Manager points out positives after defeat
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s manager Mark Robinson said that his side’s lack of experience at senior level eventually told in yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Tooting & Mitcham United.
The young Dons were beaten 4-0 by a strong Ryman Premier League team, but Mark felt the scoreline was harsh and he took plenty of positives from the manner of defeat.
minute when Tooting & Mitcham took the lead and the hosts added three more on the day. ndWimbledon’s most impressive spell came in the first 25 minutes with Neset Bellikli, Reece Williams-Bowers, Nathan Woods and Dan Ano all coming close to an opener. However, Wimbledon were made to pay for those missed opportunities in the 32
“In the first 25 minutes our football going forward was excellent and they could not cope with our movement and quick play. Unfortunately, we lost our composure in the final third and did not score the goals our build-up play deserved. “This was a great game for the boys to experience and it really was a game of two halves in terms of what we got right and wrong,” said Mark.
"The problem was that we almost started too well and we lost our shape defensively. Tooting looked dangerous going forward and we left our back three with far too much to do. In the last 15 minutes they got dragged all over the place.
“In the second half our shape was much better as we moved to a 3-5-2, but against a high line the timing of our runs and kind of runs were not good enough. When we did get it right, the execution of our through balls were not good enough. We still created lots of good opportunities and their two goals in the second half were down to individual errors.
“Anybody who watched the game would have seen that we have some real talent and it was just a lack of experience that proved to be our undoing. The reality is that we had 15-17 year olds playing against a semi-professional side, who are very positive about having a good season. We caused them all sorts of problems, but the negatives we can work on through coaching and experience. When we get back on the training pitch they will realise how much they have learnt from the game.”
A goal five minutes before half-time gave Wimbledon a mountain to climb, but Wimbledon did not deserve to be 2-0 down at the break with Bellikli, Ano and Stripp having further chances before half-time. It was a good start to the second half from Wimbledon with Jayden Antwi, Emmanuel Mensah and Williams-Bowers all threatening to reduce the deficit. With Tooting playing a high line, a downfall for Wimbledon was that they continued to get caught offside or lacked quality with the final pass.
Despite dominating possession for most of the second-half, Wimbledon paid the price for individual errors as Tooting were in no mood to squander such opportunities. Two more goals followed for Tooting with Timasha Nkoma (two), Dan Summers and Sol Pinnock netting on the day. Man of the Match for Wimbledon was Reece Williams-Bowers.