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Tough night for young Dons

4 December 2013

Tom Beere's goal fails to spark Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon’s youngsters failed to build on a bright start at Colston Avenue tonight as they were eventually overpowered by Ryman Premier League side Carshalton.

It all looked so promising early on when Tom Beere (pictured) put the Dons – consisting entirely of Under-21 players – 1-0 up, but a Carshalton side inspired by former Wimbledon striker Lewis Taylor wore them down and eventually triumphed 3-1.

Manager Shaun North had stressed during the build-up to this match that the development of Wimbledon’s young players was what mattered most and there were lessons to be learned from this Surrey Senior Cup second round elimination. However, a sending off for Chace Jacquart appeared particularly harsh and the Dons showed character to keep the score down with 10 men for the last half hour.

The Dons made a bright start in their bid for a similar outcome to the last time AFC Wimbledon visited Colston Avenue when the visitors triumphed 2-0 on 24 March, 2008.

Defender Oluseyi Daley, who scored for the Under-21s against QPR earlier this season, is often a useful presence at the other end and he came close to opening the scoring when he fired just over the crossbar. However, Wimbledon never had to wait too long to break the deadlock and they did it in fine style too through Beere. The promising forward, who was prolific for the first team in pre-season, latched onto a through ball and produced a fine angled drive that just had enough on it to beat Carshalton goalkeeper Dean Snedker.

However, Wimbledon were forced deeper as the first-half wore on and it needed Dons goalkeeper Jordan Knight to rescue the visitors on two occasions. Knight’s first save to deny Niall McManus was fairly routine, but his second stop to deny the same player was an excellent effort as he dived low to his right at full stretch to maintain Wimbledon’s lead. The hosts continued to make it difficult for Wimbledon and Lewis Taylor, who is now captain at Carshalton, struck just wide from outside the area.

Wimbledon had shown an admirable resilience after being put under sustained pressure, but the only disappointing aspect was that they had struggled to build on such a promising start. Taylor struck another long-range effort onto the roof of the net and it needed a superb last-ditch challenge from Charlie Fayers to deny Jordan Wilson.

Carshalton did get the first-half equaliser they perhaps deserved on the stroke of half-time when Wilson’s cross picked out Taylor and this time he made no mistake from close range.

It did not take long for the hosts to put Wimbledon under pressure again at the start of the second-half and they were 2-1 up just two minutes after half-time when Taylor crossed from the right and Tommy Bradford steered home from close-range. The response was good from Wimbledon though and they could have been level almost immediately when Oakley met a Charlie Fayers corner, but his effort was just wide.

Shaun North decided to make a change on the hour when Egli Kaja entered the fray for Dan Ageyi. However, the Dons had a mountain to climb just minutes later. Chace Jacquart went down under a challenge in the box, but he was booked by referee Steven Scott for diving and then shown a second yellow apparently for dissent. It was effectively all over midway through the second-half when Taylor put over another fine cross from the right and Kingsley Aikhionbare rose highest in the box to head home.

but they at least salvaged pride on the night by refusing to allow Carshalton to run away with it in the last half hour. If the Dons had every reason to feel aggrieved by that decision, they were stunned when the man in the middle refused to award a penalty after Oakley was sent sprawling in the box. That ended any slim hopes of Wimbledon getting back into it,

AFC Wimbledon: Jordan Knight, Kieron Tarbie, Charlie Fayers, Dan Pearse, Oluseyi Daley, Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Ageyi (Egli Kaja), Tom Beere, George Oakley (Ben Harrison), Chace Jacquart, Rob Switon (Billy Frost).

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