Young Dons impress in victory over Northampton Town
A Dawson Devoy stunner with six minutes to go ensured MK Dons progress into the next round of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy with a 100 per cent record and a home draw, courtesy of a 3-2 win over Northampton Town.
After wins over Chelsea U21s and Oxford United already secured Dons' spot in the next stage, a much-changed Dons trailed at the break against the Cobblers, with Manny Monthe's header the difference at the break.
But the excellent Charlie Waller restored parity nine minutes into the second-half before a brilliant finish from Darragh Burns put Dons into the lead on 64 minutes.
Tyreece Simpson netted a penalty with eight minutes to go to potentially send the game to spot-kicks at 2-2, but Devoy's wonderful effort from the edge of the penalty area flew into the top corner to secure the win for Mike Williamson's side.
The head coach named an untried and untested side for the final game of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy against Northampton Town. While the game had very little riding on it, a place atop the group was in the offing for Dons, and they named seven recognised names in the side, as well as plenty of first year scholars on the bench.
In spite of the inexperience in the side, the Dons youngsters showed no signs of stage fright in the opening 45 minutes of the game. Playing to Williamson's style of play, taking it out from the keeper, there was a lot of responsibility placed on the shoulders of defender Charlie Waller and Keon Lewis-Burgess in the centre of the park, and both thrived.
While they were looking to make an impression at the start of their careers, Darragh Burns was desperatly trying to rekindle his in what was his first appearance since February 25. The Irishman was tasked with the job of playing the key attacking passes through the Northampton defence, but while he had the right ideas, the execution and sometimes the wavelength with his team-mates wasn't quite on a par.
Both sides made significant changes to their teams for the game, and it made for a pre-season feel, especially with little riding on it. And it meant chances were few and far between. While Michael Kelly marshalled an early strike from Ryan Haynes, there was nothing in front of goal until Manny Monthe's header from Reuben Wyatt's corner found the back of the net nine minutes before the break.
Northampton could have gone in 2-0 up but for Kelly's finger-tip save on the stroke of half-time, and it would be a chance they would end up ruing come the final whistle.
Though it was the visitors who started the second-half brightly, it would be Dons who would assert themselves when the impresive Waller, who was the stand-out for the hosts, steered Dawson Devoy's corner past keeper Thompson to draw level.
Eight minutes later, Dons would be fired in-front by a popular figure as Darragh Burns got on the end of Matt Dennis' well-timed ball around the corner to lash past Thompson.
Changes came for both sides, with Williamson handing debuts to Charlie Stirland, Rian Silver, Chase Medwynter and Josh Clark-Anderson. The latter would need consoling when, having just come on, he was adjudged to have fouled Neo Dobson in the penalty area, allowing Tyreece Simpson to send Kelly the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-2 with eight minutes to go.
But his blushes were quickly eased two minutes later when a stunning Dawson Devoy strike from 20-yards found the top corner to secure the win for the hosts, and to wrap up top spot and a home draw for the next round.
Referee: Sam Purkiss
MK Dons: Kelly, Lewington (Stirland 66), Ilunga, Burns, Anker (Silver 66), Stewart, Devoy, Dennis (Medwynter 84), Waller, Wood, Lewis-Burgess (Clark-Anderson 78)
Subs not used: Bedford, Boyce, Daffern
Northampton Town: Thompson, Guthrie (Dyche 34), Appere (Dobson 34), Monthe, Koiki (Scott 73), Simpson, Lintott, Odimayo, Hondermarck, Haynes, Wyatt (Crtwright 90)
Subs not used: Dadge, Hart, Ireland