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REPORT | MK Dons 2 v 0 Academy - Youth Alliance Cup Final

20 April 2023

Club News

REPORT | MK Dons 2 v 0 Academy - Youth Alliance Cup Final

20 April 2023

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Millers defeated in hotly-contested Cup Final...

It wasn't to be for Richard Hairyes' young Millers as two goals in either half from Tommy Blennerhassett saw them slip to a 2-0 defeat to MK Dons in the Youth Alliance Cup Final at Stadium MK. 

As to be expected in a Cup Final, the initial proceedings were cagey. The lone effort at goal coming when defender Callum Tripp looked to get on the end of Joel Anker’s cross, but his header was far wide of the mark.

The first significant chance was the one that broke the deadlock, when Blennerhassett found a gap in the Millers defence and applied a poacher’s finish into an open goal to give his side the lead.

Going in search of an instant response, just a minute later, darting striker Ben Hatton picked the pockets of the Dons’ defence, before cutting it back for Joel Holvey who was approaching at pace. However, despite the skipper’s outstretched leg, the ball rolled agonisingly across the face of the MK Dons goal.

Around the 20 minute mark, the Millers came close once again. Jake Champion this time, looping a shot towards Ronnie Sandford’s far post with impressive technique, but the Dons’ ‘keeper was able to palm it away at full stretch.

Nat Ford heroics would carry over from the semi-final clash with Mansfield when he darted off his line like lightning to make a David de Gea-esque stop with his leg to deny Edwin Daffern.

The skipper Holvey would come close to an equaliser once again. With the angle working against him, Holvey’s low driven strike troubled Sandford, but the MK Dons’ ‘1 got down well to make the stop at his near post.

Perhaps beginning to show a theme, Ford popped up with another great stop. A scramble in the box saw an MK Dons strike take a horrendous deflection mere feet in front of the ‘keeper, but he showed near superhuman reflexes to produce the save.



The second half started as the first half finished – with an eye-catching Nat Ford save. This side, it was a fingertip stop to deny Blennerhassett a second.

There was slight cause for concern around five minutes into the half as Champion stayed grounded following a tackle, but after a short pause and attention from the Millers’ physios, the ‘7 was back to his feet.

The golden chance of the half came as ‘keeper Ronnie Sandford over-committed himself and found himself stranded outside the box, but Ayres couldn’t quite pick up the pieces as the home side just about swept things up.

Mere minutes after the heart-in-mouth moment for the Dons, Blennerhassett doubled his side’s lead with a deftly executed finish from outside the box, capping off an impressive counter attack.

The Millers poured their hearts and souls into the tie, but it simply wasn’t to be.




MK DONS: Sandford, Wood, Boyce (Scholtz 64’), Tripp, Anderson, Waller © (Lucas 64’), Bombo (Stirland 70’), Anker, Blennerhassett, Daffern (Mann 83’), Adepoju.

SUBS: Stacey.

ROTHERHAM: Ford, Shepherd, Jenkinson, Douglas, Day, Abraham (Mare 84’), Champion, Hatton, Holvey © (Clark 70’), Grove (Ayres 45’), Seisay (Roddis 89’).

SUBS: Hamilton.



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