Rochdale’s under-18 side progressed through to the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win over MK Dons at the Crown Oil Arena.
Goals from Fabio Tavares and Florian Yonsian sealed the second round victory for 10-man Dale.
A dominant Rochdale took a 1-0 lead into the break, after Fabio Tavares opened the scoring on eight minutes. MK Dons had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the score down.
The visitors had the first shot on goal, when Dylan Asonganyi’s strike from the edge of the area was kept out by Morgan Piper. But it was one of less than a handful of times they tested the Rochdale goal throughout the match.
Soon after, Tavares broke the deadlock, nodding beyond Jones from a deep ball to the back post after good work down the right.
Rochdale grew in confidence and took control of the game, carving out a series of opportunities.
Two minutes after the goal, Dale, through a break down the left, were in again. Florian Yonsian found Tavares, who squared the ball to Lewis Bradley, but his first-time effort was denied by an excellent stop from Jones.
Sixty seconds later, and Juwon Hamzat looped a header narrowly over the bar from a Bradley corner.
Tavares looked certain for a second when he was played in one-on-one with the goalkeeper by Louis White, but again Jones, in fine form, kept Rochdale out.
Bradley had a left-footed shot turned away by the MK Dons stopper a short time later, before he saw a header drop just wide of the post.
With five minutes of the half remaining, Harrison Hopper was kept out by Jones from Tavares’ cut-back, while Tavares had a header denied on the line by the ‘keeper.
Before the half was out, the visitors’ Jenson Wright fired a long-range effort narrowly over.
HT | ROCHDALE 1-0 MK DONS
Three minutes after the re-start, MK Dons had their best opportunity of the game, but Recoe Martin could only fire narrowly over the bar.
Dale were reduced to 10 men in the 54th minute, when Hopper was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Charlie Pattison.
But despite the deficit, Rochdale continued strongly. Bradley sent an audacious volley at goal from the edge of the area, which looked destined for the top corner of the net, only to see Jones get his finger to it to the effort over the bar.
Rochdale’s second came ten minutes later, though. Following a 50-50 challenge involving Bradley, the ball fell to Yonsian, who curled across goal and in at the far post.
Substitutions followed, as Rochdale saw out the half. Kisimba Musambya and Toby Phillips replacing Bradley and White, respectively.
In added time, MK Dons’ Martin had effort kept out by the post and the follow up was flagged offside.
Before the game was out, Man of the Match Tavares made way for Morgan Moreland.
FT | ROCHDALE 2-0 MK DONS
Rochdale will play QPR at Loftus Road in the third round of the competition.