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Match Reports

Report: U18s 1-2 Posh

28 February 2017

MK Dons Under-18s lost the first match of their Merit League 2 campaign as they were beaten 2-1 by Peterborough United at Woughton-on-the-Green.

It was the Dons first competitive outing for three and a half weeks and despite taking a first-half lead through Sam Nombe, they conceded late goals in both halves to hand the side from Cambridgeshire the victory.

Dons keeper Alfie Jones made a smart save to deny a Peterborough forward from close range on six minutes as the visitors made a strong start.

Almost immediately, the Dons broke up-field and a through-ball got Thomas-Asante in on goal, however his lob over the keeper did not come down and cleared the crossbar.

The 13th minute proved lucky for the Dons as they took the lead with Thomas-Asante turning provider, slipping in Nombe who finished low into the net.

More neat football in the 35th minute saw the Dons create another opening, as Thomas-Asante got Andrew Osei-Bonsu in but the midfielder’s shot was blocked at close range by the Posh keeper.

The hosts were enjoying a good spell of pressure and four minutes later captain Hugo Logan found himself in space on the edge of the area only to send his shot just wide of the left post.

Peterborough then equalised from a set piece on 42 minutes when a free-kick found Morgan Penfold, who got in behind the Dons defence and finished into the net to make it 1-1 at the break.

An injury to Jack Hourican-Harvey midway through the first half and a second change at half-time saw the Dons playing a young and unfamiliar back three and the visitors sprung their attempted offside trap on 50 minutes before their chipped effort went over the bar.

Posh claimed they had taken the lead with 15 minutes to go when a long range shot smacked the crossbar and ricocheted down, however despite vehement protests the officials did not give the goal and the Dons were reprieved.

The hosts were riding their luck and with nine minutes to go a Peterborough free-kick from 25 yards out hit the bar before bouncing away to safety.

A minute later, the visitors sprung the offside trap again but despite having two players through on goal they could not convert the chance and Jones was able to make another crucial close range save.

The tidal wave of attacks from the visitors was proving ever more ferocious and with five minutes to go they had the ball in the net but to no avail.

A shot from inside the box was blocked by Jones before the rebound was squared across the box to a player adjudged offside meaning the goal was chalked off.

The home side’s dam finally burst on 87 minutes with a route one effort. A goal-kick found Andrea Borg and this time the Peterborough forward made no mistake, lobbing Jones to spark wild celebrations from the visitors.

It was a game that the Dons let get away from them but the match should prove a valuable learning lesson for a relatively inexperienced side.

After the match, Under-18s manager Edu Rubio said: “It was a very good first half. We worked on defence compactness and for most of the first half we were very solid.

“We scored a goal and looked stronger than the opposition but in the second half we had a couple of injuries, made changes at the back and both our defensive concentration and performance dipped.

“Peterborough knew they had to change something to get back in the game and they resorted to a lot of long balls in behind and that is tricky for a side like ours to defend because we are not the tallest at the back.

“We conceded a goal and although we created a couple of chances we couldn’t equalise after their late winner.”

He added: “Taking into account the circumstances I think we did well. We played the second half with a left-back who is an under-15, a centre half who was hampered by injury towards the end and a right-back who is normally a defensive midfield player so I can’t criticise them.

“The game has been a very good learning experience for us though despite the result.”

Starting XI (3-5-2): Jones; Hourican-Harvey (Bell 30), Tapp (Sule 66), Stratton; Kioso (Bonsu 46), Kasumu, Osei-Bonsu, Logan (c), Webb (Bird 60); Nombe, Thomas-Asante.

Goal: Nombe 13.

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