George Oakley takes the plaudits for Under-18s
Striker George Oakley’s overall performance for Wimbledon Under-18s in a gallant defeat at Luton Town has earned high praise from Mark Robinson.
The Dons may have been beaten 4-3 at Luton on Saturday, but Mark took consolation from his side’s performance, in particular from 17-year-old George Oakley (pictured), who highlighted his improvement this season with an all-action display.
, Wimbledon’s Academy Manager, said: “George, in particular, was outstanding and he produced perhaps the best individual performance since I have been involved with the Under-18s. He is a big, strong centre-forward who has taken a lot on board this season. George was really disappointed with the way that he performed in the FA Youth Cup earlier this season, but during the last two or three weeks he has really started to understand things and has progressed. He produced a great performance against Crawley and he was immense against Luton. They had two big centre-halves and he absolutely bullied them. George is Wimbledon through and through as he has been with us since he was 11 so it is great to see him doing well.”Speaking to Dons Player
Wimbledon scored the opener in style on Saturday when Tom Beere struck with an unstoppable 25-yarder, but the lead was short-lived as Luton equalised through Zane Banton. A Jemale McKenzie-Lowe strike put the Hatters ahead, but Oakley claimed another goal just before the break to make it 2-2 at half-time. Though Charlie Smith restored Luton’s advantage with a penalty in the second-half, Oakley’s persistence won Wimbledon a spot-kick and Dan Pearse made it 3-3 from 12 yards.
That looked to have earned an admirable draw for Wimbledon against one of the leading sides in the Football League Youth Alliance South East Division, but Brett Longsden won it for Luton in the last minute with a fine solo goal.
.Dons Player trialSign-up today by clicking on During an in-depth intervew for Dons Player, Mark Robinson updated us on a hectic time for the Under-18s and spoke about how his players have benefited from training with the first-team. Supporters can sign-up for a free 14-day Dons Player trial during March to watch our exclusive interviews.
We were the better side in the second-half and created a lot of chances so there are a lot of positives to take. However, Luton were very good on the break and I will get the DVD from Luton and have a look at the goals we conceded so that we can work on that side of things.” On Saturday's Luton defeat, Mark Robinson added: “I hate losing football matches and there have been games this season that we have lost and I have been frustrated with the boys. But it was not one of those games on Saturday. There were a lot of good performances in our team. It was 3-3 for a while and that would have been a fair result.
George Oakley will be one of several Wimbledon Under-18s featuring in tomorrow night’s first-team Surrey Senior Cup quarter-final tie at Chipstead. Click on cup news to view the article published earlier today on the official website. The Under-18s are in action at Southend tomorrow afternoon so Mark Robinson has split his squad for these two matches.