MK Dons Under-18s were beaten 2-1 by Leyton Orient in their opening match of the 2019/20 season.
Rio Deall was on target for the Young Dons but it wasn’t enough against an O’s outfit who scored twice in the first half to secure the victory.
Leyton Orient took the lead eight minutes in, courtesy of a close-range finish following a cut-back cross from the right. 1-0.
George Rose denied the hosts shortly afterwards with a strong save in the middle of his goal before the Dons produced their first chance of the game - Tom Rowley teeing up John Freeman who fired over from the edge of the D.
Orient sent a low effort just past the post as they went in search of a second while, at the other end, Rowley was denied by a defender’s block after some neat work inside the O’s penalty area.
The home side did double their lead five minutes before half-time, pouncing on a loose ball deep inside the Dons’ half which resulted in a simple finish for their number 10. 2-0.
Rowley went close to reducing the deficit before half-time but sent his right-footed drive just wide of the post. After the break, Deall was kept out by an excellent save after being picked out in the area by half-time substitute Josh Bailey.
The Dons eventually pulled one back with 20 minutes to play through Deall. Rowley provided the assist after some determined work in the middle of the park and, from his pass, Deall moved into the area and sent a right-footed past the goalkeeper. 2-1.
Jon Goodman’s side thought they had levelled the scores when Freeman got a touch to Malaki Black’s low cross but the midfielder’s effort trickled past the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Jamie Robinson created another late opportunity to equalise following a mazy run down the right-hand flank but Finn Brennan wasn’t able to convert from his cross.
The Dons had one final chance from a corner which the home side managed to scramble away. It, in fact, led to a chance to them to add a third but Rose kept out their effort on the counter.
Starting XI: Rose, Brennan, Davies, Sule (Riley 80), Robinson, Leach, Rowley (Black 80), Freeman, Ilunga (Bailey 46), Matshazi (Trialist 46), Deall.
Unused subs: Carter
Goal: Deal (71)