Youth Alliance Cup
Milton Keynes Dons U18 1 – 0 Leyton Orient U18
A solitary strike from Will Summerfield helped edge Milton Keynes Dons U18’s to a 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient in the Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday. The midfielder’s 50th minute strike settled a tightly contested affair, as the O’s suffered their first defeat in the competition.
Orient were able to welcome back Alex Finney for this fixture, but with just nine minutes on the board they were forced into an early change, as top scorer Elyon Egbeku had to leave the field of play after suffering an apparent knock to his knee.
Despite the early setback the visitors were soon testing Charlie Burns, with both Jerome Martelli and Lawson Okameji forcing the keeper into action, while at the other end Lawrence Vaughan fired over after some good work by Summerfield.
Some ingenuity from an Orient free kick in the 32nd minute saw Finney nearly connect with Freddy Moncur’s delivery, and moments later they were again on the front foot, but Shola Oladipo’s shot failed to work Burns.
The away side’s pressing during the opening half was particularly evident, and this led to them creating another opportunity in the 38 minute, but Martelli’s shot from an acute angle produced an impressive save from Burns.
Yet, the O’s nearly found themselves entering the interval a goal behind after Gedeon Okitu was fed by Ben Tilney, but the former flashed his shot wide as neither side could be separated in what was developing into an intriguing battle.
However, the deadlock was broken just five minutes into the second half after Okameji was robbed on the half-way line by Summerfield, who subsequently drove at the drove at the Orient defence before firing a 25-yard drive past Ben Bridle-Card to give MK the lead.
Orient were then grateful to Bridle-card four minutes later as he produced a wonderful save to deny Tilney from doubling the Dons’ lead, while Sam Ling also demonstrated good reactions to prevent Vaughan on the rebound.
Andy Edwards’ team continued to give the MK defence cause for thought, with Moncur’s attempted shot blocked well by Brendan Galloway, while substitute Cameron Kelly couldn’t keep his shot down when well placed. At the other end Bridle-Card continued to impress with his performance as Aaron Weston’s 73rd minute free kick was parried well by the stopper.
With little time remaining Orient pushed forward in search of an equaliser, and their persistence was nearly rewarded in the stoppage time after another substitute in Kane Adams dug out a cross for Martelli, but his header was somehow clawed out of the net by Burns, as Summerfield’s strike ended up settling proceedings.
Having kept his team in the match with a number of fine saves Bridle-Card was frustrated that they didn’t count for more.
“It’s disappointing that the saves I made didn’t contribute to a more positive result. I think the goal that they scored could have been prevented, but today’s game was a close encounter and we will look to move forward again next week.”
Orient’s next game in the competition is at home to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday October 26.
Orient: Ben Bridle-Card, Josh Uzun, Alex Finney (Cameron Kelly, 64), Andis Nikolau, Sam Ling, Lawson Okameji (C), Montel Ageymang, Freddy Moncur, Sinclaire Sandy, Jerome Martelli, Elyon Egbeku (Shola Oladipo, 9) (Kane adams, 86). Subs not used: Jack Humphrey
Milton Keynes Dons: Charlie Burns, Ben Grant, Gedeon Okitu, Aaron Weston, Brendan Galloway, Harry Hickford (C), Lawrence Vaughan, Kyran Wiltshire, Kelvin Osei-Addo (Kabongo Tshimanga, 59), Will Summerfield, Ben Tilney. Subs not used: Ben Taylor, Luke Tingey
Goal: Summerfield (50)