Youngsters are pegged back after a whirlwind start
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s had to settle for a hard-fought share of the spoils at Southend yesterday after they failed to build on Chace Jacquart’s first minute opener.
Just a week before the first-team’s League 2 match at Roots Hall, Wimbledon’s youngsters enjoyed the perfect start when Jacquart (pictured above being congratulated after his goal in the Surrey Senior Cup against Horley Town) slotted home after just 38 seconds, but the visitors could not add to their tally and Southend battled back for a 1-1 draw.
Though Tom Beere came close to doubling Wimbledon’s lead, the Dons could not press home their advantage and Marlon Agyakwa struck an equaliser in superb style on the stroke of half-time with a 30-yard thunderbolt.
With nine Under-18s having been called up for the first-team’s Surrey Senior Cup tie at Chipstead last night, the match provided an opportunity for Academy Manager Mark Robinson to blood more of his youngsters. Terry Murray and Rob Switon were among those to step-up from Wimbledon’s college squad and they both took their chances to impress. Indeed, Murray could have won it for Wimbledon in the second-half when his shot bounced off the upright.
However, Wimbledon needed fine saves from goalkeeper Jordan Knight to deny Southend a winner with the hosts having the better of it during the second-half. The draw leaves Southend in mid-table of the Football League Youth Alliance South East Division with Wimbledon just below them.
Mark Robinson said: “With nine of our players missing due to playing in the Surrey Senior Cup, we lacked a bit of spark. However, it offered opportunities for lads from the College Academy to play for us and I thought that Terry Murray and Rob Switon were our stand-out players on the day. The games have been coming thick and fast for the boys lately and we were not at our best, but at least we dug in for a point.”