Winger scores the goal of the night at Milton Keynes
Wimbledon turned on the style tonight with an excellent attacking performance earning victory at Milton Keynes in the Final Third Development Cup.
Though this cup group match lacked the drama of last month’s memorable win for the first-team in the JPT, it was certainly a worthwhile exercise for Wimbledon with a 3-0 victory and plenty of positives on the night. Kevin Sainte-Luce (pictured) stole the show with a brilliant goal on the night, but George Oakley, who was a late substitute at Northampton on Saturday, was equally as good.
Oakley all had opportunities to boost their match fitness levels and impress the watching Neal Ardley ahead of the FA Cup trip to York City on Saturday. Coach Alan Reeves included five players with first-team experience in his starting line-up at Milton Keynes. Callum Kennedy, Tom Beere, Jake Nicholson, Sainte-Luce and
Back at the scene of Wimbledon’s memorable Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win last month, Neal Ardley witnessed a goal that enhanced Oakley’s growing reputation. The game had been lacking in quality until Oakley picked up the ball 20 yards out and he struck a superb low effort that left Milton Keynes goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin with no chance.
The opening goal resulted in a spirited response from the hosts and it needed excellent last-ditch defending from Wimbledon to keep the lead intact. Wimbledon goalkeeper Joe McDonnell reacted brilliantly to turn away Mark Randall’s strike and then it needed Ryan Sweeney to block Carl Baker’s follow-up.
Wimbledon controlled the majority of the first-half and David Fitzpatrick provided a useful outlet on the right wing. However, Fitzpatrick should perhaps have done better when he got behind the Milton Keynes defence, but he failed to pick the right pass with players in the middle waiting. Jake Nicholson also tried his luck with a 25-yard effort, but his shot was off target. Oakley certainly had his shooting boots on though and it was so nearly 2-0 just before the break when he cut inside and unleashed a fierce drive that flashed just wide of a post.
Though Wimbledon had shaded it in the first-half, they could not afford to rest on their laurels and McDonnell was forced into another decent save to deny another effort from Randall.
However, Wimbledon did not take long to stamp their authority on the second-half and it was 2-0 less than a minute into the second-half. Sainte-Luce produced a dashing turn of foot that left Harry Hickford trailing in his wake and the Dons winger was sent sprawling just inside the area. Chace Jacquart stepped up and struck a lovely penalty into the bottom corner that left McLoughlin with no chance.
Far from being content with what they had, Wimbledon were hungry for more and the goal of the night followed shortly afterwards. A flowing Wimbledon move ended with Nicholson picking out Sainte-Luce and he beat two challenges before finishing emphatically into the roof of the net. At this stage, it now seemed to be a case of how many for Wimbledon against a Milton Keynes side that included first teamers Samir Carruthers, Mark Randall and Danny Green. Sainte-Luce could have earned another penalty after a mazy run, but this time the referee was unimpressed by his claims.
Milton Keynes did have their best spell of the match midway through the second-half, but McDonnell reacted brilliantly to tip over a deft chip from Baker and Will Summerfield shot wide from close range. Sainte-Luce was brought off with 10 minutes remaining and he could be well pleased with his night’s work after making way for Ben Harrison.
Summerfield missed a great chance to reduce the arrears in the final moments, but it would have been of consolation value only and Wimbledon were certainly worthy winners on the night.
AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, George Pilbeam, Callum Kennedy, Danny Gallagher, Tom Beere, Ryan Sweeney, David Fitzpatrick, Jake Nicholson, George Oakley (Dan Agyei), Chace Jacquart, Kevin Sainte-Luce (Ben Harrison).