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Late agony for young Dons

3 November 2014

No excuses from coach after defeat

Mark Robinson took no consolation from his side’s performance after AFC Wimbledon Under-18s came so close to earning a creditable draw at Barnet on Saturday.

Taking on a Barnet side currently second in the Football League Youth Alliance after scoring over 40 goals already this season, it was always going to be a tough task, but the Dons went down to a gallant 3-2 defeat after conceding in injury-time.

However, speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s FA Youth Cup tie at Fakenham Town, Mark Robinson said: “The boys are gutted to concede once again in the final seconds of a game and young Dan Ano was frustrated because he thought his leg was clipped, which caused him to slip before their winner. Though these things happen in football, I’m more interested in why we started a game so ineptly after an excellent performance against Leyton Orient last week and with an FA Youth Cup tie coming up.

“It gets a little bit boring talking about passion and work-rate when it comes to doing something they should love. They’ve seen enough times this season that when these things are right everything else can fall into place because we have talented players. With a lot of the senior boys stepping up to the Under-21s, I’m down to the bare bones. However, if some of the boys think their places are secure then they have another thing coming.

“I take no consolation from playing against a team flying high and running them close. I know how good we can be with or without our senior scholars and I’m not going to settle for hard luck stories. If our mentality was better we would not have been two goals down in the first place.”

The young Dons started slowly at Barnet and they were 1-0 down after just seven minutes. Wimbledon had really started to come into the match by the midway point of the first half and Dan Agyei produced a brilliant run to burst through Barnet’s defence, but his finish was high and wide, though in fairness the ball took a bobble before he shot for goal.

goal of the season in a prolific campaign for the promising forward.thminute when Ollie Haines pounced on a half cleared corner and his volley was diverted home by Agyei. That was Agyei’s 16ndIn a first-half of few chances, Barnet marched into a 2-0 lead just before half-time and Wimbledon had a mountain to climb in the second-half. However, Wimbledon showed much greater conviction after the break and they reduced the deficit on the hour when Agyei rose brilliantly at the far post to head home a corner from Billy Frost. The Dons now had plenty of momentum and it was 2-2 in the 72

minute when Ano won a tackle on the edge of the area, but he lost his footing and Barnet took full advantage.rdWimbledon could even have won it near the end when the impressive Alfie Egan so nearly put Under-16 player Reece Williams-Bowers clean through. However, there was a sting in the tail for Wimbledon in the 93

Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Taylor Roles.

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