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Report: U18s 3-1 Northampton Town

29 March 2016

The Under-18s enjoyed a comfortable win over neighbours Northampton Town on Saturday morning.

Strikes from Brandon Thomas-Asante and Connor Furlong, plus a first-half own goal, helped the young Dons to victory in a match played on a wet and blustery day at Woughton on the Green.

The hosts made the breakthrough on 11 minutes, with their first real attack of the match, when a through ball found Thomas-Asante inside the box and, despite being slightly off-balance, he managed to roll the ball into the net. 1-0.

Dove’s side extended doubled their advantage seven minutes later as a ball in from the right was chested back towards the goalkeeper by a Cobblers defender, however the attempted touch back had too much power on it and inadvertently crossed the line, much to the delight of the Dons players. 2-0.

In the 24th minute, the boys from MK1 were given a let-off when the ball found a Northampton Town striker unmarked inside the box but thankfully for the hosts his shot from the 12-yards missed the target.

The young Dons then extended their lead five minutes into the second half with arguably the goal of the morning.

A long ball up-field from defence found right-back Callum Brittain, who passed it infield to Furlong on the right hand edge of the box. The forward controlled the ball and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot into the top left corner, to make his side’s lead a comfortable one. 3-0.

However, Northampton reduced the arrears just a minute later when shot across goal from the edge of the penalty area found a way past Andrew McCorkell and into the left-hand corner of the net. 3-1.

The young Dons had a good chance to restore their three-goal advantage on 62 minutes courtesy of a set piece from 25 yards out which Thomas-Asante sent just a couple of yards over the crossbar.

Sixty second later, Dove’s side were indebted to keeper McCorkell who made a vital double save. His first block was from a low shot and he followed that up with another strong stop after a ball was fired towards goal from a very acute angle.

The young Dons then had a double chance of their own with just two minutes. First, Thomas-Asante crashed a shot against the crossbar before Peter Kioso, on the rebound, had a header cleared off the clean.

Therefore the scoreline remained at 3-1 – a deserved triumph for Dove’s team.

After the match the Director of Youth said: “There were some really good moments of football from us. I felt there was some clever play and good goals - Connor’s goal was particularly outstanding.

“It was interesting because at half-time I felt we weren’t fully in control of the game even though we were 2-0 up. We seemed edgy when they broke, we lost the ball and we were stretched. I felt we were always in a fight.

“At the end of the game we ended up with a few corners against us and although we had a two goal lead if they had got another one back it could have been a bit of a nervy finish.

“Development-wise we have to learn when we dominate play to get more goals so we end up with more comfortable results.”

Starting XI: McCorkell; Brittain (Kioso 85), Hunt (c), Jackson, Hope (Omar 46); Hadden; Osei-Bonsu, Logan, Furlong; Thomas-Asante, Nombe.

Unused subs: Pickworth, Owusu, Kasumu.

Goals: Thomas-Asante (11), O.G. (18), Furlong (51).

Referee: Martyn Cannon.

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