MK Dons Under-18s endured a difficult day at the office as they lost 3-0 to Peterborough United in the Youth Alliance League at Woughton-on-the-Green.
The hosts went behind to an early goal before a key moment early in the second half saw Dons forward Jay Bird have a penalty saved.
Two set-piece goals from Peterborough in the final half an hour condemned the Under-18s to defeat.
The Dons created the first chance of the match just two minutes in when Bird produced a good weaving run down the right hand side. His ball in went across the face of goal and hit the far post before rolling along the line with officials rejecting the Dons’ claims that the ball had crossed it.
Posh then took the lead in the 15th minute when a goal-kick found the visitor’s number nine, who beat a couple of defenders, rounded the advancing Alfie Jones and finished into the unguarded net – 0-1.
The hosts struggled to break down a disciplined Peterborough side but came very close in the 38th minute as Jenson Wright’s 30-yard effort was parried away from the bottom right-hand corner by the visitors’ keeper.
In first-half stoppage time, the Dons had a great double chance to level as Bird beat the offside trap inside the area and saw his shot saved by the legs of the Posh keeper. The rebound came to John Freeman whose shot was blocked by a defender.
Into the second half and the Dons had the chance to level from the spot in the 53rd minute after a foul. However, Jay Bird’s penalty was saved low to his left by the Peterborough keeper before a follow-up effort was blocked and a third shot skied over the bar.
Ten minutes later, the side from Cambridgeshire doubled their lead when a free-kick from 25 yards out was curled with precision into the top left corner of the net – 0-2.
Another set piece goal proved the Dons’ downfall in the 77th minute as from a free-kick a Peterborough player got in behind the defence and headed into the net from close range – 0-3.
Speaking after the match, manager Edu Rubio said he had ‘mixed views’ on proceedings. He said: “The boys did very well in terms of linking up in possession and we created some good chances having missed the penalty.
“As is becoming common for this age group at the moment, we let ourselves down with two or three mistakes defensively. Any time there is a long ball or free-kick we are in danger of conceding and that is something we need to change.
“If you look at the game as a whole we have played good football and done a lot of good things but the scoreline doesn’t reflect that. Frustration does not lead to giving up so it just means we need to work harder and keep believing.”
Starting XI: Jones, Robinson, Sorinola, Pattison (c), Hourican-Harvey (Sule 65), Leach (Ackom 65), Asonganyi (Brennan 65), Wright, Holmes, Freeman (Martin 46), Bird.
Unused sub: Gough