Coach salutes standard of display against Cherries
Under-16s coach Michael Hamilton says his side has set a high standard to follow for the rest of 2014/15 after their thrilling victory against AFC Bournemouth.
Goals from Ethan Roberts, Reece Williams-Bowers, Jayden Antwi (pictured), and Luke Massey earned a 4-3 win against the Cherries and Hamilton is demanding a similar level of performance against Cambridge this Saturday.
“The performance was one that we can be proud of because it came against an established academy,” said Hamilton. "In terms of attitude and mentality the boys have set the standard. The only negative was that we became complacent after taking a 4-2 lead and we could have had one or two more goals if we had maintained the same energy.
“We got the balance right between trying to be creative and not over-playing, but from start to finish we always looked in control. I thought all the boys did well, but Jayden Antwi was immense from start to finish and Anthony Hartigan made it look so easy in the middle when he came on as substitute.’’
Though Bournemouth made a bright start, Wimbledon’s shape and intensity made it difficult for the visitors to find a way through. Wimbledon made the breakthrough after 15 minutes when the Bournemouth goalkeeper’s attempted clearance from a Ronan Halpin through ball was charged down by Ethan Roberts and he was rewarded for his persistence with an easy slot into the net.
The young Dons doubled their advantage when Antonio Walker, Antwi, and James Parker combined to put Roberts through, but he was brought down in the box. Williams-Bowers made no mistake from 12 yards.
Bournemouth got one back just before the half hour, but that produced a spirited reaction from the Dons and Antwi scored with an opportunist strike when he intercepted a back pass and poked home to make it 3-1.
Wimbledon maintained control after the break with Luke Massey and Anthony Hartigan pulling the strings in midfield, but Bournemouth got one back against the run of play.
Antwi came so close to restoring the two-goal cushion in style with a brilliant 25-yard effort that struck the crossbar, but there was not too long to wait for a fourth. It came courtesy of a fine team goal too as Roberts, Antwi and Judah Chapman combined to set-up a shooting chance for Massey and he found the top corner from 30 yards with an excellent finish.
A late Bournemouth goal made the final score line closer than it perhaps should have been, but Wimbledon could be well pleased with their performance on the day.
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s maintained match sharpness in preparation for their FA Youth Cup third round tie against Burnley on Thursday, 11 December, with an emphatic 8-2 friendly win against the LTB Sussex Academy at the weekend.
Dan Agyei netted a double with the other goals coming from Ollie Haines, Dan Ano, Neset Bellikli, Alfie Egan, Egli Kaja and trialist Owen Edobor against an academy managed by former Don Mark Beard.