George Oakley goal is not enough for young Dons
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s missed a golden opportunity to end their recent slump on Saturday as they allowed Gillingham to snatch victory at the death.
The young Dons were 1-0 up with eight minutes to play, thanks to a well worked goal from George Oakley (pictured), but Gillingham struck twice late on to win 2-1.
Bidding to make up for their FA Youth Cup disappointment at the hands of Cheltenham recently, Mark Robinson’s side started brightly and Oakley came close to opening his account after excellent work by the talented Yousef Bamba. Chace Jacquart also shot just wide as Wimbledon turned up the heat on their opponents and at the other end, Owen Roberts looked particularly impressive in the back four.
The hosts should have been in front by half-time with Bamba also coming close as he volleyed wide and then the same player shot into the side netting after a fine individual run.
It was a different story after the break as Gillingham came into it and Wimbledon goalkeeper Jack Greenaway twice had to make smart saves before the hour mark. However, Bamba, who impressed in the recent FA Youth Cup tie, again provided the spark for Wimbledon by beating two challenges down the wing, before crossing for Oakley to fire home emphatically from 12 yards.
Wimbledon appeared to be heading for a morale-boosting victory, but with eight minutes to play they failed to clear a corner and Gillingham punished them with the equaliser. Worse was to follow with almost the last action of the match. Goalkeeper Greenaway appeared to be impeded by two Gillingham players when attempting to gather a cross, but the referee deemed that there was no foul and that left a simple task for the visitors to notch a late winner.
Mark Robinson said: “It has not been a good couple of weeks for us in terms of conceding late goals and the boys were bitterly disappointed to lose the game. I will have to look at the DVD to see if we could have done better with their goals.I’m not sure we could have done much about their winner as Jack looked to be clearly impeded. There were definite positives to take from the first-half today and even some of our defending in the second half was excellent. The boys have a clear focus on what they need to do now and we just need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”