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Match Reports

Report: U18s 3-1 Barnet

2 May 2017

MK Dons Under-18s finished their home Youth Alliance Merit League campaign with a 3-1 win against Barnet.

In a match which swung on two penalties, the visitors took an early lead and missed the chance to double it after a great penalty save from Dons keeper Alfie Jones.

Edu Rubio’s side then turned the game around, taking the lead for the first time with a penalty of their own before going on to complete victory.

Barnet took the lead 13 minutes in when a through ball found Bees midfielder Rio Connell inside the area and he rounded Jones in the Dons goal to make it 1-0 to the side from London.

The key turning point in the match came two minutes later when Barnet were awarded a penalty for a handball inside the area.

Jones guessed the right way and did well to tip away Daniel Cheema’s penalty, which went low to his right, and maintain the deficit at just the single goal.

Despite dominating possession in the latter part of the first half, the Dons struggled to create many good scoring opportunities during a period when the game struggled to get going due to a number of fouls.

The home side, though, didn’t have long to wait after the break for their leveller as three minutes after the restart a through ball found Bradley Bell in the box and the midfielder finished low into the net to make it 1-1.

The Dons were then awarded a penalty of their own on 63 minutes and this time forward Dylan Asonganyi made no mistake, sending the Barnet keeper the wrong way to turn the contest on its head.

Rubio’s team extended their lead with 13 minutes to go as a shot from 30 yards out from a left-back trialist zipped across the turf and into the net to give the home side some breathing space at 3-1.

Two minutes later the Dons had a chance to extend their lead when Bell’s left-footed shot from a tight angle went across goal and narrowly wide of the far post.

In the 84th minute, Asonganyi had a chance to double his tally for the match but his close range effort was saved well by the Barnet keeper.

The hosts’ final chance came in second-half stoppage time when striker Jay Bird produced a driving run into the area, only to see his effort from close range well saved by the Bees keeper.

It was a good way for the Under-18s to end their home campaign and important for them to stop the rot after back-to-back away defeats on the south coast.

After the match, Under-18s boss Rubio said: “I’m very happy with how the boys played the game today.

“We started well but then conceded a goal and that put us off for a few minutes when they had a penalty which was a silly one to concede.

“After Alfie saved the penalty, the boys started to have momentum in the game. Having saved the penalty, it gave us some mental strength and belief, and from that moment we took charge

“At half-time the boys recognised we needed to be more compact and solid and retain possession and keep it for longer.

 “In the second half especially, we were much the better side and deserved the win. We scored three goals but could have had five and it was one of those days where the Dons philosophy was represented well on the pitch.

Rubio added: “The pitch was excellent and it allowed us to do the movement patterns and passing drills that we normally do in training during the game.”

Starting XI (4-3-3): Jones; Kasumu (c), Trialist, Hope (Bonsu 74), Trialist; Evans (Pattison 46), Wright, Trialist (Nzembela 65); Bell, Asonganyi, Bird.

Goals: Bell (48), Asonganyi (pen 63), Trialist (77).

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