Cambridge well beaten on Saturday
Manager Mark Robinson was delighted with an emphatic response from the Under-18s squad after a resounding victory against Cambridge United on Saturday.
Mark had called for an improved performance after defeat to Gillingham and he certainly got it as the young Dons earned a 4-1 victory with goals from Reece Williams-Bowers, Neset Bellikli, Dan Ano (pictured in action for the Under-21s recently) and Jayden Antwi.
“After last week’s performance I asked for a response and I certainly got it,” said Mark. “Everything we did not do last week, we did this week and the boys saw what can happen. For 60 minutes, we were excellent, but then we got over-indulgent on the ball and moved it too slowly.
“With an FA Youth Cup tie coming up on Tuesday, I felt that was taking away focus from the lads on why they are here. Therefore, we played a completely new formation to re-establish their focus. It showed that no matter what formation you play the principles remain pretty much the same off the ball. It just means that different players do slightly different jobs for the team. As well as a good performance, it was a good learning experience and they have a new formation they know they can use if needed.”
It only took 11 minutes for Wimbledon to take the lead on Saturday and it was a fine goal too as Bellikli picked out Williams-Bowers, who cut inside two defenders and curled home brilliantly off the underside of the crossbar from 20 yards. The Dons were now in full flow and further chances followed for Antwi, Williams-Bowers and Paul Kalambayi.
The Dons doubled their advantage in great style when Bellikli intercepted a pass, before producing an impressive solo run and finishing brilliantly from 19 yards. A killer third goal arrived two minutes before the break when Antwi produced a wonderfully weighted pass to set-up Ano and he rounded the goalkeeper, before slotting home.
It could have been more when Jason Stripp came close shortly after the restart. However, there wasn’t long to wait for a fourth goal as Ano turned provider with a headed flick that put Antwi through and he finished clinically from 12 yards.
Mark Robinson made his first change after 50 minutes when Emmanuel Mensah was introduced for the excellent Bellikli and another followed shortly afterwards when Louie Cockle entered the fray for Stripp, who had controlled midfield with Seanan McKillopp and Williams-Bowers. Another substitution was forced upon the manager just after the hour when Antwi had to go off injured and he was replaced by Toyosi Olusanya.
Cambridge earned a consolation from the penalty spot 18 minutes from time, but a good reaction followed from the hosts with Kalambayi, Williams-Bowers, Ano, and Olusanya all coming close to a fifth goal. It was a good way for the young Dons to warm-up for tomorrow night’s FA Youth Cup first round tie at home to Woking (7.45 pm kick-off).
Entry prices are £5 for adults and £2 for Under-18s at Tuesday night’s game.