Posh under 18s come from behind to beat MK Dons 2-1 in latest Youth Alliance fixture.

Lewis Darlington marked his first appearance in over four months with the winner as the Peterborough United under 18s extended their advantage at the top of the Youth Alliance League table to four points with 2-1 victory at Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday morning.

Darlington, who had been sidelined with a serious ankle injury, netted the winner in the final quarter of the game as Posh came from behind to secure three more points on their quest to secure back-to-back league titles for the first time this century.

Matthew Etherington’s men made a very bright start to the game and dominated the opening 35 minutes of the contest, playing some excellent football and carving out some notable opportunities, but a combination of a lack of composure in the final third and a good goalkeeping performance kept the scores level at 0-0.

Against the run of play, just before the break, the Dons opened the scoring, but despite that setback, the Posh youngsters continued to play some good football and levelled the scores when Nicky Gyimah turned his man and fired into the back of the net after good work from Benjamin Mensah down the right.

Posh continued to create good goal-scoring opportunities but as the game entered the final quarter, it was still all square at 1-1 until Darlington popped up with the winner. Etherington was delighted with his side’s application and quality in the 90 minutes. “We started slowly at Gillingham at the weekend and we made a point of ensuring that didn’t happen again.

“We completely dominated the opening 35 minutes and played some really good stuff, but we lacked a bit of composure in the final third and that is why it was 0-0. Then MK Dons scored completely against the run of play. The lads didn’t let it affect them though and continued to play well and we got our rewards.

“We kept going and to come from behind to secure a victory shows good character, particularly because there were a lot of tired legs at the end. Credit to the players for their application, that was brilliant. I was pleased, just like everybody else was, for Lewis to score the winner. It was his first appearance following a long lay off and credit to the medical staff and Lewis himself for all the hard work that has been undertaken to get him back.

“We have two league games remaining, at Luton on Saturday and then a home fixture with Southend. It is the last push now; we are within touching distance of what we wanted to achieve at the start of the season. We have played well since Christmas and we just need to continue to do that,” Etherington said.