REPORT: MK Dons 2-0 Brighton U21s: Routine win in Checkatrade Trophy

Gboly Ariyibi scores the opener.
Gboly Ariyibi scores the opener.

MK Dons made light work of Checkatrade Trophy opponents Brighton U21s at Stadium MK on Tuesday night, with two goals gifted to them by Seagulls keeper Rob Sanchez.

Having avoided one embarrassing moment in the first half, no-one could spare his blushes on the half hour when he gave the ball to Gboly Ariyibi to tap home the opener.

Ariyibi celebrates his goal.

Ariyibi celebrates his goal.

In almost a carbon copy in the second half, Sanchez almost allowed substitute Ryan Seager to pick his pocket, but then hauled down Brandon Thomas-Asante to give away a penalty, duly slotted home by Aaron Tshibola.

Much-maligned, the competition in it's current format has drawn almost universal criticism from fans - barely a recognisible fraction of the 33,000 who made the journey to Wembley for the final 10 in 2008 watched Dons take a Premier League U21 side with barely a first team appearance among them.

With Robbie Neilson fielding just about as weak a team as he is allowed before drawing a fine from the governing body, there were five survivors from Saturday's mauling at Blackburn, and four more on the bench. Both Gboly Ariyibi and Aaron Tshibola, in desperate need for a stand-out performance, both saw efforts fly wayward, but it would be Brighton keeper Rob Sanchez who would be the main protagonist in Dons' best efforts.

First, he seemed oblivious to the incoming threat of Robbie Muirhead, dawdling on the ball before having the ball poked from his toe into the path of Brandon Thomas-Asante. Fortunately for the youngster, the egg avoided his face thanks to Josh Kerr's header off the line, clearing the Dons' front man's effort.

Brighton keeper Rob Sanchez was at fault for both Dons goals.

Brighton keeper Rob Sanchez was at fault for both Dons goals.

But there was no-one to spare his blushes when on the half hour mark, he was once again caught on the ball, but this time Ariyibi was able to round him and poke into the empty net to give the home side the lead and spase crowd something to politely applaud.

The keeper was at fault again eight minutes into the second half and was lucky not to give away a goal or indeed a penalty. Substitute Ryan Seager was on hand to pounce when Sanchez's poor touch gifted Dons possession on the penalty spot, but while the striker's shot was blocked, the keeper then clattered into Thomas-Asante as he looked to gather the loose ball.

It was hardly surprising then that he was the reason Dons went 2-0 up on 67 minutes as Sanchez brought down Thomas-Asante after the Dons youngster rounded him, only to be tripped on his way past. Aaron Tshibola made no mistakes with the penalty.

Defensively for Dons, they had little to do. Paul Downing has played well in previous outings this season and against Brighton was no different, while new centre half partner Ouss Cisse was barely needed. But in a rare threat to Wieger Sietsma's goal, James Tilley rattled the frame of the goal with a late free kick, but it was as close as the Seagulls would come to upsetting the apple cart.

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,541 (78)

MK Dons: Siestma, Williams, Cisse, Downing, Lewington, McGrandles, Tshibola (Rasulo 77), Nombe, Ariyibi (Loan 73), Thomas-Asante, Muirhead (Seager 53)

Subs not used: Nicholls, Upson, Ebanks-Landell, Jackson

Brighton: Sanchez, Moore, D Hutchinson, Sanders, Mandriou, Collar, O'Sullivan (Cashman 80), Kerr, Connolly (Ajiboye 67), Cox, Tilley

Subs not used: Collings, Cochrane, Morrison, I Hutchinson, Shihab

Booked: McGrandles, Nombe