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Young Dons bounce back

11 August 2014

Dan Agyei goal earns draw at Peterborough

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s bounced back from their opening day defeat with an encouraging draw at Peterborough United on Saturday.

Dan Agyei (pictured) netted an impressive equaliser in a 1-1 draw that came against a club’s academy that finished as runners-up in the Football League Youth Alliance last season.

Wimbledon recovered from a slow start that resulted in Peterborough taking the lead through Harry Anderson. Alfie Egan twice came close to equalising, before Callum Wilson shot over the crossbar after a fine team move involving Dan Gallagher, Jason Stripp and Egli Kaja. Man of the Match Agyei, who produced an excellent performance up front, forced Peterborough goalkeeper Dion Curtis-Henry into a fine save before the break.

  At the other end, Dons goalkeeper Billy Bishop had been well protected in the first-half by composed displays at the back from Ben Harrison, Ryan Sweeney and Reece Batchelor.

Having ended the first-half so promisingly, it was no surprise when Wimbledon restored parity five minutes after the restart. Egan picked out Agyei and he did the rest with a brilliant run, before firing brilliantly into the bottom corner from 20 yards. The Dons suffered a setback 10 minutes after the break when Batchelor had to come off with a head injury and he was replaced by Dom Bongo.

The Dons were rescued by a brilliant save from Bishop midway through the second-half when he got down low to turn away a 20-yard free-kick from Anderson. Manager Mark Robinson then decided to introduce 15-year-old Reece Williams-Bowers and he went on to produce an excellent display for one so young. Fellow substitute Dan Ano also caused problems and he twice came close to a winner.

Mark Robinson saluted his team’s overall performance and he also paid tribute to his players for a lovely gesture towards him at the game. Following the sad loss of Mark’s mother last week, the players presented their manager with a signed Wimbledon shirt, including her name Betty and the message R.I.P on the back.

Mark said: “On a personal note I’m not really someone for a show of public emotion, but I have to thank the boys for their present at the game after losing my Mum on Friday morning. It was a class thing to do off their own backs and made me very proud to be their coach.

“The boys started slowly again, but for most of the first-half we played good football and caused Peterborough problems. After equalising in the second-half, we lacked quality at times, but we finished strongly and created some good chances. Reece Williams-Bowers was excellent when he came on and looked so comfortable at this level. It was good to see the boys somewhere close to what they’re capable of against a side who will no doubt once again be challenging for the title.”

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