Ollie Haines earns man of the match v Cambridge
Mark Robinson has called for a positive reaction from the Under-18s after their worst performance for some time against Cambridge United on Saturday.
Though Wimbledon came within a whisker of victory as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw after a last-gasp Cambridge equaliser, manager Mark Robinson was far from satisfied.
“We had drawn our previous two games after playing very dominant football and creating lots of good opportunities, but that was not the case today,” said Mark. “Cambridge were very good and could have been out of sight before we got going. In the second half we were better and at 2-1 we had chances to put the game beyond them, but it would have been very harsh on Cambridge.
“I’m more interested in why I had to mention basic things at half-time to get us playing better. Some of that was down to the very good opposition, but there were also elements that were down to sloppy play and poor decisions in key areas. It was a long way off what I expect and we will be looking for a big reaction in training this week and in our next game on Saturday.”
Dons goalkeeper Will Mannion made a fine save to stop Cambridge taking the lead, but there was nothing he could do to stop the opener after 10 minutes. Such was Cambridge’s dominance that Wimbledon had only threatened through Ollie Haines (pictured) in the first half hour. However, Dan Gallagher and Billy Frost began to get a grip in midfield and the Dons almost drew level when Callum Overton nearly got on the end of a Callum Wilson cross. Wilson’s deliveries from the wing caused Cambridge problems and Dan Agyei was so close to getting on the end of another of his fine crosses. Agyei was also denied by the Cambridge goalkeeper, but the Dons went in 1-0 down at the break.
Wimbledon started the second-half brightly after making half-time adjustments and they earned their reward when Haines produced a brilliant run before picking out Frost and finished expertly from 20 yards. The young Dons were transformed now and Frost turned provider when he sent over a pinpoint corner that Gallagher met with an excellent header to put Wimbledon 2-1 up. Wimbledon struggled to maintain the momentum though and Mannion had to make a brilliant reaction save to deny Cambridge.
Just after the hour Neset Bellikli replaced Alfie Egan and he almost made an immediate impact when he came close with a long-range effort. Another Wimbledon change came when Dan Ano replaced Overton, who had been instrumental in the second-half turnaround. Taylor Roles and Ano both had efforts cleared off the line that would have clinched victory, but there was no denying Cambridge from snatching a deserved point and the equaliser came in the very last minute.
Man of the match for Wimbledon was Ollie Haines.