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Resilient Dons stay top

13 January 2015

A battling draw at Cambridge for development side

AFC Wimbledon maintained their unbeaten record in the Final Third Development Cup this season with a resilient display at Cambridge this afternoon.

Goalkeeper Joe McDonnell (pictured) made it four clean sheets in the last six matches to earn a 0-0 draw that kept the young Dons top of Southern Group A.

Coach Alan Reeves was “extremely pleased” afterwards, particularly as he fielded a young side against a Cambridge team that included players with first-team experience.

“All of the players did well, but particularly the back five,” said Alan. “It was played on a heavy pitch and their coaching staff had been forking the pitch since 7.00 am. They wanted to get the game on to give first-team players some minutes and they had a very experienced 11. We did not have one outfield player over the age of 19 in our side today.

“Joe McDonnell never had too much to do, but when he was tested he did very well. He made one very good save in the second-half that he tipped around the post. He’s growing in confidence as a goalkeeper after being involved with the first-team.

“I’m extremely pleased because our players worked their socks off. We knew it was not going to be a pretty game and we had to really dig in to get a result.”

Right-back George Pilbeam edged back towards full fitness by getting 90 minutes under his belt and he formed a resilient back four with academy products Will Nightingale, Ryan Sweeney and Ben Harrison.

Wimbledon could have snatched victory in the final 10 minutes with David Fitzpatrick and Dan Agyei both firing shots just wide, but the young Dons had to settle for a creditable draw.

 AFC Wimbledon: Joe McDonnell, George Pilbeam, Will Nightingale, Ryan Sweeney, Ben Harrison, David Fitzpatrick, Dan Gallagher, Tom Beere, Chace Jacquart, Dan Agyei, George Oakley (Egli Kaja).

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