-1-2-1-2): Wyant: Brittain (Kioso h-t), Omar, Jackson, Stratton (Owusu 80): Osei-Bonsu: Haddon-Becker, Hunt (captain): Logan: Thomas-Asante, Nombe.
Subs not used: McCorkell, Steele, Furlong.
Goals: Thomas-Asante 20, 50.
Referee: Conor Griffin.