MK Dons Under-18s maintained their perfect start to the 2017/18 season with a 3-1 victory away at Gillingham.
Liam Sole, Tommy Hope and Dylan Asonganyi scored first-half goals for the young Dons, who remain top of the Youth Alliance South East table courtesy of their success.
Boss Edu Rubio made two changes from the side who beat Peterborough United 4-0 with Charlie Pattison and Liam Sole replacing Jenson Wright and Joe Evans in the starting XI. Goalkeeper Nathan Pickworth returned to the squad after missing the start of the season through injury.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts, Gillingham, but stopper Alfie Jones was equal to a 20-yard effort.
Then, on 11 minutes, the Dons edged ahead through first-year scholar Bird, who fired home from just inside the box after Bradley Bell’s cross was only half-cleared by the Gills defence.
Winger Sole came close to extended the advantage with a curling effort which was deflected just wide of the right post before Bell hit the side netting from 10-yards out.
Jones was then called into action again to deny the Gills an equaliser and that save proved crucial as in the 39th minute, centre-back Tommy Hope climbed well to meet Bell’s corner and head home a second for the young Dons.
Rubio’s side weren’t done with their first-half scoring and three minutes before the whistle, Asonganyi extended their advantage in style – capping off a strong run in which beat three defenders by dinking a cool finish over the Gills goalkeeper for his fifth goal of the campaign.
The Dons made changes in the second half but continued their dominance and Asonganyi came close to doubling his tally for the game – unfortunately, though, the striker couldn’t keep his volley down following a superb attacking move.
Gillingham, to their credit, didn’t let their heads drop and they were able to grab a consolation goal with nine minutes to play but they didn’t come close to troubling the result – another excellent away day delight for Rubio’s young side.
After the game, Rubio told mkdons.com: “The boys looked solid and it was a very good performance from them.
“For us, it's all about Daily improvements and we need to keep working and growing both as a team and individually.”
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Jones; Ackom, Tapp (c), Hope, Sorinola (Hourican-Harvey 75); Kasumu, Pattison (Wright 66); Sole (Martin 56), Bird (Evans 75), Bell; Asonganyi.
Unused subs: Pickworth (GK)
Goals: Bird (11), Hope (39), Asonganyi (42)