Milton Keynes Dons under-18s won their latest match in the Youth Alliance League Merit Two as they beat Yeovil Town 3-2 at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday morning.
The first half was fiercely contested and both sides struggled to create clear chances. The Dons' best came on 43 minutes as Thomas-Asante ran down the left, took on and beat a defender before unleashing a left-footed shot across goal which ended up narrowly wide of the far post.
Thomas-Asante, who was skippering the Dons team, had the hosts’ first chance of the second half on 55 minutes from a corner when he steered the ball towards goal and saw his effort blocked by a Glovers player.
The Dons' No.9 nine was constantly catching the eye and on 63 minutes he hit a fierce shot which the Yeovil keeper was forced to parry away.
After a good spell for the Dons, the visitors responded with a dominant passage of play and on 68 minutes they hit the post with a shot from the edge of the box.
A minute later the deadlock was broken as the Dons took the lead when a cross from the left was finished smartly from close range by forward Bird – 1-0.
With 10 minutes to go, the game exploded into life as two goals were scored in 60 seconds during one of the strangest passages of play you are likely to see on a football field at any level this season.
Play was stopped as a Yeovil player was down in the Dons penalty area with a head injury. The ball was supposed to be given back to the Dons keeper to resume play but instead a Yeovil player rolled the ball into the net.
Confusion reigned on the pitch and in the dugout, before referee Simon Higgins took the players back to the centre circle having awarded the ‘goal’ – 1-1.
After consultation with both sets of players, referee Higgins then allowed Dons captain Thomas-Asante to run unchallenged from the kick-off towards the Yeovil goal and score meaning it was now 2-1 to the Dons.
The hosts wrapped the game up in stoppage-time as Thomas-Asante sprung the offside trap and unselfishly played a square ball to Bird, who was able to finish unguarded into an empty net to make it 3-1.
A further two minutes into stoppage time, Yeovil reduced the arrears when a cross from the left was finished from close range inside the box as the Dons defence briefly switched off – 3-2.
There was not enough time left for the Glovers to snatch a draw and the Dons secured victory in a match they had the better of but which will be remembered for an unusual couple of goals that certainly proved a talking point.
After the match, Dons director of academy coaching Edu Rubio said: “We started being consistent with our defensive duties so I was happy with that.
“We went in at half-time 0-0 and in the second half we went with a more positive approach and tried to score goals and we did that.
“In the first part of the second half we were more attacking-minded and got our goal but then the last 10 minutes was a bit strange.
“It ended up being 3-2 and I’m pleased because of the performance and the fact we had two under-16s, an under-15 and a trialist on the pitch at the end so even though we didn’t have the core of the under-18 squad playing we got the victory.”
On the controversial sequence of events in the 80th minute, Edu said: “My understanding was that it was a drop ball because the referee blew the whistle to stop play because a man was down with a head injury.
“He played a drop ball and the opposition rather than giving it back to us kicked it into the goal. My understanding of the rules is that is an allowed goal and should count.
“There was a bit of confusion and the referee asked both captains whether the opposition would be happy for us to score a goal from the kick-off.
"It was a bit idiotic and I said to the referee that is probably the two most idiotic goals he will ever see in a game.
“I’m not sure whether he could have disallowed the first goal from the drop ball and booked the player. I need to check the rules because I haven’t seen that before.
“I think after that incident we possibly switched off a bit but that is part of football and it is one of the challenges to maintain focus and concentration whatever happens.”
MK Dons (3-5-2): Pickworth: Stratton (Brennan 72), Kasumu, Leach: Evans, Wright, Bonsu (Stack 63), Bell, Nombe (Asonganyi 60): Bird, Thomas-Asante.
Goals: Bird 69, 90+1, Thomas-Asante 82.