Dan Pearse sparks an excellent win against Brentford
Captain Dan Pearse led by example for the Under-18s on Saturday as he struck a superb hat-trick to help his side defeat Brentford in a five-goal thriller.
Mark Robinson’s side extended their unbeaten run to nine with a 3-2 victory as part of a packed day of action at the Cherry Red Records Stadium with the club’s younger academy teams taking on Crystal Palace.
It was always going to be a difficult test for the Dons with Brentford featuring five of the players who played for the Bees in their Milk Cup final victory against Liverpool. However, Wimbledon showed their threat early on with Egli Kaja and George Oakley posing problems up front for Brentford.
With Wimbledon’s midfield trio of Pearse, Danny Gallagher and Billy Frost establishing good possession, it was a good start from the hosts. And they took the lead in style after 25 minutes through that man Pearse, who found the bottom left hand corner with an excellent 20-yard strike from a free-kick. That produced a spirited response from Brentford though and Wimbledon needed goalkeeper Billy Bishop to rescue matters when he made a brilliant double save.
minute when Ollie Haines whipped in a dangerous cross that the Brentford goalkeeper could only parry into the path of Pearse and he made no mistake. It was so nearly 3-0 when the excellent Callum Overton set-up Dan Agyei, but his effort was saved.ndWimbledon had to withstand plenty of early second-half pressure with their back three of Ryan Sweeney, Taylor Roles and Rob Switon providing stubborn resistance. And Wimbledon doubled their advantage in the 52
Brentford earned reward for their pressure on the hour by reducing the deficit though and Wimbledon made a goalkeeping change after that with 15-year-old Will Mannion gaining experience for Bishop, who had been hugely impressive between the sticks.
The Dons effectively sealed victory when they won a penalty after an excellent move involving Callum Wilson, Switon and Overton, who was brought down in the area. Pearse stepped up to complete his hat-trick.
Though Brentford scored in the last minute, it was of consolation value only and Mark Robinson was very impressed by his side’s performance.
“It’s no secret Brentford have an excellent academy and they are incredibly proactive in their recruitment of players. Indeed, over the years our first-team have taken their academy products. So to produce that kind of performance against a Championship club with boys that have come through Sunday League football was great to see. As always, there are things that I want them to do better, but it was a real game of football tonight against a very good side so there were plenty of positives.
“I would like to thank Dan Pearse, Rob Switon and Nas Majeed for their professionalism tonight. They found out their futures at the club last Wednesday, but their professionalism and standard of performance tells us a lot about these lads and the environment that we’ve created at the academy. Everyone at the club wishes them the best of luck in their football careers.”
Dan Pearse was man of the match for Wimbledon.