King's Lynn Town beaten by MK Dons in opening friendly of the summer
King's Lynn Town 1 MK Dons 3
King's Lynn Town opened their pre-season programme with defeat against a strong MK Dons side at The Walks on Tuesday night.
A brace from Scott Twine in the opening hour gave the League One outfit a comfortable 2-0 advantage in Norfolk.
Cameron King marked his return by pulling a goal back with a sumptuous finish in the second half before Max Watters restored the visitors two-goal cushion late on.
The Linnets named two different line-ups, as is tradition for the opening friendly in pre-season, as they gear up for their second campaign in the National League.
The game was played over four 30-minute quarters, with Lynn giving both line-ups an hour of action.
Ian Culverhouse's opening XI included new recruits Paul Jones, Pierce Bird, Dan Bowry and Junior Morias, donning shirts worn by many of Lynn's playing squad from last season.
Ross Barrows, Michael Clunan and Michael Gyasi were the only three recognisable names from Lynn's last campaign on the pitch to start with as their first XI featured a handful of trialists.
One of those was Harry Riley who was released by MK Dons over the summer.
Munashe Sundire, Gold Omotayo, Ethan Coleman and Luis Fernandez – four more of Lynn's summer arrivals – took to the field for the second two quarters of the match.
Four of the old brigade in King, Tai Fleming, Tyler Denton and Joe Gascoigne started the second hour, along with Under-23 goalkeeper Charlie Phillips and two more trialists.
The likes of Kyle Callan-McFadden and Aaron Jones – continuing their rehabilitation following serious injuries – weren’t involved, along with Jordan Richards, Dayle Southwell, Alex Browne.
As expected, a strong MK Dons enjoyed the bulk of the early possession.
The League One outfit had early penalty appeals waved away by the referee after Jay Bird teed up new signing Scott Twine, who went down under a challenge.
But the visitors didn't have to wait much longer before getting their noses in front after Twine fired home from inside the area after B Trialist had an effort blocked in the area.
Lynn, who only started pre-season training on Saturday, created very little in the opening 30 minutes although Morias was a real livewire during his time on the pitch.
Twine was a real thorn in Lynn's side in the first hour.
Eight minutes into the second quarter, the goalscorer won the ball midway inside the Lynn half. He drove forward and teed up Charlie Brown, who saw his effort blocked.
Twine then found his way to the byline and cut the ball back for Charlie Brown but it was perfectly intercepted by Bird.
The visitors doubled their advantage after Dean Lewington found B Trialist with a terrific ball and his cross led to a goalmouth scramble which was eventually poked across the line by Twine for his second goal of the evening.
The Linnets made all 11 changes as expected at half-time, giving the fans in attendance the chance to see a number of the club’s summer recruits for the first time.
Fernandez drew warm applause from the watching crowd following a crunching interception in the early stages of the third quarter.
It was King – back in a Lynn shirt for the first time since April – who wasted an excellent opportunity to reduce the arrears when he blazed over the woodwork from a few yards out.
But he soon made amends with a delightful 30-yard finish on the right after winning the ball and spotting the visiting goalkeeper a long way off his line.
Under-23s goalkeeper Phillips performed admirably on his first team bow, producing smart saves to deny Daniel Harvie and Watters in quick succession.
Watters stabbed home a late third for MK Dons in what proved to be an excellent opening workout for Lynn.
Lynn's next friendly in front of fans comes against Premier League Norwich City on Friday night.
Games against Bishops Stortford, Chelmsford City, Stratford Town, Peterborough United, Alfreton Town and Heacham follow before Lynn begin their National League campaign at home to Southend United on Saturday, August 21.