Blues' youngsters beat MK Dons
Blues’ youngsters came out on top in a seven-goal thriller against MK Dons’ under 18’s, as they won 4-3, in a game played at Great Wakering’s Burroughs Park.
The howling wind blowing around Burroughs Park made conditions difficult for both teams. Southend’s early threat came from Jack Bridge and Kane Farrell, while Kevin Osei-Addo looked particularly impressive for the Dons.
Nevertheless, before the game could settle into any pattern, Southend grabbed the lead. Kane Farrell beat Dons keeper Charlie Burns with a crisp right foot shot after some good build-up play on the left hand side.
MK Dons first real chance came when Osei-Addo found Mason Spence, but a clutch of Blue shirts snubbed out the threat.
The Dons were coming more into the game as Mo Ahmed and Ben Tilney looked to stamp their authority in midfield, and after sixteen minutes, they drew level. Osei-Addo found himself with the freedom of the Southend penalty area and fired past an extended Ted Smith in the Blues goal.
Minutes later, Osei-Addo was causing problems again, this time shooting straight into Smith’s gloves after he’d wriggled free.
The Dons were now in control of the game. Spence fired wide from distance following Dele Alli’s short free kick, it seemed a matter of time before they’d forge ahead. However, they were soon in for a shock. Southend’s Jason Williams robbed Jon Osae and found Jack Bridge who in turn restored the Shrimpers lead.
The goal had clearly given Southend a lift. Williams found Kane Farrell in space, but a wonderful saving tackle from Brendan Galloway denied the Blues front man. However, if the Shrimpers believed they’d weathered any storm, the Dons were soon level again.
Dan King was adjudged to have fouled Dele Alli, the Dons man dusted himself off to beat Smith from the spot and restore parody.
The game was now swinging from end to end and had become an entertaining affair for the small crowd. Dons’ striker Spence drew an excellent save out of Smith while Southend’s Brandon Scott had Burns at full stretch with a strike across the face of the goal.
With the half time brew inside them, MK Dons came out of the traps the sharpest, moving the ball with confidence wile Southend had to show resilience. Spence had a stinging effort turned over the bar by Smith and another strike turned round an upright, while Will Summerfield again found the Shrimpers custodian in his way as the Dons looked for another way through.
Despite having the better of possession and indeed the chances, MK Dons had failed to punish the Shrimpers, and after seventy-minutes, they were made to pay. Brandon Scott produced some sparkling skill down the right flank before supplying Kane Farrell who found the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Southend’s lead might have come against the run of play, but now their tails were up. Substitute Ross Johnson’s effort was hooked off the line but the ball was returned to the danger area where Dan Matsuzaka added a fourth with a cool finish.
MK Dons had proved to be a decent side, any thoughts they were finished were soon dispelled. Smith made a brilliant stop to deny Osei-Addo, but could do little to stop the Dons man finishing a sweeping move for what turned out to be the final action of the night.
Southend United; Ted Smith, Harry Jeffrey, Robert Hyams, Dan King, Aaron Tatham, Dan Matsuzaka, Brandon Scott, Charlie Barlow, Jason Williams, Jack Bridge, Kane Farrell.
Bench: Macauley Keaton, Ross Johnson, Shamir Mullings, Fope Coker, Kojo Apenteng,
MK Dons: Charlie Burns, Ben Grant, Jon Osae, Dele Alli, Harry Hickford, Brendan Galloway, Will Summerfield, Mo Ahmed, Kevin Osei-Addo, Mason Spence, Ben Tilney.
Bench; Ben Taylor, Jacob Daffern, Sedeon Okito, Luke Tingey