Alfie Egan among the scorers
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s maintained their prolific recent form with a resounding friendly victory on Saturday.
With key players injured and 17-year-old Ben Harrison making his first-team debut at Accrington Stanley, a match against MB Academy offered an opportunity for others to shine and they did not disappoint as the Dons triumphed 8-1.
Having drawn in pre-season against an academy managed by former Dons player Mark Beard, this offered an indication of progress made by the Under-18s since the summer.
Wimbledon were rampant in the first-half and they marched into a 5-1 lead before half-time with Dan Ano and Callum Wilson both netting twice each. Neset Bellikli was also on target and he missed a penalty in an eventful first 45 minutes for him.
Despite a faltering start to the second-half, Alfie Egan (pictured) added two more and Dan Agyei completed the scoring.
Following a four-game winning streak that has included 17 goals scored and only one conceded, manager Mark Robinson is rightly pleased with his side’s progress.
“After a good set of results in the league, it was important that I arranged a friendly fixture for us to play on Saturday,” said Mark Robinson. “After playing the MB Academy in pre-season, I knew this would be a good fixture for us. With regular starters Egli Kaja and Taylor Roles out injured and Ben Harrison playing for the first-team, it was a good opportunity to give more game-time to our younger scholars.
“Some of the football we played in the first-half was outstanding. Our technical detail and movement was of a very high level and it was pleasing to watch. MB Academy play professional clubs regularly and Mark Beard said that no team had previously beaten them so emphatically this season.
“I’m looking for us to take this confidence and self-belief into the rest of this season. However, the players must realise that they are in a good place right now because of their focus on the training pitch and that needs to remain a constant. They need to understand that good habits off the pitch really make a difference to their mentality and in turn their results on the pitch.”
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Neset Bellikli.
The photograph above was taken by Rob Cornell.