Great goals help U-18s end on a high
A cracker from man of the match Jason Stripp and a double from Tino Carperne helped AFC Wimbledon Under-18s to end their season with a victory at the weekend.
With nine U-15s/U16s and five first year scholars making up the squad in a friendly against LTB Sussex Academy, manager Mark Robinson used the game to look at options for next season and the young Dons earned a hard-fought 3-2 win.
LTB, managed by former AFC Wimbledon player Mark Beard, provided tough opposition as they recently completed a league and cup double.
It did not take long for Wimbledon to make the breakthrough with a goal of real quality as Stripp (pictured) fired a rocket of a 25-yard shot into the top corner. That should have been the signal for Wimbledon to really take the game by the scruff of the neck, but they twice hit the woodwork. Having been let off the hook, LTB grew in confidence and equalised just before half-time.
The visitors marched into the lead shortly after half-time and at that stage were in control of the game. However, U-15 Carperne, who has stepped up to the Under-18s with a great deal of promise recently, restored parity with a smart finish after good work by Reece Williams-Bowers and Antonio Walker.
There was even better to come from Carperne as he struck what turned out to be the winner with 10 minutes remaining.
Mark Robinson said: “It was a good competitive game against a good side. I do not get to work with these boys on a daily basis so I gave them some objectives before the game and tried as much as possible to let them get on with it. I am pleased to say they got a lot of it right early on and we played some really good progressive football.
“What we did not do was react well to a change in style by LTB. In the second half we ended up with an even younger squad due to substitutions. The boys showed good character and did good things in a formation they are probably not that familiar with. The younger lads in particular played with a good intensity.”