Young striker wastes no time getting back among goals
George Oakley tonight marked his return after seven weeks out with a goal to set AFC Wimbledon on the way to a very impressive Final Third Development League win.
Oakley (pictured), who made nine substitute appearances for the first-team earlier this season, struck in the first half against Cambridge and the Dons struck three goals after the break to win 4-0.
It was a night that offered plenty of hope for the future with substitute Alfie Egan stepping up from the Under-18s to score on his debut for the development side. Egli Kaja and Dan Gallagher both started this season with the Under-18s too and they showed they were at home at this level by notching second-half goals as the young Dons turned on the style at Merstham.
Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Alan Reeves was delighted with his side’s overall team performance.
“They all did well because they worked their socks off,” said Alan. “We showed plenty of energy and work-rate. Considering how young the team was, we were very professional and they did what we asked them to do. The first half was a bit scrappy because the pitch was a bit bobbly, but we stuck at it. Cambridge never had a chance in the first half because we defended well.
“We talked to the players at half-time about a few technical things and for 30 minutes in the second half we battered Cambridge. With Under-21s moving up to the first-team, it has given opportunities for younger lads. Last week Neset Bellikli came in on the left and did well and I wanted to have a look at him again. He carried on where he left off last week.”
Alan Reeves added that he was impressed with 19-year-old striker Oakley, who was nursed back with a 45-minute run-out after a spell out due to a hamstring injury.
“George put himself about well and scored a good goal,” Alan said. “He won his headers and made it tough for their two centre-backs. That was how his goal came about as he put them under pressure and got his reward.”
Kaja struck the second for Wimbledon after good work by winger David Fitzpatrick with goals from Gallagher and Egan both created by substitute Chace Jacquart.
AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Callum Wilson, Taylor Roles, Ryan Sweeney (Jason Stripp), Ben Harrison, Neset Bellikli, Christian Toonga, Dan Gallagher, David Fitzpatrick, George Oakley (Chace Jacquart), Egli Kaja (Alfie Egan).