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Match Reports

Report: U18s 0-1 Northampton Town

21 March 2017

Match Reports

Report: U18s 0-1 Northampton Town

21 March 2017

Milton Keynes Dons Under-18s lost their latest match in Youth Alliance Merit League Two as they went down 1-0 to Northampton Town at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday morning.

The hosts made five changes from the side that beat Cheltenham Town 1-0 at home seven days ago, with Nathan Pickworth, Peter Kioso, Harry Stratton, Andrew Osei-Bonsu and Sam Nombe coming into the starting XI in place of Alfie Jones, Jenson Wright, Dylan Asonganyi, Delsin Bonsu and Hugo Logan.

Finn Tapp took the captain's armband in Logan’s absence and his intervention ultimately made the difference in a tight match, as the Dons lost out to a second-half spot-kick.

The Dons started strongly and got a good couple of early shots in on goal, with Brandon Thomas-Asante having an effort straight at the keeper a couple of minutes after Nombe had shot wide of the post from further out.

The Cobblers then had a spell where they were in control of play but chances were limited as the Dons looked defensively solid without creating opportunities with the same regularity as they have done in earlier games.

Thomas-Asante sent a shot wide of the post on 26 minutes before, two minutes later, Northampton had the ball in the net however the offside flag was up and the goal did not stand.

There was only one noteworthy incident in the second half but it proved the crucial one. Just after the hour mark, the Cobblers created a good move which had the Dons stretched at the back and with the keeper stranded, Dons' skipper Tapp handled a goalbound shot.

It was an instinctive reaction following the defensive lapse, however, the referee was  left with no option but to send Tapp off as he had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Northampton number nine Lewis Irwin took the penalty which went into the net off the left hand post.

The Dons made a change after the incident and showed good game management to deny Northampton many further clear chances to increase their lead.

Due to having one less player, the Dons' attacking threat rather diminished during the final part of the contest and despite a defeat the positives are that the Dons more than matched their opponents despite the handicap of 10 men for the final 30 minutes.

Dons' head of academy coaching Edu Rubio said: “It was a very even game that could have gone either way. At the end of the day the penalty made the difference and they probably deserved a goal from that move anyway.

“It was a game with not that many chances, nobody really dominated and created much in attack.

“I can’t really complain about the penalty, it’s one of those things as a defender where you step in and it’s one of those that you can’t feel too guilty about.

“Playing with 10 men was a different challenge for the boys and they played very well - you couldn’t notice the difference.

“In the last four games we’ve only conceded three goals so we are getting better at the back but it seems that because we’re concentrating on that we’re forgetting how to attack.”

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Pickworth: Kioso, Omar, Tapp (capt), Stratton (Wright h-t): Kasumu, Osei-Bonsu (Bird h-t): Evans, Nombe, Bell (Bonsu 64): Thomas-Asante (Hourican-Harvey h-t).

Red card: Tapp 62.

Booked: Kioso 73.

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