Cambridge United U18's 6-2 MK Dons U18's
Cambridge United’s U18's secured their first win of the Football League Youth Alliance season with a convincing 6-2 home win over MK Dons.
A brace each from Jordan Brown and Thomas Knowles, a goal from Harry Darling and freak own goal from the visitors saw the young U’s outfit take the spoils in some fashion at Clare College Sports Ground.
Beginning the game with a 3-5-2 formation the United started the game brightly and could have been ahead inside the opening exchanges when Jordan Brown’s volley from a right sided cross whistled past the goal.
Fernando Bell played as a sweeper for the first time in his young career and did very well alongside Frankie Jones and Harry Darling. The visitors are known for their expansive play in youth team games and this created a lot of chances for both sides early on. However, it was Cambridge who struck first with a corner from Dylan Williams being sent deep into the box, and Brown on hand to score the knock down for his first of the game.
Matthew Foy continued his return to play with a good 60 minutes and enjoyed a number of chances one on one with the MK Dons goalkeeper, although he was unable to convert. Thomas Knowles then charged through the defence and did register for the U’s low to the keeper’s right.
Knowles was then involved in the third Cambridge goal, whipping a dangerous cross to the back post following a neat move with Leon Davies playing in an advanced wingback role, and Brown jumped unopposed to thunder home his second to give the U’s a comfortable half time buffer.
The message from the coaching staff at half time would have been to maintain the high tempo and continue showing a clinical edge in front of goal. The U’s followed orders impeccably and effectively wrapped the game up in the opening six minutes of the second half.
Inside the 60 seconds, Brown worked the ball down the left side before being fouled just outside the Dons area. Dylan Williams then delivered a looping free kick to the far post where Harry Darling jumped highest to convert his first for the club since signing from the Shadow Scholarship scheme based at CRC.
It was moments after the restart that Leon Davies regained possession from the Dons’ left winger, the tackle fell to Thomas Knowles who looked up and whipped a deep cross in behind an out of shape back four, where a recovering defender tried to keep the pass from finding Jordan Brown but in doing so sent a deflection over the stranded keeper to make it 5-0.
It was another set piece on 55 minutes which made it six for the U’s, this time a central free kick which Dylan Williams fired into Harry Darling who unselfishly played the ball back across the goal for Thomas Knowles to score his second.
MK Don’s to their credit kept attempting to implement their playing philosophy on the game and registered two late consolation goals. Whilst the game may have become slightly scrappy in the latter stages, there were pleasing contributions from the returning Ryan Harnwell and also the introduction of U15 Joe Neal to complete a fine display from United.
Goals: Jordan Brown 2, Thomas Knowles 2, Harry Darling 1, OG 1