MK Dons Under-23s continued their fine Central Development League campaign with a 5-0 win over Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday afternoon.
A number of first-team players were handed important minutes to keep their sharpness up with Lee Nicholls, Ryan Harley, Ryan Watson and Lawson D’Ath all handed starts.
Robbie Simpson, David Wheeler and Stephen Walker made up the front line with the defence consisting of David Kasumu, Finn Tapp, Oran Jackson and Matthew Sorinola.
It was certainly going to be a tough test though, with Plymouth also fielding a strong team, including Conor Grant and Jamie Ness who were continuing their recovery from lengthy injuries.
Elsewhere, Matt Macey, Joe Riley, Lloyd Jones and Paul Anderson also featured for The Pilgrims with former Dons defender Scott Wootton wearing the captain’s armband for Plymouth.
Dons almost took the early lead after David Wheeler pounced on a loose pass from Ness, Wheeler made his way into the box before Jones was on hand to deny the Dons.
The hosts could’ve had the lead with 12-minutes on the clock with Paul Anderson’s corner causing havoc inside the box. Plymouth duo, Jones and Ryan Taylor both tried to prod home from close range, but the Dons defence cleared their lines.
Wheeler, who was looking lively for the Dons, once again went close but was denied by a strong Matt Macey save before Jones cleared.
Anderson met Joe Riley’s cross perfectly but was unable to find a way past Lee Nicholls who saved well.
It wasn’t long though before MK Dons were handed the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. Wheeler was fouled inside the box by Macey, the penalty was taken, and converted, by Robbie Simpson. 0-1.
The Dons then started a spell of dominance as they found their second goal on the half-hour mark, Macey came out to collect a cross, he was beaten to the ball by Simpson who played the ball into the path of Wheeler who smashed home. 0-2.
Wheeler then scored his second and the Dons third four minutes later, an under-hit back pass from Wootton was intercepted by the alert Wheeler who slotted past the advancing Macey. 0-3.
Plymouth had the chance to reduce the deficit, however, Dan Rooney’s volley sailed over.
Stephen Walker had the chance to make it 4-0 just minutes into the second-half, but his shot was deflected wide of the post.
Lawson D’Ath was the next Dons man to almost getting his name on the scoresheet, with his effort from just outside the box ending wide of the goal.
Having changed their keeper at half-time, Michael Cooper was on hand to deny David Kasumu’s effort.
Wheeler would then grab his hat-trick with five minutes remaining with the forward finishing well from D’Ath’s cross. 0-4.
Walker then finished the scoring with seconds remaining in the tie. 0-5.