Full report from FA Youth Cup tie
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s were in no mood to be on the receiving end of a cup upset last night, but it took a spectacular strike from man of the match Billy Frost to open the floodgates.
minute and Egli Kaja led the charge after that with an impressive hat-trick.th Frost (pictured) quelled the enthusiasm of the 216 spectators with the opener in the 27 Hosts Fakenham Town had won four matches to reach the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup, but this proved to be a bridge too far for them as the young Dons triumphed 7-0 in the end.
Wimbledon’s squad appeared fully focused on the task in hand right from the outset with a pre-match briefing from manager Mark Robinson warning them about underestimating the opposition.
Ben Harrison, who coped admirably with the step-up to first-team level earlier this season, captained the side and he played as one of two full-backs given freedom to get forward as part of a back five.
minute to celebrate their first goal, but it was delivered in fine style. Frost took aim from outside the area and it was a finish to savour as his crisp strike left the goalkeeper with no chance.th The Dons had to wait until the 27 The hosts had their best spell of the game in the opening quarter as Wimbledon initially struggled to find their rhythm with passes going astray.
Three minutes later and Wimbledon had the cushion of a second goal. Kaja, who has missed a large part of this season through injury, opened his account with a lovely effort over Fakenham goalkeeper Bradley Palmer. Wimbledon’s tails were up now and it was effectively game over just four minutes after the opener when Dan Agyei made it 3-0. The striker capitalised on a defensive error and won his contest with Palmer to increase the advantage.
With half-time approaching, Wimbledon had taken control. Taylor Roles was now in commanding form at centre-back after Fakenham’s forwards had shown early promise. Of course, a player with Football League experience is of great value at this level and Ben Harrison led by example as a vocal presence in the back division.
Frost’s energy and industry in midfield impressed throughout with Kaja’s attacking prowess growing as the game progressed.
goal of the season.th minute when Frost tried to chip goalkeeper Palmer, who could only divert the ball into Agyei’s path and he made no mistake to register his 18th The interval allowed Fakenham to regroup and their high-tempo approach offered admirable resistance for a spell after the break. That was until the 56
Three minutes later, Callum Wilson almost got in on the act when he struck the crossbar with a fine effort. Jason Stripp was introduced after the hour with Neset Bellikli making way and Dan Ano – on for the final quarter in place of Agyei – made an almost immediate impact by scoring a fifth after a decent Dons move. Fifteen-year-old Reece Williams-Bowers continued his footballing education at this level after replacing Alfie Egan on 69 minutes.
There was still more to come from a now rampant Dons side. With 16 minutes to go, Kaja doubled his tally by cutting in from the left and striking home a fine finish and he put the icing on the cake by completing his hat-trick in the last minute of normal time.
It was a great way to end a fine night’s work for Wimbledon in Norfolk, but the management team know that a sterner test awaits with Gillingham or Eastleigh away in the next round.
AFC Wimbledon: Billy Bishop, Callum Wilson, Neset Bellikli (Jason Stripp), Reece Batchelor, Taylor Roles, Ben Harrison, Alfie Egan (Reece Williams-Bowers), Billy Frost, Dan Agyei (Dan Ano), Egli Kaja, Ollie Haines.