AFC Wimbledon Under-18s maintained an impressive spell of form by getting the better of Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Seeking a fourth successive victory, the young Dons did it the hard way by coming from behind to triumph 3-1 at home. Wimbledon had to stay patient to net the goals required after Orient had been reduced to 10 men and captain Jack Rudoni (pictured) led by example with two fine strikes.
Wimbledon started brightly with the in-form Zachary Robinson heading just wide early on and the same player also cracked a superb 25-yard effort against the crossbar. However, Orient responded and they marched into the lead with a well-taken goal. Amin Benyoucef turned away from two Dons midfielders, before driving towards the penalty area and striking the ball into the bottom left corner. With half an hour gone. Orient were reduced to 10 men when captain Mason Hall was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Ayoub Assal. This swung momentum back into Wimbledon's favour, but it proved difficult to break Orient down before the break.
After half-time Wimbledon set about turning around the result to maintain the winning streak and it was Rudoni who got the equaliser on 57 minutes. A short free-kick was not dealt with and after Rudoni's ball to the back post was diverted back into his path, the young midfielder calmly slotted home with his right foot. Just two minutes later, Rudoni was celebrating his second. An excellent corner delivery from David Fisher was headed down by Jack Madelin and Rudoni volleyed home emphatically. Victory was sealed in the fifth minute of injury-time when Robinson found Rudoni, who square the ball home for Donte Lodge Francis to tap home.
Following the match, assistant manager James Oliver-Pearce said: "Despite not being anywhere near our best, the boys managed to get a positive result, which leaves us five unbeaten and we move into the top half of the league. It is important the boys remember why our results and performance levels have improved and ensure we have a good week's training ahead of playing league leaders Northampton."
Look out tomorrow for highlights from the victory against Leyton Orient, plus an interview with James Oliver-Pearce.