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Dons earn Watford reward

26 November 2015

Olusanya strikes twice to send Dons through

A double from man of the match Toyosi Olusanya earned AFC Wimbledon the prize of a third round FA Youth Cup tie at Watford as Mark Robinson’s side again showed plenty of promise.

In a one-sided match that Wimbledon should really have won more convincingly, impressive forward Olusanya (pictured) struck twice in a 2-0 win against Ebbsfleet United.

Mark Robinson had warned that this was not going to be an easy task against a side that knocked Gillingham out of the competition in the last round. However, Wimbledon's start suggested that they were not taking Ebbsfleet lightly as they came out of the blocks quickly. Toyosi Olusanya, who made such an impression in a 4-0 victory in the last round against Woking, so nearly opened the scoring inside two minutes when his lightning pace got him in behind, but his deft lob was just saved by Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Rhys Hughes.

minute. Olusanya produced a lovely touch in the area and when he was sent sprawling by Ebbsfleet defender Charlie Stewart the only outcome was a penalty. Olusanya picked himself up and beat Hughes with a no-nonsense penalty straight down the middle to signal loud cheers from younger AFC Wimbledon academy players in the stands.thWith captain Jason Stripp really stamping his authority on the game in midfield, Wimbledon controlled possession early on and they deservedly took the lead in the 11

There was no let-up from Wimbledon as they continued to dominate. Olusanya was so nearly through on goal yet again after getting on the end of a lovely ball from Neset Bellikli, but this time he was just about stopped legally. Then Stripp played a short corner to Toby Sibbick and he sent over a fine cross that Paul Kalambayi latched onto, but he was unable to get his shot off from close range. The Dons came even closer when Olusanya produced a lovely turn inside to set-up a shooting chance and his curler came back off a post.

In a first-half when Wimbledon goalkeeper Will Mannion was a virtual spectator due to Wimbledon’s dominance, the only concern as we approached half-time was that it was only 1-0. The chances continued to come with Tino Carpene turning smartly and having a fierce shot beaten out by Hughes, before Alfie Egan powered through after a fine team move, but he shot just over at the second attempt.

During a frantic end to the first-half, Wimbledon came so close to making it two when Dan Ano struck a superb 25-yard effort that thudded against the crossbar. However, Ebbsfleet served warning that it was far from job done before half-time. First, Mannion raced out of his goal to stop Jeffrey Nguede going through on goal. Then the Dons were relieved to see the offside flag go up after Nguede steered home from close range.

Wimbledon continued to dominate at the start of the second-half and the impressive Egan had a shot superbly saved by Hughes. Certainly, it appeared that Egan was showing the energy and drive to deliver on Mark Robinson’s call for him to be an all-action box-to-box midfielder. Minutes later another good chance was squandered by Wimbledon when Stripp sent over a lovely cross that found Olusanya, but he headed wide.

At the hour mark it was still only 1-0 and you sensed that Wimbledon really needed to kill their opponents off. Seanan McKillop showed his defensive qualities to stop Casey Johnson getting through and then there was a let-off for Wimbledon when Stewart failed to get a proper connection on a dangerous free-kick swung in by Munarchi Atumonyogo. Mark Robinson made two changes in quick succession midway through the second-half in an effort to regain supremacy as Ebbsfleet started to come into it. Nathan Wood entered the fray for Carpene and Reece Williams-Bowers came on for Bellikli.

Wimbledon needed their centre-back pairing of Sibbick and Kalambayi to stay alert at the back, the latter making a brilliant last-gasp challenge to stop Caleb Bearman-Dyce going through on goal. However, the Dons defended effectively to come through that spell and victory was sealed with a minute to go when Olusanya turned superbly and finished emphatically into the bottom corner. The second goal at least provided more of a reflection of Wimbledon’s dominance and on this form they will certainly give Watford a run for their money.

AFC Wimbledon: Will Mannion, Neset Bellikli (Reece Williams-Bowers), David Omperon, Toby Sibbick, Paul Kalambayi, Jason Stripp, Dan Ano, Seanan McKillop, Tino Carpene (Nathan Wood), Alfie Egan, Toyosi Olusanya (Antonio Walker).


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