Meetings between MK Dons and Peterborough United usually prove to be entertaining affairs and Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie was no different - much to the enjoyment of manager Paul Tisdale.
Tisdale’s side led 3-0 at the break courtesy of a brace from the returning Chuks Aneke and Rhys Healey's first goal for the Dons but a resurgent Posh outfit stormed back in the second half to force the match to penalties.
The first 10 penalty takers all found the net before Simon Moore kept out Alex Woodyard’s effort. That allowed Sam Nombe the chance to win it from 12-yards and he did just that to secure a bonus point for MK Dons.
“It was a cracking game,” Tisdale said in his post-match press conference. “It really was fun - six goals, penalties, lots of young players, lots of mistakes but plenty of positive stuff as well. It was a really good game of football and I really enjoyed it.
“When one team is dominant in the first half, some will wonder why they don't do it again in the second half. However, the other dressing room has something to say in the matter.
“Peterborough went tougher they went sharper, quicker and it gave our young players a real test. I had no hesitation putting Charlie [Pattison] on – another scholar making his debut. It was a really good learning experience for them.
“This competition gives managers and clubs the chance to blood young players. That said, it wasn't a giveaway tonight - Steve Evans wanted a result tonight and so did we. It was a thoroughly absorbing game.”
Chuks Aneke’s performance was one of the major talking points at the final whistle. The forward, who was heavily linked with a move away from Stadium MK this summer, scored within six minutes of his comeback and added a second goal later in the first half.
“Football moves on very quickly,” Tisdale said on the matter. “The drama is over, the window is closed and he's here - it is now a non-issue for me.
“It was the perfect opportunity for him to play tonight. He was receptive to everything we said and he worked really hard with Rhys Healey, and Ryan Watson in that position behind them.
“He scored two wonderful goals and came close to a third. For someone who hasn't played for a while, he put a good performance in and put his stamp on the game."
Here’s what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match press conference...
On Ousseynou Cisse’s performance as captain...
“Every time I see Ouss Cisse, I'm more endeared to the way he goes about his job. It was a real captain's performance today.”
On Oran Jackson’s display...
“The best way to learn and develop is through trial and error. He had a real challenge [against Ivan Toney] and in the second half Peterborough upped the ante. He will get a lot from today, as will Finn Tapp and David Kasumu.”
On Sam Nombe scoring the winning penalty...
“It was a great experience for Sam Nombe. I'm not sure he expected to be stepping up to take one tonight but well done to him.”
On Stuart Moore’s impressive debut...
“He had a really good first game for us, and made the decisive save in the shootout. It could have been 5-5 but Stuart Moore made some really good saves. He'll be encouraged by tonight. For a keeper, it's all about the defence in front of him having confidence in him as well. They'll begin to gain trust in him after that.”
Next up for Paul Tisdale and MK Dons is their Sky Bet League Two clash with Forest Green Rovers at Stadium MK.
Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members.
Supporters can upgrade their seat to East Centre for just £5 more while an upgrade to clubRed is available for a £10 premium.
Don’t forget, with a Club Dons membership you can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season - Young Dons members are entitled to £1 off all 2018/19 EFL matches.
Season Ticket holders can also bring a friend for FREE on one occasion during the campaign while Premier Members can do so twice.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.