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Match Reports

Report: Southend United 2-3 MK Dons Under-18s

Young Dons start 2023 off with a victory…

9 January 2023

John Bitting’s boys claimed victory on the road in their first game of 2023 against Southend United.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats, the young Dons claim three points against the Shrimpers. Last Saturday’s success has resulted in MK Dons being three points adrift the top three places within the EFL Youth Alliance Group C table.

Edwin Daffern’s brace and Joshua Adepoju’s composure from the penalty spot secured the win in a tight contest at the Boots & Laces Training Ground.

FIRST-HALF
Both sides had a strong start to the first 45 minutes, but it was John Bitting’s boys who opened the scoring. High pressure from the visitors allowed a quick turn over of possession, the ball then found its way to Ed Daffern, who made no mistake as he blasted a strike into the roof of the net. 0-1

A set-piece routine from the hosts saw the game level, once again. An outswinger delivery located Fiddes, the Southend United player then converted from close-range. 1-1



Both teams were unseparated, and the score-line remained level at 1-1 as they headed into the break.

SECOND-HALF
Seven minutes following the interval, MK Dons were awarded a penalty after Corvell Pickering was fouled in the opposition’s box. Adepoju stepped up to take the set-piece and the young Don made no mistake as he composedly finished the spot-kick past the Shrimpers’ number one. 1-2

The hosts adapted to a more attacking style of play since going behind for the second time during the clash. However, this saw them exposed as the travelling team increased their lead to three.

Callum Tripp glanced up and picked out Daffern in a dangerous area, the forward player then claimed his brace whilst increasing MK Dons’ advantage to 1-3.

Southend were then awarded the second penalty of the match. Fiddes joined Daffern as both players from either side claimed a brace within the first fixture of the new year. 2-3

15 minutes remained after the Blues cut their deficit to one, but the score-line remained unchanged for the rest of the league battle, which meant that the young Dons claimed the spoils and cemented their fourth-place position.

When asked about the first game of 2023, Lead Professional Development Phase Coach John Bitting had this to say “I’m really pleased for the group.

“They’ve trained really hard under different circumstances over the Christmas period, but they were spot on today. Their attitude, grit and determination, as well as the product in the final-third was spot on.”

***

MK Dons: Stacey, Scholtz, Boyce (Clark-Anderson 84), Bombo (Matthews 65), Stirland, Wood, Adepoju, Tripp, Olaleye (Guzynski 90+1), Daffern, Pickering (Blennerhassett 65)

Subs: Silver

Goals: Daffern 16,60 Adepoju 52


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