Jeevesie’s sporting throwbacks…

Brian Jeeves

Seven years ago, this week – The time a future FIFA World Cup semi-finalist came to Great Wakering – Yellow Sports was at Burroughs Park to capture the action…

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Blues youngsters edge thrilling encounter
Southend United Under 18’s 4-3 MK Dons Under 18’s
Brian Jeeves reporting from Burroughs Park

MK Dons Under-18s were beaten 4-3 by Southend United on Tuesday evening in a nail-biting seven-goal thriller at Burroughs Park, home of Great Wakering Rovers FC.

This was another bonus fixture for Great Wakering supporters. Already three away Essex Senior League games and a County Cup fixture between Waltham Abbey and Southend United have been staged at the villagers ground, but this particular spectacle proved to be a highlight on what was an icy evening.

The howling wind made conditions difficult for both sides. 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 Buckinghamshire sides considerable 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. But 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 Bridge who in turn restored the Shrimpers lead.

The goal had clearly given Southend a lift. Williams found Farrell in space, but a wonderful saving tackle from Brendan Galloway denied the Blues frontman. However, if the Shrimpers believed they’d weathered any storm, the Dons were soon level again. Dan King was adjudged to have fouled lively youngster Alli, and the Dons man dusted himself down before beating Smith from the resulting spot-kick.

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.

The halftime brew appeared to pep up the Dons, who came out of the traps the sharpest – moving the ball with confidence – while Southend had to dig in and display resilience.

Smith turned away two stinging attempts from Spence, 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 Blues, and with twenty minutes remaining, they were made to pay. Brandon Scott provided some magic down the right flank before supplying Farrell, who in turn found the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Southend’s lead came against the run of play, but now their tails were up. Ross Johnson’s effort was hooked off the line, But Dan Matsuzaka added a fourth with a cool finish after the Blues recycled the move after Dons failed to clear the danger.

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 same man finishing a sweeping move for what turned out to be the final action of the night.

After the game, MK Dons boss, Mike Dove said: “Both teams did well dealing with difficult pitch and weather conditions. I felt our play deserved much more than what we’ve got but, at the end of the day, Southend took their chances and we didn’t.

“I’m still very proud of the boys because they stuck to their philosophy and they continued to play their football despite the state of the pitch. Forgetting the result it was a very positive evening and I’m still pleased.”

Southend United: Ted Smith, Harry Jeffrey, Robert Hyams, Dan King, Aaron Tatham, Dan Matsuzaka, Brandon Scott, Charlie Barlow, Jason Williams, Jack Bridge, Kane Farrell.

Southend United substitutes: 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.

MK Dons substitutes: Ben Taylor, Jacob Daffern, Gedeon Okito, Luke Tingey

Attendance: 20

Brian Jeeves