MK Dons Under-18s lost their first league match since confirming their Youth Alliance League title as they were defeated 1-0 by Southend United at Woughton-on-the-Green.
In a match played in pouring rain, the Dons went down to a first half goal in a fixture they otherwise dominated.
There were two changes from the XI that played in the FA Youth Cup against Colchester in midweek – Sole and Hope were replaced by Wright and Leach.
The hosts’ first real chance came on 13 minutes when lone striker Jay Bird hit a shot from the edge of the box which went just wide of the left post.
Five minutes later, the lively Bird had another chance, as his right footed effort from the edge of the area also went just wide of the goal.
Midway through the first half the Dons produced some good last ditch defending after a through ball found a Shrimpers player on the edge of the area. Dons keeper Alfie Jones came out and was beaten, however a covering defender came across and was able to block the goal-bound Southend shot.
Moments later, the visitors got the breakthrough against the run of play after a Southend player hit a low left footed shot from the edge of the box. Keeper Jones was beaten at his near post and the ball squirmed into the net - 0-1.
Just before the break, the Dons could have levelled when Jenson Wright hit a low skimming shot from the edge of the box, however the Shrimpers keeper was alert and able to tip the ball away.
Five minutes after the restart, Dons keeper Jones had to be at his best again when a ball bounced inside the box following a defensive misjudgement. A Southend player rounded the keeper but could not finish from a tight angle because Jones had recovered to block the effort.
The Dons did have the ball in the net on 64 minutes courtesy of Charlie Pattison however he was judged offside and so the goal did not stand.
Three minutes later, striker Bird had another great chance to level when he was played through inside the box however he dragged his shot across goal wide of the far post.
Despite creating plenty of chances and dominating the game the Dons could not find a goal however speaking after the match director of academy coaching Edu Rubio remained upbeat.
He said: "I am really happy because our aim today was to be professional, remain true to our values and work on our key factors and I think we achieved that. Our objective was to have 90 minutes of football with good intensity, good energy and being true to the way we play and our philosophy.
"I have just watched the video and we created nine shots on target and a few off target. We did not achieve the clinical finishing we would have liked and so did not get the goal.
"We will be working on finishing this week and hopefully in the next game those chances will go in. I would be more worried if the players were not creating chances."
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Jones; Ackom, Tapp (c) Hope 45), Leach, Sorinola (Robinson 62; Kasumu (Holmes 68), Wright (Martin 62); Evans, Pattison, Bell; Bird.
Sub not used: Rose.