Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s lost 3-1 to Leyton Orient in their latest Youth Alliance League match at a wet Woughton-on-the-Green on Sunday morning.
The visitors started on the front foot and Dons keeper Nathan Pickworth was forced to parry a shot from close range in the seventh minute as Orient created the first chance of the game.
Against organised and disciplined opponents, the Dons struggled to break the visitors down and create clear chances, with moves either breaking down and shots being comfortable saves for the keeper or not threatening the target.
The visitors deservedly took the lead in the 38th minute when an O’s player received the ball on the edge of the area and hit a left-footed shot low into the net.
The Dons were given a let-off 10 minutes into the second half when a cross-cum-shot from the left hand side by an Orient player hit the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
With 20 minutes remaining, the visitors doubled their advantage when a cross from the right hand side was headed in from close range at the back post.
The Dons created their best chance of the match so far in the 77th minute when a cross from the right was missed by a stretching Nombe before it landed at the feet of substitute Dylan Asonganyi, who saw his effort blocked by the legs of the Orient keeper.
Four minutes later, the hosts reduced their arrears as an ambitious effort from around 30 yards out by Nombe took a deflection off an Orient player before looping over the keeper and bouncing in off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
With the hosts pressing for a leveller, Orient kept hold of the ball inside their own half before working it upfield where an O’s player had a shot from distance which went into the left hand corner of the net.
After the match, Dons' head of academy coaching Edu Rubio, said: “I thought Leyton Orient were the best team we have played this season by far. Their team were tactically and technically very good and I thought our boys lacked energy and pace in the first half.
“It was difficult for us to match their energy and pace in the second half. They were difficult to break down. We had issues playing out from the back, our rotation in midfield was poor and we had too many players in the defensive third.
“We should have been more creative and played with more brains so we could have been a bit more unexpected in our movements, however, to do that we needed to give ourselves a chance in the game.
“We haven’t found consistency this season and that is what I am trying to find. That is the difference between a good group of players and a group of players full of professional athletes.”
MK Dons (4-3-3): Pickworth: Kioso, Stratton (Hope 60), Kasumu, Jackson: Omar, Evans (Asonganyi 45), Osei-Bonsu: Nombe, Logan (capt), Bell (Wright 67).
Subs not used: Jones, Philpot.
Goal: Nombe 81.