Agyei and Oakley earn a comfortable win
AFC Wimbledon ended their Final Third Development League campaign in style with a performance that offered plenty of hope for the future.
Dan Agyei opened the scoring midway through the first half and George Oakley (pictured) notched the other for a 2-0 win with both goals coming before half time.
There were so many positives on the night for a Wimbledon side well drilled by coach Alan Reeves with good performances all over the pitch as the Dons produced an entertaining display for the spectators who turned up at Merstham Town FC.
The match started at a frenetic pace with young players on both sides eager to make an impression. In contrast to other sides Wimbledon had faced at development level this season, Peterborough fielded a young squad, rather than utilising it as a reserve game for fringe first-team players.
Wimbledon boasted a crop of teenagers with first-team experience as Joe McDonnell, Ben Harrison, George Oakley and David Fitzpatrick all made their debuts earlier this season. Such a scenario was a tribute to the progress made at development and academy level in 2014/15. It did not take long for Wimbledon to cause problems for their opponents. Oakley had an opportunity to open the scoring after just 62 seconds, but he headed over from a corner.
The Dons came even closer after three minutes when Dan Agyei produced a fine solo run and struck a fierce shot that bounced off the underside of the crossbar and agonisingly away to safety. Peterborough had been second best in the early stages as they struggled to cope with Wimbledon’s attacking thrust, but they showed their threat when Fisayo Adarabioyo broke through and McDonnell had to react well to save.
minute when Chace Jacquart fired over a corner to the back post and Dan Agyei met it with a soaring header that left Peterborough goalkeeper Henrich Ravas with no chance.thOn a difficult surface, Wimbledon’s youngsters still managed to spread the play effectively with Dan Gallagher, David Fitzpatrick and Egli Kaja catching the eye. A sign of the confidence that Wimbledon were playing with came when Taylor Roles stepped up from the back with a lovely run and picked out Kaja, but his shot was charged down. Wimbledon deservedly marched into the lead in the 24
A decent response followed from Peterborough and Jonny Edwards headed wide from close range. However, Wimbledon had bossed the first-half and earned the second goal they deserved a minute before half-time. Egli Kaja got down the wing and created a chance for Jacquart and though his shot was well saved by Ravas, Oakley showed a real poacher’s knack to steer home the rebound.
There was no let-up from Wimbledon after the break and the Dons had chances to add to their tally. Playing with a swagger through midfield, Wimbledon produced a tempo that Peterborough struggled to match. All that was missing after the break was the finishing prowess of the first half. Oakley, who looked strong up front after putting his injury problems behind him, headed over and then Roles had a header saved by Ravas. Though Oakley will have been happy with his goal, a more pleasing sign was that he put himself about and tormented Peterborough’s defence with his strength at every opportunity. Kaja, who offered a completely different threat with his guile and skill, then tried his luck with a powerful shot that flashed just wide.
At the other end, there was little to worry Wimbledon. When Peterborough did threaten, Wimbledon’s young defence of Harrison, Roles, Callum Wilson and Jason Stripp coped admirably.
Agyei so nearly made it three in the latter stages after winning the ball himself, but he was denied by Ravas. Nevertheless, it was a fine way to end the season and Wimbledon could end the season in a creditable third place in the Final Third Development League South Division if other results go their way.
AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Jason Stripp, Ben Harrison, Dan Gallagher, Taylor Roles, Callum Wilson, David Fitzpatrick, Dan Agyei, George Oakley, Chace Jacquart, Egli Kaja.