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Match Reports

Report: U18s 2-2 Luton Town

31 January 2017

MK Dons Under-18s drew their final match before the Youth Alliance League splits as their re-arranged game against Luton Town ended 2-2 at Woughton-on-the-Green.

In a match played on a damp and overcast day, the Dons took an early lead through Brandon Thomas-Asante, although the Hatters came from behind to lead 2-1 at the interval.

However, a goal 15 minutes from the end by midfielder Andrew Osei-Bonsu ensured the Dons came away with a share of the spoils.

Eduardo Rubio’s side took the lead with their first chance of the match as a through-ball found Thomas-Asante inside the area. The number nine then struck the ball low and it wriggled under the keeper’s body and into the net.

Luton equalised from a set piece on 25 minutes as a free-kick was swung into the area and a low, stooping header saw the ball nestle in the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

In first-half stoppage time, the side from Bedfordshire went ahead as a strike from just inside the box took a deflection and fell at the feet of Hatters number eight George Murray, who had an easy close-range finish to make it 1-2.

The Dons responded well to the setback of conceding just before the break and on 52 minutes Osei-Bonsu’s shot from 30-yards out stung the keeper’s palms and went away for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, the second ball came to a Dons player whose effort from outside the box was parried by the Luton keeper before an attempted overhead kick on the follow-up lacked power to cause any further problems.

The hosts continued to press for an equaliser and substitute Sam Nombe had a good chance on 62 minutes but he was off balance as he hit the shot which went off target.

A deserved leveller, though, finally came the Dons way on 76 minutes when Osei-Bonsu received the ball outside the box, drove into the area and hit a fierce right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The game became increasingly frantic and end-to-end in the closing stages, with both sides looking for a winner. On 87 minutes, the Dons had a great chance when Thomas-Asante’s shot from 25 yards out on the turn went just wide of the left post.

The hosts’ final chance came in the 89th minute as a cross-field ball found Peter Kioso, whose cross into the area found an incoming Nombe who was off balance and could not get sufficient power on his effort to trouble the keeper.

In what was a competitive and hard-fought game, the Dons thoroughly deserved their point and could on another day have won the match.

Speaking after the game, director of academy coaching Rubio said: “It was a good game for us today. The first 15 minutes we were very good and then the next 15 minutes we were still in control even though we didn’t play as well.

“Then we conceded from a set piece and had a dip at the end of the first half and they got the momentum and took the lead just before half-time which was a bit harsh on us.

“We said at half-time we must not concede anymore and continue to provide a high energy and tempo. I was really pleased with us in the second half. We could have been a bit more patient at times but the opposition were intense and competitive and so our final pass was a bit rushed.

“I felt we deserved a victory but it was a good development game for all the players and gave them the chance to understand game management and accountability.”

Starting XI (3-2-4-1): Jones; Kasumu (Pattison 67), Omar, Jackson; Wright, Osei-Bonsu; Evans (Kioso 52), Heredia (Nombe 60), Logan (c), Bell; Thomas-Asante.

Goals: Thomas-Asante 7, Osei-Bonsu 76.

Referee: M Wetherall.

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