Wimbledon's youngsters turn on the style with key players missing
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s showed their strength in depth today with an excellent victory at Crawley Town.
Dan Pearse (pictured) marked his comeback after suspension by scoring the opener in a 2-1 victory with Youssouf Bamba, who recently signed a professional contract, striking the winner.
Wimbledon Academy Manager, Mark Robinson, was forced to ring the changes with his side having played as recently as Saturday (3-3 draw at home to Leyton Orient) and first-team manager Neal Ardley requiring several Under-18s for Wednesday’s London Senior Cup tie at Barking.
Speaking to Dons Player, Mark Robinson, said: “It was so pleasing today and it was one of our best performances because we had only played on Saturday. There is also the London Senior Cup match on Wednesday and Neal Ardley wants 10 of our squad involved for that game, which is great.
“That meant that today was a real turnaround and it gave opportunities to boys who have not had many games. We also called up a couple of players from our college programme. We were excellent today and we could have won by more in the end.”
Wimbledon’s victory marched them up to mid-table in the Football League Youth Alliance with the Dons having shown impressive form in recent weeks. Pearce headed home the first at Crawley Town and though the hosts equalised, Bamba was in the right place to strike the winner after good work by George Oakley. Chris Vleitinck was Wimbledon’s man of the match as he produced another commanding display at full-back.
The Under-18s drew 3-3 at home to Orient on Saturday with a double from Harlan Basker and a Sam Baffour strike. Greg Hayden was man of the match.
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Mark Robinson on our premium site.