MK Dons Under-23s put themselves top of the Central Development League South table after overcoming their Exeter City counterparts 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
The Young Dons returned to winning ways in the Central Development League South thanks to goals from Ryan Watson and an unfortunate Exeter City own-goal.
The Dons were forced to stand firm in the closing 10-minutes as a handful of chances fell the way of Exeter - but the resilient backline stood tall as they picked up an important three points.
Edu Rubio’s side boasted a mixture of youth and experience, with Stuart Moore starting between the sticks for the Dons. In front of him stood, Matthew Sorinola, Finn Tapp, Oran Jackson and Under-18 defender Finn Brennan.
Ryan Watson, David Kasumu and Charlie Pattison made up the midfield, while Lawson D’Ath started behind Stephen Walker and Dylan Asonganyi.
The Dons almost took the lead just two minutes into the game, Finn Brennan delivered a driven cross from the right that just needed a touch on its way into the box.
Watson was picking up space in the final third well, he picked out Pattison on the right who saw his cross punched away by Exeter keeper Felix Norman.
Pattison once again looked to try and unlock the Exeter defence, his low cross towards D’Ath was cleared at the final second.
The Dons had dominated the early proceedings and went close twice within a matter of minutes, both Kasumu and Pattison saw efforts from range end narrowly wide of the goal.
Walker then won the Dons a free-kick on the edge of the box, a set-piece that Watson had tipped over the bar.
After a sustained period of pressure, it was Watson who gave the Dons the lead with 18-minutes on the clock. Pattison found Watson on the edge of the Exeter box who finished left-footed past Norman. 1-0.
Almost immediately, however, Exeter drew level as Aaron Martin headed home past Moore from a free-kick. 1-1.
The Dons then had a flurry of corners cleared away, with Asongnayi going closest from the trio of set-pieces.
Moore then produced a stunning save from point-blank range as he tipped over Lawrence’s header from just six-yards out.
Kasumu then threaded a ball into the path of Asonganyi – he was just beaten to the ball by Normal who was quick off his line.
Pattison had the last chance of the first half, but he was unable to find the target from the edge of the box.
It was Asongayi who had the first chance of the second half, having picked up the ball near the home dugout, the striker beat a number of defenders before his effort from the edge of the box was blocked by Diabate.
Diabate would go from hero-to-zero for Exeter after the defender scored an own-goal giving the Dons the lead for the second time in the clash, after Watson had gone short from a corner, his cross was sliced into the air by Diabate leaving his keeper planted to the ground as the ball crept past him. 2-1.
Seconds later, Walker almost made it three, his curling effort was tipped behind by Norman.
Determined to make the most of their pressure, the Dons pushed for the third, and they could've had it if it wasn't for some last-ditch Exeter defending. Felix Norman firstly saved from Asonganyi before somehow getting a hand on Walker's rebound - Watson had the final chance in the scramble - he was unable to find the back of the net.
Kasumu showed trickery to beat two Exeter defenders as he made his way into the box, he was, however, unable to pick out a Dons shirt inside the box with his powerful delivery just missing the run of Walker.
Pattison had his final chance of the afternoon as the midfielder hit his effort the bar after he was found by D'Ath's acrobatic overhead kick.
Charlie Lawrence then came within a yard of equalising for Exeter, he was unable to find a way past Moore after good work from Hartridge on the wing.
Exeter were certainly mounting pressure on the Dons defence, as Moore saved well down to his right to deny Randall.
Randall then found himself in on goal for the visitors, his first attempt was blocked by the recovering Robinson before Moore claimed the second effort.
More late chances fell the way of Exeter, as Harry Kite dragged from 8-yards out, seconds later Jordan Dyer fired over for City.
MKDons XI: Moore (C); Sorinola, Tapp (Sule 64), Jackson (Leach 64), Brennan; Kasumu; Watson, Pattison (Robinson 72); D'Ath; Asonganyi, Walker.
#MKDons U23 subs - Carter (GK).