The Under-18s beat Swindon Town 5-3 in an action-packed eight-goal thriller at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday morning.
In a game played in changeable weather conditions, the Dons got off to the best possible start when the Swindon goalkeeper passed the ball straight to Callum Brittain, who had an easy finish from inside the box. 1-0
Three minutes later, the Dons had a great chance to double their lead as the ball came to Brittain on the edge of the box, however his left-footed shot from distance beat the keeper but clipped the crossbar before going away for a goal kick.
The hosts were dominating the match, with Brittain a constant threat, and on 18 minutes they extended their lead after good link-up play between Kyran Wiltshire, Kevin Owusu and Furlong led to the latter's low show finding the corner of the net. 2-0
Two minutes later a rampant Dons side left the visitors shell-shocked by adding a third goal courtesy of a well-struck first-time shot by Hadden from just outside the penalty box. 3-0
The Robins, though, were given a lifeline on 32 minutes as, after the Dons were dispossessed inside their own half, they were awarded a penalty following a foul by Dons keeper Tom Wyant, who was sent the wrong way from the spot. 3-1
However, just six minutes later, the Dons’ three-goal cushion returned in style after they were awarded a free-kick just inside the Swindon half. Centre back Luke Tingey spotted the Swindon keeper off his line before taking the kick and tried his luck with an ambitious curling effort from about 50 yards out, which ended up landing in the back of the net. 4-1
On the hour mark, Swindon, again, reduced the arrears again with a shot from twenty yards. 4-2
The visitors then got another goal back through a close-range shot after an initial effort was blocked on the line by a Dons defender. 4-3
The goal set up a nervy finish but, in the 70th minute, the Dons secured the victory when a goal-kick from Wyant evaded everybody and came through to Furlong who was one-on-one with the Swindon keeper - the first-year scholar showed great maturity and composure to send a lobbed finish over the on-rushing stopper from about twenty yards out. 5-3
After the match, Dons Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “Although we won, I wasn’t happy with the boys at half-time.
“In the first fifteen minutes or so it looked like we would over-run them and I thought we would have to change things so it was more competitive. Then after 25 minutes we sat off and didn’t go with that winning mentality to kill the game off. It was a game that should have been clinched at half-time so I wasn’t happy with the application.
“I had a long chat with them after the game and talked to them about coping with everything that goes on around them and it was a big learning day for them. It doesn’t feel like we won a game today to be honest.”
MK Dons (4-3-3): Wyant; Okito (c), Tingey (Jackson 74), Steele, Tilney; Palmiero (Nombe 71), Hadden, Wiltshire (Osei-Bonsu 64); Furlong, Owusu, Brittain.
Subs not used: Pickworth, Kioso.
Booked: Steele 43.
Goals: Brittain 2, Furlong 18, 70, Hadden 20, Tingey 51.