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U18s reach Youth Alliance Cup final

24 February 2015

The Under-18s booked their place in the Football League Youth Alliance Cup southern final with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Stevenage.

Mike Dove’s side, who beat Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon en route to the semis, played out a 1-1 draw with the Boro on Tuesday lunchtime before winning the contest on spot kicks – Luke Tingey (pictured) netting the winning penalty.

In what was, for some of the players, their fifth game in just 10 days, the young Dons made a slow start and they fell behind in the 41st minute when Ryan Johnson headed home a cross following a recycled corner.

Dove’s boys performed better after the break, however, and they were eventually rewarded with an equaliser in the 87rd minute – free-scoring Kabongo Tshimanga the man getting it, stabbing home after a scrap in the Boro box.

With the scores tied after 90 minutes, the game went straight to penalties. The Dons missed their first spot-kick but finishes from Aaran Weston, Laurence Vaughan, Kyran Wiltshire and Tshimanga, as well as an Andrew McCorkell save, ensured sudden death.

Defender Tingey then held his nerve to fire the Dons’ sixth penalty into the top corner - one which proved to be the match winner when Dipo Akinyem sent his effort from 12-yards sailing over the crossbar.

The Dons will face either Cheltenham Town or Watford in the southern final – date TBC.

MK Dons (4-1-2-3): McCorkell; Hunt, Tingey (c), Steele, Jackson (Daffern); Palmiero (Owusu); Wiltshire, Weston; Brittain (Hadden), Tshimanga, Vaughan.

Subs not used: Wyant (GK), Furlong.

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