Striker influential in victory versus Southend
Tom Elliott boosted his match fitness by playing 90 minutes for the development team in a victory against Southend today and earned praise from Alan Reeves.
Elliott (pictured), who has been restricted to substitute appearances after injuring his toe last month, got a full match under his belt and played a pivotal role in the 1-0 victory.
Egli Kaja highlighted his promise once again with the winning goal in the first-half of the Final Third Development League match, which was rearranged for the training ground this afternoon after last night’s postponement at Merstham.
Ade Azeez started up front, but he had to come off with a thigh strain after half an hour, though his injury is not thought to be serious.
Azeez had twice earlier came close to opening the scoring, but he was denied by the Southend goalkeeper, who could do little about Kaja’s winner. Picked out by Elliott, Kaja made no mistake with a clinical finish.
Coach Alan Reeves said: Once we knew the pitch was not playable last night we wanted to rearrange this for today because a lot of the lads needed minutes. The boys worked really hard. Southend played a diamond formation so we had to counteract that with our wide men tucking in when they had possession. Joe McDonnell only had one shot to save and their goalkeeper was definitely the busier of the two.
“Tom Elliott worked his socks off up front. He set-up Ade twice in the first half, but the goalkeeper made good saves, and he had a good header well saved in the second-half after a cross from Egli. Tom also set-up Egli for the goal and it was good for him to increase his fitness.”
George Pilbeam made his return as a second-half substitute after being out since the start of this season due to injury.
AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, Callum Wilson (George Pilbeam), Paul Kalambayi, Ryan Sweeney, Ben Harrison (Jason Stripp), Neset Bellikli, Christian Toonga, Dan Gallagher, Egli Kaja, Tom Elliott, Ade Azeez (Toyosi Olusanya).