MK Dons Under-18s came close to a victory over Southend United however a stoppage-time goal meant they were held to a 3-3 draw.
In an entertaining game played in cold and wet conditions at Woughton-on-the-Green, the Dons levelled twice through Jay Bird before taking the lead in the 88th minute through Jenson Wright, only to concede a 90th minute equaliser.
It took the Shrimpers just three minutes to open the scoring, as a good sequence of passes around the box saw the ball put into the net by the Southend number 10 – 0-1.
The Dons saw a deflected effort go into the side netting on 11 minutes as they pressed for a quick response to the early setback.
Ten minutes later, they were level after a cross from the right by Delsin Ackom was tapped in from close range by Bird – 1-1.
On the half hour mark, the Dons created another good opening when a cross-field ball was well controlled by Matt Sorinola before he ran into the box and squared it to Wright whose first time shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs.
A direct approach almost paid off for the Dons in the 40th minute when a long goal kick found its way to Bird who sprinted into the box before hitting a shot which clipped the bar on its way over.
Five minutes after the break, the side from Essex re-took the lead when a first time right-footed shot by a Shrimpers player arrowed into the net from the edge of the area – 1-2.
The Dons had another good chance on the hour mark when a cross from the right was hit first time from the edge of the area, clipping the bar on its way over.
Midway through the second half, the Dons equalised again as a corner from the left found Bird who, from the edge of the area, struck a fierce shot which flew into the top corner – 2-2.
Ten minutes later, a shot from Wright went just wide of the right post before moments later a shot from a similar range - around six yards out -went just wide of the left hand post as the Dons took the initiative in the contest.
The Dons pressure paid off in the 88th minute from a set piece as a corner from the left found Wright on the edge of the area whose half volley went into the bottom left hand corner of the goal – 3-2.
Two minutes later, though, the Dons were hit by a sucker punch as a cross from the left was headed in from around the penalty spot by the Shrimpers number 11 – 3-3.
Despite the concession of a late goal, Edu Rubio was keen to accentuate the positives from the performance.
He said: “I am happy because although we conceded three goals, we scored three and arguably should have scored more.
“It was a good performance and I thought we were unlucky – I am happy because all the players individually and collectively performed better than last week and it showed in the team’s performance.
“All of the players improved and ultimately that is our aim in the Academy. I think we need to stick to what we are doing – we are working more in training on individual things and we are being creative with our coaching programme and I think it is working.”
Starting XI: Jones, Ackom, Leach, Pattison (c), Hourican-Harvey, Sule, Bird, Davies (Robinson 83), Martin, Wright, Sorinola.
Subs not used: Rose, Brennan, Crane.
Goals: Bird (21, 68) Wright (88).