Dom Bongo "goal" is ruled out
AFC Wimbledon Under-18s extended their unbeaten run to 10 with a draw at Cambridge United, but manager Mark Robinson felt his side merited all three points after a goal was controversially ruled out.
The young Dons had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Seanan McKillop’s first half opener had threatened to win it for Wimbledon, but that only told half the story in this Merit League match.
minute when captain Dom Bongo (pictured) had the ball in the net at 1-0, but the referee adjudged that the Cambridge United goalkeeper had been fouled.thA vital period in the game came in the 55
Mark Robinson said: “I don’t often talk about decisions going against us, but I do feel for the boys on this occasion. It was the second successive week that we have had two very strange decisions go against us. You never know what is going to happen in football, but they would have found it very difficult to recover from being 2-0 down after the way we were playing.
“They equalised a minute after Dom had his effort ruled out and that did rub salt into the wounds. The game became a battle after that and we have to learn how to deal with such disappointment. I include myself in that and I could have given them better information to guide them when they were clearly frustrated.
“On a huge positive though we took next season’s squad to play Cambridge and the five Under-16s did very well. The boys desperately want to win this league and I want to keep developing them at the same time. We will give it a go at doing both by using next season’s squad, while Alan Reeves continues to do excellent work with our second year scholars in the Under-21s.”
With Man of the Match Jason Stripp, Alfie Egan and McKillop pulling the strings in midfield, Wimbledon established early superiority. Wing backs Reece Williams-Bowers and Neset Bellikli were also proving to be useful outlets on the flanks, ensuring a good platform for attacks.
However, the Dons had been restricted to half chances before McKillop, who has made an impressive return from injury, opened the scoring five minutes before the break with a 17-yard strike.
minute. Wimbledon felt that the Cambridge United goalkeeper had dropped a corner from Bellikli without any contact and Bongo’s subsequent effort should have stood, but the referee thought otherwise. Wimbledon’s celebrations were cut short and that proved to be a turning point as Matt Foy equalised for Cambridge a minute later.thIt became a scrappy game after the break, but the Dons thought they had sealed it in the 55
With Antonio Walker and George Marchant both introduced, it meant that the Dons had to hold out with five Under-16s in their ranks. It needed Will Mannion to make a brilliant double save to keep the Dons level. However, Wimbledon could have snatched victory when lovely play by Dan Ano on the wing set-up Jayden Antwi, but he was just unable to convert.
The Dons eventually had to dig in for a point as they effectively finished with nine men. Marchant carried on until the end despite being on the receiving end of a late tackle and the impressive Williams-Bowers had to be taken off with an ankle injury as Wimbledon bravely held on to earn a point.