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Report: Exeter City Under-18s 3-3 MK Dons (4-5 pens)

MK Dons’ Under-18s progress via penalty shootout…

22 August 2022

MK Dons Under-18s earned a place in the second round of the FA Youth Alliance League Cup, after late drama allowed them to beat Exeter City 5-4 in a penalty shootout…

John Bitting’s boys had a sluggish start to the fixture, which allowed Exeter to gain control early on. The Grecians made sure to capitalise on that opportunity and netted two goals within the late stages of the first half.

A few changes were made at half time to help switch the momentum of the match in the Dons’ favour. Although the change wasn’t drastic, MK Dons were playing higher up the field and seemed to gain more control within the match.

Rian Silver entered the field, the number 16 caused problems for Exeter and made an instant impact. Five minutes after being subbed on, Silver assisted Blennerhassett to halve the deficit, the two substitutes linked up well and MK Dons now pushed for an equaliser.

Ten minutes later, the number 16 then set up the equaliser for Jediah Bombo, who levelled the game in the 76th minute. John Bitting’s boys improved, but late drama occurred when the Grecians scored what seemed to be a winner in the 88th minute of the game.

Due to injuries and the use of game management from the opposition, a total of eight minutes were added onto the end. Exeter tried their best to see out the game and the Dons desperately searched for an equaliser.

A few minutes before the final whistle MK Dons won a corner, the corner was played in and the ball located Charlie Waller, who was 15-yards outside the area. In the dying stages of the match, Waller struck from range and his attempt looped over the Exeter goalkeeper. MK Dons equalised once again, their determination allowed them a chance to claim victory through a penalty shootout.

Exeter City missed their first penalty, which proved deciding as the Dons fired home all five of their spot-kicks, a resilient performance rewarded MK Dons to progress into the second of the League Cup.

MK Dons: Stacey, Scholtz, Pickering (Blennerhassett 45), Anderson (Silver 61), Wood, Waller, Bombo, Mann (Troso 45), Adepoju, Anker, Boyce (Clark-Anderson 50)

Goals: Blennerhassett (68), Bombo (76), Waller (90+9)


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