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Dons XI face Newport Pagnell Town ahead of FA Vase Final

MK Dons run-out 4-2 winners in behind-closed-doors friendly at Stadium MK...

11 May 2022

An MK Dons XI faced Newport Pagnell Town on Tuesday evening, ahead of the Swans’ FA Vase Final later this month.

Newport Pagnell will face Littlehampton Town in the FA Vase Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 22 May – a momentous occasion for the Willen Road outfit, who currently compete in the United Counties League.

In preparation for their Final, the Swans were invited to Stadium MK to face an MK Dons XI in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

The competitive encounter saw the Dons come out on top 4-2 thanks to goals from Brooklyn Ilunga, Ryan Holmes, Tommy Blennerhassett and Callum Tripp.

Ilunga opened the scoring just six minutes in when he found the bottom corner from distance, before Holmes doubled the Dons' lead by converting on the rebound after John Freeman's effort was fumbled.

Newport Pagnell pulled a goal back early in the second half but soon restored their two-goal advantage courtesy of Blennerhassett, who kept his composure one-on-one to beat the Swans keeper.

The Swans cut the deficit to one again with 10 minutes left to play but it was the Dons who would have the final say, ensuring a two-goal success thanks to Tripp's excellent long-range strike.

Lead Professional Development Phase Coach, John Bitting, said: "Overall it was a beneficial exercise for both teams and an opportunity for our young players to play here at the stadium once again.

"It was also pleasing to be able to support a local club with their FA Vase Final preparation. The opportunity experience and play on a pitch within a stadium before their trip to Wembley, I hope has added to their chances of even more success on top of what they've already achieved this season."

Everyone at MK Dons would like to wish Newport Pagnell Town all the very best for their Final and hopes they can bring the FA Vase trophy to Milton Keynes.

MK Dons: Sandford, Johnson (Bombo 50), Ilunga, Waller (Mann 69), Ogundega, Davies, Gyamfi (Tripp 69), Freeman, Blennerhassett (Boyce 75), Anker, Holmes (Orphanides 80).

Subs: Lucas

Goals: Ilunga (6) Holmes (9), Blennerhassett (63), Tripp (85)

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