Basker strikes comes too late to save Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s were brought back down to earth with a bump on Saturday as highly-rated Gillingham youngster Charlie Webster proved too hot to handle.
Following the high of beating Southend 4-0 in their previous outing, the young Dons were this time on the receiving end as they were beaten 4-1 by Gillingham.
Substitute Harlan Basker (pictured) netted a late consolation after a bright attacking performance from Gillingham had already secured the points in this Football League Youth Alliance match.
It had all looked so promising early on for Wimbledon with Callum Overton having an effort saved after just 30 seconds. However, the Dons slipped 1-0 down after 12 minutes when they failed to clear a cross and Josh Staunton headed home emphatically.
It could have been different though if the Dons had got one back before the break. They so nearly did when Ollie Haines found Callum Wilson in space down the right, but Overton just failed to reach his cross. Wimbledon struggled to contain the hosts before the break and Gillingham had marched into a 3-0 lead before the half hour with Webster netting his first two.
minute when Webster completed his hat-trick with a close-range finish.thThe Dons started the second-half better with substitute Egli Kaja making an impression, but any hopes of getting back into it were over in the 65
Wimbledon salvaged a bit of pride though when Basker fired home a superb strike from 20 yards to reduce the arrears.
Under-18s manager Mark Robinson said: “After last week’s display, this was obviously a hugely disappointing performance. I told the boys last week that there are many reasons why you win and lose football matches. If we do certain things consistently then we’ll always have a good chance of a positive outcome, but we did not do the simple things right on Saturday.
“We showed a lack of concentration and mental preparation, which is disappointing. I don’t want to take too much away from Gillingham though. We would have had to be at our very best to keep them at bay and they were very good at what they did.”
Haines received the man of the match award for Wimbledon.Ollie