A young MK Dons Under-23s side fell to a 2-1 defeat against an experienced Bristol Rovers side in their latest Central Development League outing.
The starting XI for MK Dons contained nine academy products, with just Stephen Walker and a trialist the only two not to progress through the Club’s system.
Alfie Jones started between the sticks, with Oran Jackson, Matthew Sorinola and Finn Tapp in front of the shot-stopper.
David Kasumu, Jenson Wright and Charlie Pattison made up the midfield with Dylan Asonganyi and Jay Bird lining up alongside Stephen Walker up front.
It was Jay Bird who had the first chance of the game for the Dons, with just a minute on the clock, he forced Adam Smith into a strong save down to his left.
A flurry of Bristol Rovers corners followed, with Charlie Pattison and Oran Jackson both doing their part to help keep Rovers out.
The visitors then had the best chance to take the lead when Russe’s header was cleared off the line by Pattison.
Rovers started to find a foothold in the game, with Luca Tomlinson and Chris Lines forcing both Alfie Jones and David Kasumu into a save and block respectively.
Joe Partrington thought he had given Rovers the lead, his header, however, cannoned off the bar before Jackson cleared.
The Dons were able to grab a grip back on the game and in 20-minutes could’ve taken the lead. Kasumu found himself in the box, and with his shot looking like it would nestle in the back of the net, Partrington was there to turn behind for a corner.
Alex Jakubiak had his first chance of the game and it came about after some individual skill, the Watford-loanee could only hit the side netting.
Former Don, Chris Lines was looking dangerous on the right, and after a clever touch inside, the 33-year-old forced Jones to turn behind for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Partington found himself with space on the left, his cross found Deon Moore who converted from two-yards to give Bristol Rovers the lead 33-minutes into the clash. 0-1.
Stephen Walker came close to drawing the Dons level just minutes later, he was inches away from connecting with Oran Jackson’s cross at the far-post.
Jones was then forced into another save from a corner, this time denying Rodman who had rose highest to head towards goal.
Just two minutes into the second-half, Jakubiak had the chance to double Bristol Rovers’ lead, however, he could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
The visitors had another chance to double their lead, with goalscorer Moore looking to chip Jones after finding himself one-on-one, Jones, however, stood tall to save.
Jackson, Kasumu and Asongnayi then combined well just inside the Rovers half, before Kasumu switched the play into the path of Walker. Bristol’s Leadbitter was on hand with a tackle timed to perfection to deny Walker.
Jakubiak once again went close, this time Jones saved down to his right, before the Dons shot-stopper then produced an acrobatic save to top over Hoole’s curling effort from range.
Walker then drew the Dons level shortly after the hour-mark, having been picked out inside the box, Walker lost his marker before firing right-footed into the far corner. 1-1.
It was almost two within a matter of minutes for Walker, as he came close to turning home Kasumu’s driven cross.
Bristol Rovers retook the lead with 18-minutes remaining as Dean Moore found his second of the afternoon. His strike from just outside the box found the bottom corner.
Staring XI: Jones, Jackson (C), Sorinola, Pattison, Tapp, Trialist, Kasumu, Wright, Asonganyi, Bird, Walker.
Subs: Carter (GK), Sule, Rowley, Davies, Brennan.