Manager unhappy with display from young Dons
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s will be aiming to put a 25-minute “horror show” behind them when they take on league leaders Luton Town tomorrow.
The young Dons were leading 2-0 on Saturday at Gillingham, before a nightmare spell that eventually led to a 5-3 defeat with man of the match Jayden Antwi scoring a hat-trick on the losing side.
Mark Robinson said: “We missed a hatful of chances in the first-half, but after working hard to get ourselves in a great position we had 25 minutes that was nothing short of a horror show. It would be very easy to rant and rave as the boys let themselves down in so many aspects that we had worked on, but it’s pointless. They need to reflect on it in an intelligent manner individually and as a group. What happened in that 25 minutes was nothing to do with our ability. It was about mentality and emotion and we came up very short on both accounts.
“We will sit down and talk about it constructively and as long as they listen, reflect and look to improve those aspects it will have proven to be a valuable lesson in terms of their future progression.”
It appeared that the Under-18s were heading for a second successive win in the Football League Youth Alliance after taking control of the match at Gillingham. Antwi opened the scoring inside 10 minutes, though he needed a second attempt from the rebound after his initial penalty kick was saved. Though the Dons needed goalkeeper Jack Wingate to preserve the advantage as Gills pressed, the visitors had plenty of chances to extend their advantage before the break.
Nathan Woods was denied by a great save from Gills goalkeeper William Sykes after a fine cross from Toyosi Olusanya. Then Woods, Antwi, Olusanya and Bellikli all missed good chances.
minute.rd minute. What followed was a spell described by Mark Robinson as “mayhem” with panic ensuing in the Dons ranks. Mbo and Lanford both netted twice each and Brad Stevenson was also got on the score sheet by the 73thThe Dons looked to be cruising shortly after the restart when a second goal arrived. It came after just 34 seconds when George Marchant released Bellikli, who cut inside his marker and pulled the ball back for Antwi and he finished clinically from 18 yards. The match completely turned though after Sam Lanford halved the deficit for Gillingham in the 48
Reece Williams-Bowers, Antonio Walker and Dan Ano all entered the fray to try and restore pride. It did have some effect as Paul Kalambayi set-up Antwi for his hat-trick, but the Dons never looked like making a game of it in the final stages.
Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Jayden Antwi.
The Dons will be aiming to get back on track at Luton Town tomorrow.