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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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09 July 2022 Venue Priory Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Eastbourne Borough
1 - 0
AFC Wimbledon
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Match Reports

Dons edged out at Eastbourne

Narrow defeat for Wimbledon

9 July 2022

Johnnie Jackson’s AFC Wimbledon suffered their first loss of pre-season on Saturday afternoon as Eastbourne Borough prevailed as 1-0 winners at Priory Lane.

In the end it was a blast from the past that came up with the goods for the hosts as former Don Chris Whelpdale headed home a corner during the latter stages of the second-half.

This proved to be enough for the non-league side to take victory against a mix-matched Wimbledon side who largely struggled to fashion any clear openings.

The baking heat and 3G pitch made for a different challenge to what we faced at Bedford Town a week earlier and it was certainly a game that had more of a real-season feel as Boro more than matched the Dons in the physical battles.

All in all it is still very much early days with regards to Wimbledon’s preparations for the season ahead, however Jackson and his staff will no doubt be looking for a much-improved performance on Tuesday when we take on Farnborough.

Jackson looked to get more minutes into the legs of his squad in what was our second away trip of this pre-season campaign, with the likes of Chris Gunter and Ayoub Assal both coming into the starting eleven.

The first 10 minutes certainly didn’t have the feel of a friendly, with both sides looking to take control. Jack Currie had Wimbledon’s first effort as he let fly from distance, but his right-footed shot was comfortably saved by Mark Smith.

George Marsh and Alfie Bendle’s partnership in the centre of the park is certainly a developing one, with both players showing their bite and creativity in equal measure as they looked to keep the tempo high.

Assal was next to go close for the Dons, with the attacking midfielder jinking past two oncoming challenges before seeing his rising shot fly just over the bar.

Dylan Adjei-Hersey was impressive at right wing-back once again, beating his man on several occasions and delivering balls into the area that just needed a final touch.

The first-half finished goalless in the end, with neither side creating much in the way of clear-cut chances.

It was the home side who started the better of the two teams in the second-half, with three half chances presenting themselves to Boro in the opening quarter.

Nevertheless Wimbledon came back at their hosts and it was substitute Zach Robinson who fashioned a good chance for himself following Assal’s flicked pass, with his resulting shot being saved by Smith in the Eastbourne goal.

The likes of Ben Mason and Kai Jennings were given their first taste of first-team action this pre-season as the team took on an even more youthful look as we neared the 70 minute mark.

However the injection of fresh legs failed to yield anything in terms of goal mouth action for Wimbledon and as a result it was Boro who would go on to take the lead as Whelpdale nodded home at the near post from a corner.

On the balance of play it was the least that Eastbourne deserved as Jackson’s men continued to struggle to break their opponents down.

In the end it ended in defeat but most importantly several players were given much needed minutes as the League Two season grows ever closer.

AFC Wimbledon: Nik Tzanev (Nathan Broome), Chris Gunter (Paul Kalambayi), George Marsh (Zach Robinson), Trialist (Trialist), Ayoub Assal (Kai Jennings), Ethan Chislett (Kwaku Frimpong), Alex Pearce (Will Nightingale), Alfie Bendle (Trialist), Jack Currie (Josh Hallard), Dylan Adjei-Hersey (Luke Jenkins), Isaac Ogundere (Ben Mason).

PICS: Lucy Dixon

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