Buckingham Athletic enjoyed a successful day when they welcomed Sky Bet Championship new boys MK Dons for a pre-season friendly at the weekend – despite losing the game 12-0.
A large crowd filled Stratford Fields for the Athletic’s marquee pre-season opener with the club also announcing a lucrative sponsorship deal from Skoda.
Chairman Tony Checkley said: “Today was more about the club than the game itself, we were extremely pleased and honored that MK Dons would make time to visit us and for Karl Robinson to send down such an experienced side was fantastic.”
MK Dons dominated the encounter from start to finish with the goals coming via a Ben Reeves hat-trick, braces from Simon Church, Carl Baker and Daniel Powell and further strikes from Jordan Spence and young midfielder Andrew Osei-Bonsu.
Athletic manager Mark Carter, who only took charge this summer, said afterwards: “Although it was a heavy defeat, the opportunity to play against a professional team, such as MK Dons, was possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our young squad.
“The lads did well for the first 10 minutes, even creating a couple of decent half chances, but after Ben Reeves had opened the scoring there was only ever going to be one outcome.
“We were obviously outclassed by our opposition but great credit to the lads for trying to play their own football against a much superior side.
“The Dons passing and movement were at times great to watch but the experience gained will go a long way in my young squad’s development and I am sure that it will benefit them in the long run.
”Many thanks to Karl Robinson and his team for bringing such a great squad to Stratford Fields and from everybody at Buckingham Athletic we wish them well for their first season in the Championship.”
Karl Robinson’s starting XI of the afternoon included a host of first-team players, such as striker Simon Church, last season’s Player of the Year Carl Baker and midfielder Ben Reeves and it was the latter who got the scoring started in the ninth minute when he drove onto Daniel Powell’s cutback and poked the ball past the Athletic keeper.
Reeves then turned provider to set up Baker for his first goal of the afternoon – a neat finish into the bottom right corner from the edge of the area – before Church made it 3-0 with a close-range strike after Kabongo Tshimanga’s effort was parried.
The goals continued to fly win with Baker curling home a beauty before Reeves completed a hat-trick inside 36 minutes and further strikes from Church, Spence and Powell made it 9-0 at half-time.
Tshimanga, Powell and youngster Osei-Bonsu completed the scoring in the second half.
Checkley added: “MK Dons should take a huge amount of credit in the way they link and support the local community and more importantly for us grass roots football.
“Our connection with them is really important, we had a great crowd at the game and for the local community to have the chance to get so close to the players that they watch at the StadiumMK every week was something else.”
Athletic are still looking for new players as they rebuild for the coming season. Training takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm. Their pre-season campaign continues this Saturday at home to Hale Leys United at 3pm.