Despite creating a number of chances in the first half and dominating for a large majority of the game, the young O’s came away with nothing at the final whistle following Kyran Wiltshere’s 18th minute strike.
Academy Director Andy Edwards made four changes to the side that won 4-0 at Cambridge the previous week. Myles Judd and Nick Brown returned from injury while attacking duo Victor Adeboyejo and Scott Kashket came in having both recently made their first team debuts.
Brimming with confidence from their recent run of results, Orient came flying out of the blocks and Scott Kashket fired an early warning with a low-drilled ball across the box that evaded everyone.
Moment’s later Orient midfielder Nick Brown regained possession on the edge of the O’s box and went galloping forward to hit the visitors on the counter. Brown then slid the ball through to Victor Adeboyejo who opted to touch the ball round Dons goalkeeper Tom Wyant rather than shooting. Adeboyejo’s touch made his angle difficult to shoot so the forward attempted to cut the ball back but couldn’t pick out a red shirt.
Adeboyejo was then heavily involved with another neat attacking move as he worked his way down the left before passing the ball inside to Shola Oladipo on the edge of the box. Oladipo attempted to thread the ball back to Adeboyejo but instead the pass fell kindly to Kashket who turned well before seeing his shot pushed behind for a corner.
Orient had been well in control of the tie throughout the opening stages but were then dealt a bitter blow with just under 20 minutes played as MK Dons hit the hosts on the counter and broke the deadlock.
Kyran Wiltshere collected the ball inside his own half and managed to shrug off pressure from Brown before playing the ball forward for Kabongo Tshimanga down the right. Tshimanga then pulled the ball back for Wiltshere who calmly rolled the ball into the bottom far corner from 18-yards.
Despite falling behind Orient continued to push forward but the hosts needed just a little bit more luck inside the box. Josh Koroma crossed for Oladipo but the forward was unable to get any real venom behind his shot and the ball dropped nicely for Wyant.
Top scorer Adeboyejo was then left to rue dwelling on the ball as Freddy Moncur’s excellent pass released him one-on-one but the striker took too much time and allowed Luke Tingey to get back and clear for a corner.
With the O’s continuing to try and work their way level before halftime both Kashket and Koroma sent efforts close but neither could get the better of Wyant in the visiting goal.
Similarly to the first, Orient began the second half brightly and with 50 minutes on the clock Oladipo sliced an effort wide of the post.
MK Dons Jacob Daffern replied with an effort of his own moments later having brought the ball well into the O’s half but the defender’s effort fizzed wide.
As the match approached the hour mark the visiting defence continued to frustrate Orient but Kashket did manage to work an opening and force Wyant into parrying a shot away.
With Orient continuing to throw bodies forward in a bid to find a way back, space started to appear in the middle of the park. Dons defender Tingey ventured forward on the 68th minute but O’s stopper Sam Sargeant pushed the shot back out before the danger was eventually cleared.
Despite the game opening up Orient were still unable to work many openings inside the Dons penalty area but Adeboyejo curled an effort narrowly wide with 13 minutes remaining.
As the final whistle edged closer Orient were unable to trouble the MK Dons goal and O’s stopper Sargeant had to be alert at the other end in the closing minutes to pull off two superb saves to ensure the score remained at 1-0.
The defeat ends a run of three consecutive victories for the O’s in the league but there can be several positives taken from the performance that on another day, would have seen them come away with something from the match.
ORIENT: Sam Sargeant, Myles Judd (Sam Alderson 70), Michael Clark, Sam Ling (C), Jack Humphrey, Scott Kashket, Freddy Moncur, Nick Brown (Harry Andic 77), Josh Koroma (Christian Owusu 65), Shola Oladipo, Victor Adeboyejo
SUBS: Charley Barker, Aron Pollock
BOOKED: Humphrey (59), Moncur (62)
MK DONS: Tom Wyant, Jacob Daffern, Gedeon Okito (C) (Dominic Palmeiro 85), Aaran Weston (Jack Hadden 69), Luke Tingey, Adam Hunt, Laurence Vaughan, Kyran Wiltshire, Kabongo Tshimanga, Ben Tilney, Callum Britain (Joe Steele 69)
GOALS: Wiltshire (18)
BOOKINGS: Wiltshere (54)