Young Wimbledon side show quality against Belgians
A Wimbledon academy side produced a stylish display against European opposition today as they earned a 3-1 victory against Royal Antwerp.
The Belgians had already shown they were a force to be reckoned with by holding Charlton Athletic to a 0-0 draw in their first tour match, but a combined Dons U-15/U-16 team proved too strong for the visitors.
Academy Head of Coaching Mark Robinson described it as an “excellent performance” after the Dons marched to victory with goals from Dominic Bongo, Jason Stripp and Neset Bellikli.
“Our boys were excellent, particularly in the first-half as we played some exciting attacking football,” said Mark. “With four of our U15s on tour in Holland we only had a 12-man squad and when two of our players got injured we had to play 30 minutes with 10 men. We showed great discipline to withstand pressure from Royal Antwerp, but we finished strongly by scoring a third goal and playing more free-flowing football.
“We had quality players missing so overall I was very pleased with the boys individually and collectively. As well as demonstrating good technical ability, the players showed the mental characteristics required to play for our club.”
The victory capped a good weekend for the AFC Wimbledon academy with the U-18s beating Unique Academy 6-0 in a friendly on Saturday.
Man of the match Callum Wilson opened the scoring in great style with a lovely strike from 22 yards after good work from Oliver Haines. Defender Taylor Roles, who has made a habit of getting on the scoresheet recently, made it 2-0 with a fine header after a free-kick was swung in by Dan Pearse.
Callum Overton notched Wimbledon’s third and fourth with both goals set-up by the influential Haines. There was even better to come when Egli Kaja scored a superb solo goal to make it five and the excellent Wilson picked out Harry Bruce to complete the scoring.