Under-18s in fine form ahead of FA Youth Cup match
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s warmed-up for Thursday’s FA Youth Cup tie at home to Burnley in style with an impressive victory against Cambridge on Saturday.
Mark Robinson’s side host Burnley at the Cherry Red Records Stadium (7.00 pm start) with hopes high that they can cause an upset after a brilliant 3-2 win.
goal for Wimbledon this season. But the Dons grabbed the initiative through a well-worked team goal. Man of the Match Billy Frost and Egli Kaja combined to find Ian Smith in space and his cross was brilliantly finished off by Neset Bellikli.nd The two sides traded blows early on and it was 1-1 midway through the first-half with Dan Agyei having scored his 22
Better was to come from Wimbledon and they marched into a 3-1 lead with a goal of real precision and class. The excellent Bellikli instigated a move involving Alfie Egan and Dan Agyei and Ollie Haines (pictured) finished off superbly from 15 yards. It was all Wimbledon for the rest of the first-half with Jason Stripp and Smith offering useful outlets in the full-back positions and the midfield of Frost, Egan and Bellikli pulling the strings.
Wimbledon continued the momentum after half-time with Kaja, Haines, Bellikli, Agyei and Dom Bongo all coming close to sealing victory. However, Cambridge edged back into it with a goal nine minutes from time and it was a nervous finale for Wimbledon. Dan Ano came close to a clincher near the end when he shot just wide after another fine move that involved good play from substitute James Parker, but the Dons had done enough for victory.
Manager Mark Robinson said: “I was very pleased with the performance. There is continued progression from the boys in the Under-18s, through to the Under-21s and now into the first-team squad. We therefore had to have a big change around. I had asked the boys to put themselves in contention for places on Thursday and they all did that.
“For 80 minutes we were completely in control of our own destiny, but in a similar way to so many occasions this season we missed chances to seal it. Ian Smith and Jason Stripp both did very well playing out of position and it was great to see Dom Bongo do well in his first start for a few months after injury. It sets the boys up nicely for Thursday and I will be looking for the boys playing for the Under-21s tonight to play well, but hopefully stay injury-free.”
-As we announced last night, an AFC Wimbledon development side host Luton Town tonight (7.00 pm start at Merstham FC) with £5 entry prices for all.
-The club shop will be open from 5.00 pm until 6.45 pm before Thursday’s FA Youth Cup tie.