The Dons defeat Crawley
Last-gasp winner from Greg Hayden
AFC Wimbledon U18s earned a dramatic last-gasp victory against Crawley on Saturday with substitute Greg Hayden heading home an injury-time winner.
Though Academy Manager Mark Robinson was far from impressed with his side’s overall performance, the young Dons at least showed tenacity to come from behind and win 3-2 so late on.It may be too late to save Wimbledon’s skins in the Football League Youth Alliance Cup as this victory in the competition came after a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth.
The Dons were second best early on, but they went in front against the run of play in the 24th minute when Duvaine Lindo rose highest in the box to head home a Charlie Fayers free-kick.A 30-yard wonder striker from Crawley’s Alex Laing meant that the lead was short-lived, but Wimbledon did at least end the first-half strongly.
However, Crawley started the second-half in determined mood and they were rewarded with a second when Scott Melville made it 2-1.
Mark Robinson made a crucial change after that setback though with Greg Hayden entering the fray as one of three substitutes. After Oluyesi Daley scored with an excellent header from a Fayers corner to draw the Dons level 10 minutes from time, it was Hayden’s turn to take centre stage. The substitute headed home emphatically from another corner from Fayers, who produced impressive delivery from set-pieces on the day.
“There are very few positives to take from today’s game other than the win,” said Mark Robinson. “After Tuesday’s excellent performance and win versus QPR, I expected something similar today from the boys in terms of performance and it never happened. We lacked vibrancy, our decision making was not good, and technically we were simply not good enough. We will now start preparations for our FA Youth Cup match on 31 October when we play Farnborough at home. Quite a lot of the boys are going to have to show more consistency to earn the right to play in this game."