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Report: U18s beaten in thriller

26 January 2015

Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s endured a tough day at the office as they lost 6-3 against Peterborough United at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts took an early lead through Giorgio Rasulo (pictured) in an eventful match, and despite being level for 25 minutes courtesy of a Kabongo Tshimanga penalty, they fell behind again.

They did fight back through Ben Tilney, but it ultimately proved in vain as the Dons fell to only their second home loss this season.

The Dons showed two changes from the side that won at home to Luton a fortnight ago with Andrew McCorkell replacing Tom Wyant in goal and Joe Steele coming in for Jacob Daffern in defence.

In a match in which the kick-off was put back 90 minutes the day before the game to try and reduce any risk of the fixture being postponed because of a frozen pitch, the Dons took the lead two minutes in after Rasulo’s low shot from the edge of the box beat the Posh keeper, who appeared slightly unsighted.

The advantage only lasted four minutes as Posh made it 1-1 when a cross from the right was headed in by their captain from around the penalty spot.

The visitors struck the front on 10 minutes from a set-piece as a ball across the field found their number 10, who held off his marker and hit a shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-1.

The goal-fest continued on 12 minutes when the hosts were awarded a penalty after Tshimanga was brought down by the Peterborough keeper, who was subsequently booked.

Tshimanga, one of three players in the side to have signed a professional contract with the Dons, stepped up and beat the keeper again as he sent him the wrong way and put the penalty low into the right corner to make it 2-2.

After a relative lull in the action, it was the visitors who re-took the lead on 37 minutes as a corner from the right rebounded off a Dons player inside the box before falling to a Peterborough shirt, who lashed the ball into the net to make it 3-2 to the side from Cambridgeshire.

Things got tougher for the Dons as they conceded again just a minute before the break when the Posh number 9 got in behind the home side’s defence, before he finished in composed fashion into the bottom right hand corner to extend the visitors lead to 4-2 at the interval.

The goals kept coming after the break as the Dons gave themselves a way back into the contest on 50 minutes. After good passing in midfield the ball into the box landed at the feet of Tilney, whose first time shot went into the net to reduce the arrears to 4-3.

The visitors continued to look the stronger side and extended their lead to 5-3 on 70 minutes after being awarded a penalty, which was slotted into the bottom right hand corner and out of the reach of Dons keeper McCorkell, who guessed the right way but could not get a hand to the ball.

The final goal of an eventful match came on 76 minutes when from a set-piece on the left the ball came to a Peterborough player who fizzed a right-footed shot, which appeared to move in the air, into the top right corner of the goal to make it 6-3.

It concluded a challenging afternoon for the Dons, who struggled to impose themselves against a physical and organised Peterborough side who were too good for them on the day.

After the match, MK Dons Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “We always have high scoring games against Peterborough and today was no exception as there were four goals inside the opening 13 minutes!

“I was frustrated with the boys, they were a bit flat today. I thought Peterborough were up for it, they bullied us and worked hard and I can’t argue with the result.

“They scored from three set-pieces which was disappointing and something we need to look at. I changed the shape after half-time because I wanted us to play with more width and I thought we had some success with that but overall I was disappointed with today.”

MK Dons (3-1-4-1-1): McCorkell: Hunt, Tingey (capt), Steele (Brittain 74): Hadden: Vaughan, Weston, Wiltshire, Tilney: Rasulo: Tshimanga.

Subs not used: Wyant, Palmiero, Owusu.

Goals: Rasulo 2, Tshimanga 12 pen, Tilney 50.

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